We were ready to relax at the lodge after a long day of exploring the North Cascades and Winthrop, but when we cautioned our five-year-old that this was probably going to be a “grown-up” setting, she nearly mutinied. “I’m ready to rock ‘n’ roll,” her look told us.
A recipe for a tense evening? Not at North Cascades Basecamp.
“Why don’t you check out the toy room on the top floor,” our host, Dick Roberts, suggested to his wound-up visitor. “Then you can watch a video when you get tired.” Sighs of relief from everyone.
For a place with such a dramatic backdrop - including Goat Peak, the Methow River and the nearby national park - the North Cascades Basecamp has a remarkably laid back atmosphere. Summer, and winter, too, this is the place parents can come to the mountains and enjoy home-style accommodations without the home-style chores.
“Our meal plan is very popular,” says Sue Roberts, who does most of the cooking. “We serve breakfast and dinner, and set out all the makings for lunch, so you can pack a picnic and go explore.”
The meals are delicious - we were served stir-fry with lots of veggies for dinner, and for breakfast giant pancakes with all the traditional sides dishes. The lunch fixings included sandwich makings, fruit and homemade cookies.
If you can drag the kids away from the swing set and sand pile (complete with trucks), hiking near the North Cascades Basecamp is unsurpassed.
A short hike up Goat Peak rewards travelers with a spectacular 360-degree view. Other activities include mountain biking, bicycle touring, whitewater rafting, horseback riding or shop-hopping in Winthrop and Twisp.
But if you can’t drag the kids off the property, don’t worry. There’s always the hot tub.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: IF YOU GO North Cascades Basecamp (509) 996-2334) is located near Mazama at the upper end of the Methow Valley, 16 miles from Winthrop. Facilities in the lodge include six rooms, all with shared baths. Several rooms include bunk beds and queen beds. A housekeeping cabin is also available on site, with sleeping accommodations for six adults. Rates vary with the accommodations and meal plans; the summer price for one night is $75 for two, plus $8 for each child. This rate includes breakfast; add $20 per adult and $12 per child for full board. A three-day special for two with full board is $315.
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