What could be better than a stay in a warm lodge after roughing it by raft down the Rogue River? In my opinion, nothing. That’s what made me look for a place to recuperate from four nights of sleeping bags under the stars. I found what looked like the perfect opportunity at the Weasku Inn, just down the Rogue River Highway from Grants Pass. I gave them a call to make reservations, and an hour later I was pulling into their forest-shrouded property, lugging my weathered bags inside. I quickly realized I had discovered the perfect place to renew myself, but apparently I was far from the first. Adventurous author Zane Grey found it decades ago. So did Clark Gable, Walt Disney, and President Herbert Hoover. Suddenly I realized Weasku Inn wasn’t just historic — it was truly part of history. Now it was my turn to soak it all in and share my experience.
After checking into my room upstairs, plugging in my gadgets and testing the quilted queen bed, I began flipping through a book on the end table that told the tale of Weasku Inn. Apparently, it has aged gracefully since 1924, when it first opened to welcome fishermen, hunters, and naturalists.
Completely restored in 1998, it’s now a model of rugged ambience and award-winning quality. The main lodge is a log mansion, its leathery lobby and lunchroom encircling a massive river rock chimney. Upstairs, five cozy rooms with private baths have all the classy modern touches. For even more space, privacy or romance, guests can choose from eleven cabins, an A-frame, and a three-bedroom river house sporting jacuzzis, fireplaces, and private decks. Grassy gardens, paths and ponds connect it all, and the Rogue River is a stone’s throw away. In short, it’s a dreamy headquarters for soul seekers that love the outdoors.
My day at Weasku Inn included a scrumptious complimentary breakfast of waffles, biscuits and gravy, fruits, juices and steaming mugs of java. In the late morning, I sat outside under the pines near a pond, adding to my journal as hungry young osprey called for food in a nest high above. I strolled down to the rocky riverside, spooking a squawking blue heron into flight. That afternoon I sampled the complimentary spread of wine and homemade appetizers. The only thing Weasku Inn is missing is a full restaurant, but the staff is quick to offer their favorite nearby suggestions. For lunch, they recommended the Train Depot, a Grants Pass icon for decades, boasting a long menu of fun local fare and a full bar. For dinner, they will definitely send you to the River’s Edge, an elegant restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating right above the Rogue River, perfect for delicious regional delicacies and gourmet dishes. Try one or try both (I opted for both).
That night, I slept like a baby bear in its den, cracking the window above the day bed to hear the breeze in the trees. The moon light threw silver shadows on the timber walls. I dreamt about those that came before me, and how powerfully peaceful a cozy quilt in the midst of Mother Nature can be. And, as I knew it would, the morning sun woke a rejuvenated me.
If you’re in Grants Pass, take the time to stepping back in time at Weasku Inn.
about author Adam Smith
Adam 'Thorn' Smith, nicknamed for his love of the Rose City, has a lifelong passion for Portland and all things Oregon. A teacher, sports data scout, whitewater outfit manager, and travel writer, he's explored five continents and over forty countries, including a year abroad in South America. Other interests include rivers, craft beers, a game of darts, playing music with friends, or cheering for the Blazers, Timbers, Ducks and Beavers.
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