As I crawled through August-Sunday afternoon traffic in Leavenworth, I began to wonder whether I had made a wise decision to get away with my dog, Sitka, for a few days during a pandemic - albeit for a comped press trip (woe is me, I know). People lined the streets, picnicked in the parks, some wore masks while many did not.
But as soon as I turned down the wooded driveway of LOGE Leavenworth Riverside, I breathed a sigh of relief. Located at the edge of town, but still well within walking distance, LOGE is set on a peaceful oasis on a property overlooking Icicle Creek.
I pulled open my email to find a message from my hosts containing detailed information about my stay, including the door lock code, WiFi password and general information about the property. I had everything I needed, and because I was staying in a cabin, I didn’t have to interact with a soul, nor touch any shared surfaces like I would in a traditional hotel stay.
The hotel features eight cabins and a hostel with a bunk room and community room perched on the high bank of the river. A short trail leads directly to the creek. The swift current left my water-loving dog apprehensive about jumping in, so we found some calm pools where he could splash around. The word "cabin" doesn’t exactly paint the image of the darling riverside studio bungalow in which I stayed. From the outside, they appeared quite small, but the design team maximized space to create a cozy abode. The modern space included just about everything I could want to feel at home - a small desk for work, a comfortable bed, seating area, and small kitchenette.
To reduce my impact on the town, I brought most of my meals with me and made sure to fill my gas tank before departure. The walls were lined with beautiful mountain images created by a Seattle artist, and outdoor gear for my personal use was available, from Miir insulated coffee mugs, a Rumpl blanket and a Black Diamond lantern.
LOGE — which stands for "Live Outside, Go Explore" — is geared toward the outdoor adventurer. Inspired by 70s outdoor culture, LOGE properties provide just about everything you need to experience the outdoors: bikes, snowshoes in the winter, and an adventure dog package for canine guests. The team searches for abandoned motels near favorite adventure towns and revives them to host adventure seekers in a variety of ways, including cabins, camping, hotel rooms and hostel bunks.
Cabins start at $189, and a bed in the bunkhouse goes for $50. As an avid adventurer, I liked knowing that a portion of stays went toward their partner, Northwest Avalanche Center. The "Treat Your Pup" add-on includes a Ruffwear dog bed, bowl, bones and toys for an additional $10. If a guest forgets or loses an essential item like a leash, then you can ask to borrow one at reception. The dog fee is $25, and they're are allowed in all of the outdoor spaces, but not the shared community space in the hostel.
The outdoor space features several seating areas scattered around the property. Designed to encourage mingling in times of normal travel, there are plenty of spaces to relax and distance yourself if one feels too crowded. Simply walk around to find another set of chairs arranged around a fire pit, hammocks hanging between two trees, or the outdoor covered kitchen area to enjoy a beer from one of the local breweries. The community room located in the hostel includes a seating area and full kitchen to use at your leisure. Raleigh city cruiser bikes are available to use for free if you don’t feel like walking into town. Weather permitting, LOGE hosts free events like outdoor movies and concerts, though such events have been postponed due to COVID-19.
Temperatures were hot during my stay, hovering around 95 degrees, so we awoke at 5 a.m. each morning to beat the heat (and the crowds) and enjoy a hike on one of the nearby trails. After our hikes, I spent the mornings sipping coffee on the large deck that overlooked the turquoise waters of Icicle Creek. Throughout the day, I watched paddlers cruise by, navigating the current while trying to stay upright.
In the evenings, once the sun dipped below the mountains and the temperature cooled slightly, we’d venture into town to take note of all the restaurants and shops we’ll get to enjoy on another visit. Prefer to stay in the heart of downtown? LOGE recently announced a downtown Leavenworth location set to open this fall. The 9th Street building will feature a bar/cafe, beer garden, gear rentals and patio — plus guests can access the outdoor space at the Riverside location.