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The Serenity of Skamania

Washington’s Skamania Lodge offers a tranquil getaway to relax and get outside in between on-site meetings.

By Amanda Christensen

Situated 40 minutes from Portland International Airport on the Washington side of the Columbia River in Stevenson, Skamania Lodge immerses guests in the outdoor haven that is the Columbia River Gorge. The property sits on 175 acres and features 263 overnight accommodations ranging from diverse guest rooms at the main lodge to treehouses with panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and surrounding forest.

Aerial view of Skamania Lodge CREDIT Skamania Lodge

“It is a place like no other,” says Kara Owen, general manager of the lodge. “We provide an incredible getaway, especially for the people that live in the urban Portland metro area—and what I love to see is [when] people can come out here and just get a break and get a chance to relax—to enjoy each other’s company and see them connecting.”

Crown Point on the Columbia River CREDIT Skamania Lodge

Two outdoor pavilions and 23,000 square feet of meeting space at the lodge offer myriad opportunities for planners to explore every inch of the property. The new Moonlight Pavilion provides 2,100 square feet of space for up to 180, and the Riverview Pavilion can host up to 300 within its 2,682 square feet of space. At the lodge, the Stevenson Ballroom boasts nearly 7,000 square feet of space for up to 600 guests or choose the more intimate Meadow Room for up to 14.

The Riverview Pavilion CREDIT Skamania Lodge

Keep attendees active with several on-site and nearby options for group activities, including complimentary bike rentals, a nine-hole golf course, and 18-hole putting course, an aerial adventure park, zip lining, ax throwing, several nearby hiking trails, 18 holes of disc golf, whitewater rafting, and more.

Tee up at the golf or putting course CREDIT Skamania Lodge

“We have been seeing, in the last two years, a shift toward including more activities than we have seen prior to COVID-19,” notes Kristin Wood, director of sales for Skamania. “I’m also seeing a lot more demand for incentive group [events].”

Reach new heights at the aerial adventure park CREDIT Skamania Lodge

On-site dining options include the Cascade Dining Room, a more upscale-fare culinary experience; the River Rock Lounge which features casual shareables on a first come, first serve basis; and the seasonal Backyard Grill, open May-September and encompasses a true Pacific Northwest feel with mountain views and local ingredients.

The Moonlight Pavilion CREDIT Skamania Lodge

“We source locally grown products as much as we can,” Owen adds. “We use a lot of Northwest beef and Northwest chicken,” emphasizing the goal of staying as seasonal as possible with summer meals being lighter and more garden-focused, and winter far highlighting heavier, cozier meals.

Open seating area with bright, natural light CREDIT Skamania Lodge

If attendees want to explore the surrounding area, there’s an almost endless supply of riverside cities and natural landscape to discover. “[Nearby] Hood River is just a fun, funky little town with a lot of people that are there seasonally for wind surfing. You’ll [also] see a lot of shopping and dining,” says Wood. When it comes to the natural landscape, the topography of high desert to the east and the ocean to the west creates “really distinct climate zones throughout the gorge,” Wood explains. This creates an array of environments that support several varieties of wine, so visitors should be sure to experience the nearby wineries and vineyards that call the gorge home.

Whitewater rafting CREDIT Skamania Lodge

“I’m very passionate about the gorge, so when we have those opportunities to have people that aren’t familiar [with the area] come out here and … look out at the gorge … I love to see that reaction,” says Wood.