: Pacific Crest Trail at Timberline Lodge by Susan Seubert

Cool Places to Stay for Outdoor Adventures

You don’t have to sacrifice luxury to commune with nature.
February 25, 2019 (Updated May 25, 2021)

Editor’s note: Call destinations before you visit to make sure they’re open. Follow all COVID-19 guidelines, get vaccinated before you travel and remember to bring your face covering.  

Sometimes after a long, grueling day on the trail or cruising through pounding rapids, the last thing you want to do is set up a tent. For those outdoor enthusiasts who prefer a cushy bed over a sleeping bag, we’ve rounded up a host of accommodations from luxe properties and cozy bed-and-breakfasts to only-in-Oregon resorts and timeless lodges. These lush spots are perfect for complementing your springtime adventures —no construction required.

A couple play guitars while floating on a raft down the Rogue River
Many guided tours on the Rogue River and elsewhere include downtime for music and gourmet meals. (Photo by Nate Wilson / Northwest Rafting Co.)

Rafting/Jet Boating

Oregon is home to some of the best rafting and jet-boating in the country, with hundreds of miles of rivers for all experience levels. Master rafters can tackle Class III-plus sections of the river, with or without a guide, while the more placid stretches make for perfect family-friendly paddles. Stay nearby the river to get the most out of your trip.

A woman reads in a hammock hanging above the bed
The fun amenities at LOGE let you take your camping style to the next level. (Photo courtesy of LOGE Entrada)

Day-trippers on the Deschutes River should look to the very hip LOGE hotel in Bend. The midcentury-modern rooms come with hammocks, coolers doubling as coffee tables, bike storage, individual ski lockers and more. If you’re lucky, early reservers can also snag the suite with an in-room sauna and hot tub, which sleeps four.

An outdoor pool sits above the Rogue River
Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge is a stone’s throw from jet boating on the Rogue River. (Photo by Justin Bailie)

Near the Coast, the secluded Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge sits along the Rogue River in Gold Beach with floor-to-ceiling views from the beautiful lodge. Accommodation options include cozy rooms, expansive suites with in-room cast-iron fireplaces and soaking tubs, and three private houses. The calm river is prime for paddling, but don’t miss the nearby hiking, fishing or in-lodge spa, either. Those hoping to see more of the river during their trip can book a jet-boating trip up the Rogue.

Two sets of bunk beds inside a cabin
For a truly rustic river getaway, book a stay at Galice Resort. (Photo courtesy of the Galice Resort)

Multiday rafters along the 35-mile Rogue River in Southern Oregon can find a host of riverside lodges only available by float craft or ferry. But an accessible launch point is Merlin’s Galice Resort, 7.6 miles upstream from Grave Creek. Its private cabins, cottages and homes with river views; expansive patio and restaurant; and rafting rentals and/or guided trips make kicking off your weekend rafting adventure easy. Jet boaters can catch a boat downstream in Grants Pass from Hellgate Jetboat Excursions.

A surfer on a wave in front of a monolithic rock
Pacific City is an excellent surf spot; beginners should book a class or clinic for the best experience. (Photo by Mark McInnis)

Paddling/Surfing the Coast

Ready for paddling adventures? Kayakers, SUPers and even surfers will find everything from rugged coastlines with ceaselessly pounding waves to calm tidal estuaries perfect for exploring tide pools along Oregon’s 363-mile-long coast. Some of the best lodging experiences are mere steps from the water, giving visitors unparalleled views, often without needing to get out of bed.

The exterior of an airstream trailer with a wooden deck, chairs and picnic tables in the yard
Airstream trailers at Hart’s Camp let you glamp in style. (Photo courtesy of Hart’s Camp)

For those looking for a more casual experience in Pacific City, head to Hart’s Camp, an Airstream hotel and RV park. Bunk in one of the site’s seven private, completely restored Airstream trailers outfitted with full kitchens, bathrooms, shared gas grills, firepits and more. You can connect with the local surf community at Moment Surf Company, an outfitter that offers surf and SUP lessons.

A person lounging next to a covered pool overlooking a bay
The luxe amenities are family-friendly too at Salishan Coastal Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Salishan Coastal Lodge)

Kayakers and SUP-ers will find easy access to calm Siletz River waters at Gleneden Beach’s Salishan Coastal Lodge. Tucked into tranquil coastal forests, the relaxing resort might make you forget you came here for an adventure, with its outdoor infinity whirlpool, timber-lined rooms and suites, and floor-to-ceiling views overlooking the bay.

Picnic tables outside of a cabin on a bay
Designer cabins (as well as Airstreams and spots for your own rig) await at Bay Point Landing. (Photo courtesy of Bay Point Landing)

If you crave immediate access to the water as soon as you wake up, spend the night in a sleek cabin at Bay Point Landing. The upscale 103-acre cabin and RV resort sits on the sandy shores of Coos Bay, the perfect spot to launch a kayak or SUP. The designer cabins are anything but rustic, with plush beds, striking modern elements and contemporary interiors. While there’s plenty to keep you busy at the kid- and dog-friendly property, you can connect with local outfitters South Coast Tours for more guided adventures on the water.

A mountain biker riding over a log bridge in a forest
The McKenzie River Trail is one of Oregon's beloved destinations for forested biking as well as hiking. (Photo by Jacob Pace)

Mountain Biking

Roll right on or off the trail from one of these conveniently located lodges along the state’s best mountain-biking areas. You’ll be able to store or rent your bike at the lodge and take in the scenery without needing to worry about late-season rain soaking all your gear.

Two cabins nestled in a forest
Shuttle to your activities from your riverside lodging at Horse Creek Lodge. (Photo courtesy of Horse Creek Lodge)

At the Horse Creek Lodge along the McKenzie River, trails end just up the road from the lodge. Home to a number of full-service cabins perfect for groups, guests can book a shuttle to the head of the McKenzie River Trail and the O’Leary Loop Trail. Bike, raft and SUP rentals are also available from partnerships with nearby shops

A car parked next to a cabin in the forest
The Steamboat Inn is steps from the Umpqua River. (Photo by Justin Bailie)

Perched on a bluff along Southern Oregon’s Umpqua River is the Steamboat Inn, home to river-view cabins, suites and private cottages steps from the North Umpqua Trail. While conveniently located along the trail, the inn also has a special history among anglers and native populations, who have fished the cold, pristine waters — considered some of the best in the nation — for generations. Stop through on your ride for a meal in the dining room and expansive outdoor patio, or unwind after a long day in front of the in-room gas stoves.

An aerial view of a lush golf course will hills in the distance
Mt. Hood Oregon Resort comes complete with a nature concierge to help connect you with activities. (Photo courtesy of Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory)

Instead of heading back into Portland, Sandy Ridge-area mountain bikers can treat themselves to a stay at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort. Guests can find solace in the resort’s 300 acres, home to a golf course, pool, enormous spa and two restaurants. And the resort’s unique Nature Concierge service, available May through October, helps you plan even more outdoor adventures, coordinate transportation and connect you with professional guides.

A flock of birds flying through the sky
White-faced ibis are one of hundreds of unique bird species at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Curt Given)

Birding

Oregon is a hot-spot for birding. Pros and newbies alike will have a truly exquisite time exploring the Oregon Birding Trails across the state, which take guests through some of the most highly populated areas along the Pacific Flyway. Experts at a number of the lodges, particularly in the Klamath Basin area in Southern Oregon and in Eastern Oregon near Malheur Nature Wildlife Refuge, can also provide guidance on the best viewing areas. Get inspired with a guide to Oregon Birding for Beginners.

A white two-story hotel with a screened-in front porch
The historic Frenchglen Hotel is a prime basecamp for exploring Steens Mountain. (Photo courtesy of the Central Oregon Film Office)

Bird-watchers will love a stay at the historic Frenchglen Hotel whose front porch looks out onto the beautiful Steens Mountain. Built in 1916 as a lodging house for cattle farmers, the wooden lodge is now an effortlessly tranquil stay for anyone exploring the Malheur Nature Wildlife Refuge and Steens Mountain area. In fact, the hotel is just steps from the refuge, perfect for an afternoon stroll.

People gather around an outdoor fireplace at sunset
Golf, spa time and birdwatching are some of the draws to Running Y Ranch Resort. (Photo courtesy of the Running Y Ranch Resort)

More luxurious accommodations can be found for birders in the Klamath Basin at the 3,600-acre Running Y Ranch Resort, home to an 18-hole golf course, full-service spa, sports center and more than 80 rooms, custom homes and chalets. If the amenities feel too good to leave, stay on the property to try and catch sight of the 245 species of birds that call the ranch home.

A woman soaks in an outdoor natural hot spring overlooking a prairie
The geothermal hot springs are a great way to unwind in the Oregon Outback. (Photo by Gabriel Amadeus Tiller)

Hot-springs enthusiasts will want to reserve a cabin at the eco-conscious Summer Lake Hot Springs, located in the heart of Oregon’s Outback. Most cabins have geothermally heated floors, kitchens, access to the bath house and outdoor rock pool, and more. Birders just passing through can also stop by for a soak during day-use hours.

A narrow, shallow river flows through the grass with hills in the distance
Accessible only by hike or small plane, the Minam River Lodge is a private glamper's dream come true. (Photo by Ted Battesh)

Distance Hikes

Spring is the perfect time to start planning your summer and fall distance hikes in Oregon, as large swaths of the Pacific Crest Trail and much of Eastern Oregon don’t fully melt out until the summer months. After days spent on the trails, you’ll be happy to settle in at these quintessential Oregon lodges.

Interior of a cabin with upscale lighting and bedding
Cozy cabins, wall tents and lodge rooms await at Minam River Lodge. (Photo by Evan Schneider)

In the heart of the Eagle Cap Wilderness along the wild Minam River lies the 68-year-old Minam River Lodge, accessible only by small plane, foot or horseback. After hiking the 8.5-mile trail in, you may feel like you’ve escaped it all. Surrounded by hundreds of miles of trails, the luxury log cabins, wall tents and lodge rooms are a perfect base camp for explorers hoping to stay off the beaten path. Rest weary joints in the wood-fired hot tub from late May to November.

Wicker rocking chairs line a patio overlooking Crater Lake
Soak up the unparalleled views from your perch at Crater Lake Lodge. (Photo by Susan Seubert)

Overlooking the deepest lake in America is the Crater Lake Lodge, mere steps (and a trolley ride) from the Pacific Crest Trail. Recharge in a phone-less, TV-less room overlooking the impossibly blue lake, and sit down on the back patio to local, seasonal fare from the lodge’s dining room from mid-May to mid-October.

People gather in adirondack chairs in front of the stone lodge's two story windows
Any time of year, historic Timberline Lodge offers a world of delights for adventurers. (Photo courtesy of Timberline Lodge)

No Oregon lodge is as iconic as Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge, famously used for filming portions of “The Shining.” Though you (thankfully) won’t need to deal with any snowbound insanity, the lodge is an iconic stay along the PCT or for anyone exploring the area. Wood-paneled rooms come with cozy feather beds, wool blankets, wood-burning fireplaces and more.


 

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If You Go:

Reservations are always wise, if not required. Many of these lodging properties are open year-round, though snow conditions and inclement weather, particularly in the winter, force some to have seasonal hours. Make sure to check weather and road conditions before you leave for any potential hazards. If you need to rent equipment for your adventures, make sure to reserve with a local outfitter in advance, where possible.

About The
Author

Samantha Bakall
Samantha Bakall is a freelance journalist and photographer specializing in diversity-based food issues. She currently calls Portland home. A Chinese-American native of Chicago, Bakall has been obsessively eating, writing and making people wait while she takes pictures of their food since she was a teenager. Her work has appeared in The Oregonian, where she was the food and dining writer for more than four years; The Takeout; The San Francisco Chronicle; and others.

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