Get Away (Without going far)
BY CHRISTINA OLSON HENDRICKSON
If there’s anything we’ve learned the past year, it’s that there’s so much to enjoy in our own region.
In record numbers, we hit the hiking trails, bought mountain bikes, and turned up the outdoor heaters to enjoy the patio a little longer.
But after a winter indoors and at home, it’s time to plan a getaway. Here are five unique Snohomish County gems to consider.
INTO THE WOODS
Want to connect with nature… without camping? Located along the river near the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, this yurt was built to have a light footprint in harmony with its surroundings. A cross between a tent and cabin, construction of the yurt required few materials and only three trees to be removed.
Visitors can explore the property, which includes an old wagon trail and washed-out railroad line from the 1800s. You can also raft the Stillaguamish River — it’s a Class 1 in the stretch by the yurt — or visit Paca Pride, an alpaca and llama farm across the highway.
UP IN THE CANOPY
Treehouse Place isn’t your childhood treehouse. Two-stories tall, it’s tucked into the woods with a sweeping view of Mt. Pilchuck. Inside is everything needed for a romantic stay: a luxurious soaking tub, a queen-sized, four-poster bed, and a cozy fireplace.
There’s a fridge for chilling wine, plus a stovetop to make a simple dinner while watching the sun set behind the mountains — perfect for a night in.
Christopher and Malissa Tack built their tiny house so they could travel — without having to leave home behind. After four years, they moved on and began renting the house to others who wanted to dip their toe into tiny life.
The house is eco- and wallet-friendly. The floors are bamboo, and recycled wool was used for insulation. The house has a composting toilet, and uses solar power almost entirely for eight months of the year.
On average, they spend a total of $300 annually on all energy costs.
If you’ve ever wondered if you have what it takes to live in a tiny house, booking a stay at the Tiny Tack House should be on your checklist.
Silverton is an old gold-mining town in the middle of Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, whose residents have chosen to stay (mostly) off-the-grid.
The Bunk House is no exception — what its owners call “off-grid lite.”
It’s heated by a wood stove, pulls water from a nearby spring, and — since there’s no cell service — offers a landline that requires long-distance calling cards to reach anyone outside town. But the lack of technology, coupled with stunning scenery, allows visitors to soak in the deep and peaceful quiet.
Silverton residents have adopted a permaculture lifestyle, where they live off the land as much as possible. If you’ve considered going off-grid, this is your chance.
Once, there were 750 fire lookouts dotted across Washington State, manned by forest rangers scanning for signs of wildfire. These days, only 93 remain — one of them being Evergreen Lookout.
This is a true getaway. No phones, no internet, no running water. But you’re rewarded with wildflower-studded paths, wildlife in the nearby woods, and stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, including Glacier Peak and Mt. Rainier.
Something to keep in mind is that most lookouts, including Evergreen, are maintained by volunteers. If you decide to stay, bring bags to pack your trash out, sweep the floors, and make Smokey the Bear proud.
Whether you want adventure, eco-living, or romance on your next weekend getaway, there are opportunities to experience them all. ✦