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A Cabin in the Woods

Travel

Written by
Lauren Hunsberger

Photography by
John Towey

For an experience like no other, drive a few hours north and escape into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie Forest. There you’ll find adventurer and entrepreneur Nater Youngchild, his luxury cabin and the time of your life.

What is the cabin’s history? 

"The cabin was built in 2008. It has been a base camp for many adventurers and family vacationers who took to the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding, snowmobiling, hiking, river rafting, camping, fishing, mountain biking, exploring and more. As a short-term and extended-stay vacation rental, the property has been home for many nature junkies and families looking to get away in style."

When did you purchase it and why?

"I purchased the cabin to give myself a home base for my North Cascade explorations. I own and operate a private snowboard lesson company, NY Snowboarding, that focuses on one-on-one custom snow adventures and lessons, and after a tough winter last year, I decided I needed to get deeper and go higher to search for epic runs and awesome snow experiences for my clients. After traveling the world and snowboarding mountains on several continents, I realized Mount Baker was a special place to do so. I purchased the cabin to offer B&B-type services in combination with my private snowboard lessons. I will also be renting the cabin for others in search of a special place for their adventures. 

"That’s said, I have been searching my entire adult life for a base camp close to my family in Gig Harbor, the Key Peninsula and the greater Puget Sound. I needed serious snow, the ability to chase backcountry fresh lines via snowmobile, very minimal light pollution, a ski resort, good restaurants within walking distance, internet access, thousands of acres to explore with vast rivers running through them and high peaks poking out, a community of like-minded adventure seekers and humble lovers of Mother Earth, and above all, a cabin that offered it all—comfort, luxury, excitement, access, dependability and within a short drive of the Puget Sound."   

How would you describe the style?

The cabin is best described as an adventure cabin in the woods, though it is much more than that. Luxury is also a priority with heated travertine floors, larger-than-life iron beams that frame the cabin, Jacuzzi jet tubs and waterfall showers. But there’s also no hesitation to throw wet, snow-covered jackets and dirty pieces of firewood around the great room. This cabin is the perfect combination of nature meeting human usability meeting luxury. 

Why did you choose the Mount Baker area? 

There are many reasons why I chose the area, though if I had to prioritize the reasons, my best attempt at a list is:

Access to Activities: The cabin is close to an untamed nature that can’t be matched, even near the more popular places in Washington such as Mount Rainier and the Snoqualmie range. Mount Baker’s ski resort doesn’t have named runs, it simply names a location and the rider is free to explore it. Each run has a different name depending on who is riding it. That essence is preserved throughout the Mount Baker area, from the hiking trails to the snowmobile trails.

The Location: Located right in the middle of Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., the property has easy access to both. Turn left for a U.S. urban experience and turn right for a Canadian experience. Oh, and you can drive north on the Alaskan-Canadian Highway to enjoy some of the most majestic miles on the planet with wildlife at almost every turn. Or hop a ferry from Bellingham to take you north to the great Alaskan frontier. 

The People: Every person in Glacier is here for the same reason, the nature. Having such a humble and peaceful bond with every neighbor creates a special community where tech moguls can be best friends with local lumberman and snowboard bums can have intellectual conversations with successful real estate professionals. That becomes increasingly more difficult. Glacier brings people together for the right reasons, at least in my book. 

An Escape from Commercialization: Mount Baker brings out the true purpose of why we wear North Face (or Patagonia, Columbia, etc.). It’s to have a relationship with nature. This location elicits the curious and optimistic child within all of us. There are not shopping malls or millions of Starbucks here, just a local (incredible) coffee shop that doesn’t have internet, a post office where you only get your mail if you are nice to the postmaster, and a couple amazing restaurants. However, the escape is tied to some of the same comforts of the city. The cabin is located in the Mount Baker Rim Community, and within this small enclave, there is a large community center to enjoy a swimming pool, sauna, tennis courts, volleyball courts, pickle ball courts, billiards, shuffleboard, Ping-Pong and more. The internet service is great, so handling business goes smoothly.

What are your future plans for the cabin? 

I am in the process of making a few additions to the property, such as turning the basement into an indoor recreational paradise with pool, Ping-Pong and poker tables, a ski and snowboard changing room, a waxing station, a snowmobile working station, extra bedrooms and a living room. Additionally, I am adding a hot tub to the upstairs deck, building a world-class firewood shed and adding carports to keep the SUVs dry and warm. For more information, email at nater@bestcoasttravel.com or nysnowboarding@gmail.com

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