Cabin resorts—some rustic, some luxurious—have been hosting High Sierra vacationers for a century, and many are so popular in summer they can only be booked in blocks of a week or more. Come September, however, reservations open up, minimum-stay requirements are reduced and opportunity beckons. We’re partial to those in the uncrowded Lakes Basin Recreation Area straddling Sierra and Plumas counties about 50 miles northwest of Truckee.
This is truly a land of lakes, with dozens of natural blue pools tucked between sawtooth peaks. Packer Lake Lodge, open into early October, is a Sierra classic in a beautiful setting nine miles north of Sierra City. Some of the log cabins ringing the little lake are mere “sleeping rooms” with restroom facilities “down the path,” while others have en-suite bathrooms, kitchens and additional amenities. Hiking and fishing are prime activities here, and each cabin comes with a dog-friendly rowboat. The restaurant serves light breakfasts and take-out lunches and dinners, with sit-down Italian dinners served one night a week. Herrington’s Sierra Pines, Camp Layman, Sierra Streamside Cabins, Sardine Lake Lodge and The Lure Resort, also in the Lakes Basin area, are other ideally located properties and offer lodging in a range of prices.
Want to go upscale? Chalet View Lodge is a 49-room, all-season retreat with so many amenities—from an on-site craft brewery to sports courts, a stocked fishing pond, day spa, mountain-bike pump track and golf course—that many visitors never leave the scenic premises. Nearby Gray Eagle Lodge, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine a top 10 all-American classic summer resort (it’s open only until Oct. 1), offers dog-friendly accommodations in private cabins on the banks of a burbling creek at rates that include breakfast and dinner. Also in the Graeagle area, the upscale Lodge at Whitehawk offers dog-friendly lodging in 14 cabins ranging in size from studios to two-bedroom units. Breakfast is included in the rates, and on Wednesdays, a “Paws on the Porch” dining program brings locals and guests together for outdoor fun with their pups. Tables on the restaurant deck are dog-friendly, and guests enjoy discounted rates for golf. Open through Oct. 19.
Photo Credit: @cmalexander