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Travel

Date
April 2014

Author
Emma Wilson

Photography
Tim Bies & Chad Kirkpatrick

Methow Valley photo
For an exercise in minimalist living, head east to the Methow Valley and enjoy an adventure amidst the mountains and stars.
 

Roll Away photoPerched above the floor of the Methow Valley, six steel, wood and glass “huts” stand surrounded by the North Cascades. Built on a former RV campsite in Winthrop, Washington, the Rolling Huts offer a chic but simple escape from the bustle of city life by taking advantage of the surrounding valley. Architect Tom Kundig, of Seattle’s Olson Kundig Architects, designed the huts with a sleek, modular feel, making the Rolling Huts a prime example of the growing “glamping” trend. 

Short for “glamorous camping,” glamping combines camping’s eco-friendly, low-impact retreat to nature with modern amenities, real beds and a little less “ick” for those who might be skittish of full-on roughing it. All of the Rolling Huts have identical floor plans and are equipped with a wood stove, microwave, mini fridge and coffee pot. Each hut sleeps up to four people, with a dedicated bedroom for two and modular furniture in the living room that can be rearranged into another full bed. Hot showers can be found a short walk away, in the bathhouse, but each hut has an outhouse for guests’ convenience. There are no televisions in the huts—although they all have Wi-Fi capabilities—with the glass wall at the front of each house offering “big screen” views of the valley and Cascades.

The on-site restaurant, Kelly’s at Wesola Polana, offers a variety of fresh, seasonal fare to guests and locals alike. The restaurant’s cozy, cabin-like interior is in keeping with the Rolling Huts’ rural experience, while the cuisine and wine list is worthy of the city. For those who prefer to cook, there is a covered picnic area with tables and grills—the ideal location for a family cookout. All of the Rolling Huts’ amenities are within close walking distance, making it easy to enjoy every aspect of the experience.

Roll Away photo

Roll Away photo

Sound a little too glamorous for your taste? Just down a footpath from the Rolling Huts and only 300 feet from the Methow River are the Methow Tents: 15 canvas, safari-style tents nestled in the woods. Resting on wooden platforms, with screen doors, windows and electricity, the tents are still a few steps from backwoods camping but ideal for those wanting to try out the camping lifestyle. Out of range of cell phone service and Wi-Fi, the tents offer an easy opportunity to get away—without getting lost in the woods. 

In the winter, the Rolling Huts and Methow Tents are but a few strides away from world-class cross-country skiing trails—around 120 miles of them. Kids under the age of 17 can ski for free, and dogs and fat bikes are welcome on some trails. Snowshoes are also welcome and offer a less expensive opportunity to explore the Methow Valley’s gorgeous, groomed and less crowded trails.

Come summertime, the trails become a hiker or mountain biker’s dream, with a variety of terrains and lengths to challenge any level of ability. Many of the trails are also dog- and horse-friendly, so consider bringing your four-legged friends along. In addition to sporting trails, the Methow Valley is home to excellent river rafting, rock climbing, fishing and more, so no matter the season, outdoor enthusiasts are sure to find something fun to do.

With rates starting at $135 per night for the Rolling Huts and only $60 per night for the Methow Tents, experiencing all the Methow Valley has to offer won’t make a huge dent in your budget. Be sure to factor in gas mileage, however, as the trip to Winthrop takes approximately four hours—perhaps the perfect opportunity for a family road trip. 

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