We set out on the 1.7-mile Lake Loop Trail, which winds through the woods past Wy’East Lake and Lilly Pad Lake, where we are told to keep an eye out for wildlife including birds, frogs, turtles and deer. From here, we join the 1.5-mile Creek Loop Trail, which leads to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Columbia River and Benson Plateau. For a more challenging hike, the Gorge Loop Trail leads into a canyon, with switchbacks on the way back up, and features views of the Columbia River and Bridge of the Gods.
Other dining options include the Cascade Dining Room, where chef Matt Hale sources nearly all of his epicurean offerings within 50 miles of the lodge including seared salmon with roasted asparagus and cranberry apricot compote, smoked duck breast with braised red cabbage and huckleberry sauce, and bone-in ribeye with house made Yukon Gold fries and demi-herb butter. From April through September, the outdoor Greenside Grille offers golfers, and those exploring the nature trails, casual fare including hamburgers and hotdogs.
The next day, we hit the road and head for
Upon arrival, tasting director Laurie O’Leary takes all of us (Thya included) on a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery. We get to see where the award-winning wines are made—over 50 in all, from Cabernet to Chardonnay, Merlot to Malbec. Maryhill is also home to a 4,000 seat amphitheater featuring a spectacular summer concert series, as well as a 3,000 square-foot tasting room, a 1,200 square-foot reserve room with private courtyard, four bocce ball courts, and a vine-covered, Tuscan-style outdoor terrace—all of which are family and dog friendly.
Alas, we end our tour on the terrace, where Laurie treats us to a tasting flight of delicious reds and whites including a Zinfandel to die for—it’s no surprise Maryhill has been recognized as 2014 Winery of the Year by San Francisco International Wine Competition, 2013 Winemaker of the Year by Indy International Wine Competition, 2009 Washington Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest and Best Destination Winery by Seattle Magazine.
And, after today’s tasting, it’s now recognized as Best Dog-Friendly Winery on the Columbia River by yours truly, CityDog! With exceptional wines, spectacular views, live music, and dog friendliness—Maryhill Winery certainly lives up to this most recent recognition.
1131 SW Skamania Lodge Way
Phone: 509.427.7700; skamania.com
Rates start at $149 plus $75 per stay pet fee.
9774 Hwy 14, Goldendale, Wash.