T+L Reports: American Wilderness Retreats
The call of the wild meets upscale comfort at a trio of new wilderness retreats. Spend the day hiking on 525 acres at Alderbrook (7101 E. State Rte. 106, Union, Wash.; 800/622-9370; www.alderbrookresort.com; doubles from $140), and by night retreat to the glassed-in pool, which has Olympic Mountains views. Most of the 77 guest rooms overlook Puget Sound's Hood Canal fjord. • Tucked into the alpine landscape near Telluride, Elk Mountain Resort (100 Polar Bear Run, Ridgway, Colo.; 970/252-4900; www.elkmountainresort.com; doubles from $525) has 18 secluded cottages with cathedral ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces. Perfect your marksmanship at the state-of-the-art shooting range. • Buckberry Lodge (961 Campbell Lead Rd., Gatlinburg, Tenn.; 865/430-8030; www.buckberrylodge.com; doubles from $175), in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, was inspired by the great camps of the Adirondacks. Check out the sweeping panorama of the hills from your room's private soaking tub.
Elk Mountain Resort
Surrounded by the 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains and adjacent to more than 60,000 acres of national forest, Elk Mountain is like camp for grown-ups. It boasts a staggering assortment of adrenaline-pumping, glee-inducing activities: ATV riding, rock climbing on the property’s 30-foot man-made boulder, and paintballing on a 4 1/2-acre course. The resort also has a state-of-the-art shooting range and a helipad for heliskiing adventures. Luckily, no one sings “Kumbaya” here; instead, unwind in your soaking tub (big enough for two) or in your wrought-iron four-poster bed. There are also 18 secluded three-bedroom cottages, perfect for families.
The call of the wild meets upscale comfort at Alderbrook Resort & Spa, two hours west of Seattle. Spend the day hiking on trails lined with evergreens and cedars, or catch your dinner off the resort’s 1,500-square-foot dock (the area is known for chinook and coho salmon, Hama Hama oysters, and Dungeness crabs). By night, retreat to the glassed-in pool, which has views of the Olympic Mountains, or to the outdoor bonfire, ringed with comfortable lawn chairs (marshmallows available upon request). There are 16 beachfront cottages; and most of the 77 guest rooms have cushioned daybeds in alcoves overlooking Puget Sound’s Hood Canal fjord. Golfers can take advantage of advance tee-time reservations at the 18-hole Alderbrook Golf Club, whose par-72 course is peppered with massive fir trees.