Nicky’s Blog: Sun Mountain Lodge and the Cedar Creek Fire
The Cedar Creek Fire was caused by lightning, and started on July 8th. By July 21st Sun Mountain Lodge was evacuated, along with many staff and locals from their homes. The fire burnt through 55,187 acres of beautiful terrain. Just 5 miles north of Winthrop, not even two weeks after the Cedar Creek fire started, the Cub Creek 2 fire began and burnt through 70,186 acres. The fires are mostly contained as to date, and the danger subsided. However the effects are still being felt.
Sun Mountain Lodge has been known for its resilience and tenacity. Having survived the terrifying Carlton Complex fire in 2014 along with the Twisp River Fire in 2015, and many fire seasons before and after that, the sting of this year’s fires resides stronger than previous years. Cedar Creek Fire came within ¼ mile from the lodge. Thanks to the herculean effort from the fire fighters, the Lodge was saved from the flames. But having been under severe smoke for such a long period of time, the Lodge sustained immense smoke damage to both the outside and inside of the buildings, along with severe damage to the trail systems. This has caused a closure of 3 months as opposed to the 3 weeks the Lodge closed in 2014 and 2015. However, a bright light shines on the horizon.
Our department heads at the Lodge have been working together to have a celebratory reopening. Brian Charlton, our General Manager, is happy to announce that we are bringing back our Heroes Program from last year. This special rate will be extended to all first responders, including fire fighters, health and educational staff. Brett Alumbaugh, our Activities Director, has been working with the Forest Service to find out what trails burned hot and what trails the fire grazed over. The good news is that most of these trails will be available for snow shoeing and cross country skiing by this winter, and with a great deal of effort some trails will be available this fall for hiking. Trails such as Sunnyside, Beaver Pond, View Ridge and Lakeview to name a few, will be open. The Forest Service has been working diligently on getting these trails open and has stressed the importance of everyone respecting the trails that are closed by staying off of them, so that they can focus their time and energy on getting more trails open.
A restoration crew has been working tirelessly on restoring the Lodge to its previous glory. While the restoration crew is working hard on making our Lodge shine bright like a diamond, our Food and Beverage team is cooking up some wonderful wine events for this fall and winter. Events this fall include a new “Fireside Taste of the Views”, partnering up with some of the best wineries in Manson, like Tildio and Hard Row to Hoe. We also have a fabulous 5 course wine dinner with the founders of Maryhill featuring their limited reserve wines on December 4th.
We are all so fortunate to call the Methow Valley home! Our love and appreciation for this amazing place in the Cascades keeps us pushing forward. On the behalf of all Sun Mountain Lodge staff, we are so happy to welcome everyone back to the Lodge on October 16th.
Please call 509- 996-2211 to book your stay this fall!
“My love for food and wine is due to the social aspect of sharing the experience with my family and friends.”