Simple elegance in nature

New treehouses open at Skamania Lodge

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If you go

For more information or to book a stay in the treehouses, visit or call 800-221-7117. Skamania Lodge is located at 1131 S.W. Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson.

Guests to Skamania Lodge now have the opportunity to revisit their childhood with a stay in two new treehouses.

The units are nestled among tall Douglas firs with peak-a-boo views of the Columbia River Gorge. They are a combination of simple touches and modern luxuries, with cedar decks, dark tile, reclaimed wood, indoor/outdoor fire places, tic-tac-toe boards and walk-in showers.

A large, outdoor fire pit and Adirondack chairs are shared between guests at the two houses. There, they can make s’mores, read, have a glass of wine or just daydream.

The 750-square-foot units are cozy, secluded rooms that sleep up to four guests, elevated with stilts 15 and 20 feet, with large windows and views that give a feel of sleeping in a canopy of trees.

Design elements within the tree houses were inspired by the idea of a creative childhood, where days were filled with carefree outdoor playing.

Brad Criswell of Portland-based Ankrom Moisan, an interior architectures firm, describes the structures as “refined-rustic.”

“Our firm did a lot of the original work inside the hotel, and it was great to come back for this project,” he said. “It was nice to be able to step outside and really talk about this within the firm and think about what it is about tree houses that everyone remembers. We wanted to capture that.”

The design is combined with the amenities of Skamania Lodge, located just a short walk away. One of the treehouses is ADA accessible.

Seattle-based architectural firm MG2 designed the treehouses; Ankrom Moisan created the interior design; and Stevenson based Invision Construction was the general contractor.

Todd Gillespie, Skamania Lodge sales and marketing director, said the idea for the treehouses first came about three years ago.

“We were discussing ways to create new reasons for people to stay here and the idea for treehouses was raised by the chief operating officer,” he said.

“Then, while chatting with my son Hayden, he said, ‘Daddy, you should build treehouses at Skamania.’ That was the second time it had been suggested, so I thought I should give it some more thought.”

Ron Mitchell, principal architect with MG2, was the designer. It was the first time he had ventured over into a commercial treehouse project, although he has built several over the years.

“This was a very Pacific Northwest style project,” he said. “The treehouses were designed to complement the lodge. When we first came down here two years ago, the thought was to put the treehouses way at the end of the golf course, but we were worried people would end up wandering in the dark,” he said.

After some more discussion, the current location, near the long driveway that leads up to the main lodge, was selected.

The forest floor features the gas fire pit and hammocks strewn through the tall Douglas firs.

Additionally, the treehouses overlook the lodge’s golf course and the Woodlawn Lawn, a popular wedding venue, making them a potential lodging option for bridal parties.

“I have done hotels in 28 different countries and one of my sayings is that people don’t go to resorts to be alone,” Mitchell said. “We wanted to choose a site that would create a special environment.

“This allows guests to interact with the lodge, but also have the feeling of being nestled in the woods. This is simple elegance. It doesn’t need to jump out at you.”

Ken Daugherty, Skamania Lodge general manager, said he was focused on the complete Gorge experience.

“We thought a perfect complement to the Gorge experience is allowing guests to sleep in comfort among the trees in our forest with a view of the river,” he said.