Skamania Lodge golf a beautiful, fun treat — Bandon Dunes & Northwest golf


45 minutes east of Portland, Oregon, the 4-star Skamania Lodge sits on a bluff overlooking the spectacular Columbia River Gorge.   Known for wind-surfing, fishing and glacier-carved mountains, this area is an outdoor sports mecca. 

The golf is great, too.   While a bit quirkier than more expensive resort courses, the forested, mountain-style layout is simply fun.   Steep drops from tee to fairway with beautiful views;  narrow, chuted landing areas; and a great staff make this a fun golf adventure.

Recently rated as a four-star course by "Golf Digest" in its 2008 "Best Places to Play", and named by "Golf for Women" as one of the Top 100 Courses in 2007, the course provides an enticing challenge.

We had the pleasure to play in a Northwest golf event in early May.   With only a few holes set outside the trees, Skamania is a treat.   The front nine winds through the forest, with holes alternately climbing and dropping with steep elevation changes.

The back nine boasts gorgeous views of the Pacific Northwest landscape and gorge, with more holes wending their way through the forest and elevation changes.   The 13th in particular is a signature view hole, overlooking the water with a drop of about 50 feet from tee to fairway.

The lodge itself is worthy of a trip, a Destination Hotels & Resorts 4-star resort with a demonstrable Northwest and mountain feel and decor.   Hiking trails abound, as do many outdoor activities taking advantage of the incredible surroundings.