Inland NW has cure for backcountry cabin fever
What: Simple unplumbed, wood-heated cabins rustic but comfortably equipped with kitchen gear, firewood, propane cooking stoves and lamps, sleeping bunks or pads for 8-10 people.
Where: Near Winthrop on Methow Valley Sport Trails Association groomed ski-trail system.
Details: Ski 5 to 8 miles on a groomed trail system into one of five huts with options ranging from skate-skiing to snowshoeing and backcountry telemarking. Great views of peaks above and valley below. Snowmobile shuttle service available to carry in food and gear for extra fee. Haul in water or melt snow. Outhouses. Used by mountain bikers during summer. Note: Dogs are allowed at several of the huts.
Cost: Price packages about $175 a night for exclusive hut use; cheaper midweek.
Contact: Rendezvous Outfitters in Winthrop, Wash., 98862; telephone (800) 422-3048; rendezvoushuts.com
Snow Peak Cabin
What: Rustic log cabin sparsely equipped with bunks, wood-heating stove, Coleman cooking stove and pots. Sleeps about six.
Where: Colville National Forest on Kettle Crest south of Sherman Pass.
Details: Popular with snowshoers and especially backcountry skiers, who don packs and skins and ski in six miles from Sherman Pass. A wilderness-like experience. Melt snow for water. Outhouse. Visitors should be familiar with travel in avalanche terrain and come equipped with transceivers and shovels. Used by hikers and equestrians during summer.
Reservations: Required. Book through Reserve America, (877) 444-6777; recreation.gov up to six months in advance of arrival and at least one day prior to arrival.
Cost: $30 a night for up to six people, plus $10 reservation transaction fee.
Contact: Republic Ranger District, (509) 775-7400.
Wing Ridge Tent Shelters
What: Large wall tents with wooden floors, bunks for 12 people, wood stoves, firewood, white gas lanterns, propane cook stoves, cooking utensils, and deluxe sleeping pads.
Where: At high elevation (7,220 feet) on edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness in the Wallowa National Forest near Joseph, Ore.
Details: Popular with backcountry skiers and snowshoers who trek in about two miles backpack style to backcountry comfort, complete with a wood-fired sauna. Bring your own food; option to pay for backcountry guides. Avalanche gear required. Latrine.
Cost: Start at $50 per person a night with discounts for groups, optional guided trips.
Contact: Wing Ridge Tours, (800) 646-9050; wingski.com.
Caribou Mountain Lodge
What: Luxurious two-story lodge, with solar electrical power, accommodates 10 people.
Where: High in the Selkirk Mountains 10 miles north of Sandpoint.
Details: Meet at trailhead, drop off food and gear for operators to shuttle in by snowmobile, then ski or snowshoe up seven miles to lodge in scenic setting with great access to powder slopes and Selkirk Crest. Lodge is for self-guided groups. Travel into high country beyond lodge requires backcountry experience and avalanche gear. Extra fee for dogs. Lodge has bedding, towels, sauna.
Cost: $1,200 for three days, $100 additional days.
Contact: Caribou Mountain Lodge in Sandpoint, (208) 255-2333; cariboumountainlodge.com.
Ripple Ridge Cabin
What: Canadian forestry cabin with wood stove, table and bunks.
Where: In British Columbia near Stagleap Provincial Park off Highway 3 at Salmo-Creston Pass.
Details: Ski or snowshoe backpacking style about two miles from Salmo-Creston Pass (elev. 5,854 feet) to rustic cabin. Sleeps six comfortably. Outhouse. Area open to motorized vehicles in summer, but limited to non-motorized use in winter. No dogs.
Reservations: Required. Book online through Creston Valley Quad Squad, crestonquads.com.
Cost: $10 per person.
Contact: B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Arts in Castlegar, (250) 365-8600 or (250) 825-1212.