High above it all at Alpine Lakes High Camp, Washington

by Lisette Wolter-McKinley  

Imagine a place where you can walk out of your cabin and be on the trail within minutes. Where getting there is half the fun and you don’t have to jockey for a parking spot in a crowded lot or wake up insanely early to enjoy a piece of nature all to yourself. The good news is such a place exists and it is located a mere two and a half hours from Seattle.  

Alpine Lakes High Camp sits at an elevation of 5,000 feet and has nine unique backcountry cabins accommodating group sizes from one to ten people. With names like Larkspur, Bluebell and Lupine, the individual cabins provide both privacy and comfort. You can bask in the refreshing feeling of exploring the great outdoors during the day and then cozy up at night feeling far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.   

Enjoy a sense of community at the main lodge or relax in the wood-fired sauna located in a pristine mountain setting. Inside the lodge there seems to always be a fire roaring, books to read, puzzles to piece together and plenty of hot coffee and cocoa to enjoy.   

Alpine Lakes High Camp cabins come equipped with a propane two burner cooktop, wood stove, bed(s) and an outdoor deck. In addition, each cabin comes fully stocked with dishes, cookware, a table, chairs, mattress and pillows. All you need to pack for an amazing time in the mountains is a sleeping bag, toiletries and food. During your stay, you can enjoy simple candlelight dinners (by necessity since the cabins do not have electricity) and the warmth and sound of a crackling fire.   

As an adult with a hectic lifestyle, it is refreshing to focus on the basics: eating, spending time with loved ones, moving your body, and resting.  

Located in the Cascade Mountains about 17 miles east of Stevens Pass, Alpine Lakes High Camp is a wonderful place for kids at heart to have adventures and also a wonderful place to introduce the restorative power of the outdoors to a loved one. Alpine Lakes High Camp is in the process of expanding their mountain biking trail system. One of their current trails is an intermediate downhill trail with 4,000 feet of descent from McCue Ridge down to the parking lot.   

Immerse yourself in the crisp mountain air and star-filled nights. Alpine Lakes High Camp is completely off the grid. However, the main lodge does have two solar panels allowing for a small charging station for devices. Due to Alpine Lakes High Camp’s backcountry location (8.5 miles up a private road), ground transportation arrangements must be made in advance with set arrival and departure times. Please ensure all bags can be zipped to ensure nothing is lost during transport. Just leave your car parked in their parking lot and you’re swept away for your weekend in the woods.    

Find information about reserving a cabin, visit alpinelakeshighcamp.com. The Bavarian-themed community of Leavenworth is the nearest town; visit leavenworth.org for more information.