The new Huntington Lodge in Oregon is already among the West’s best getaways.
Of the many inspiring attractions in central Oregon — the high-desert paradise where Oregon city dwellers escape for solitude and mountain scenery — the one I’d choose for a small party or family gathering is the penthouse suite at Huntington Lodge, just outside of Bend. There are cinematic views of the Cascade Mountains skyline, with nine peaks soaring into unblemished skies, and west-facing rooms with large private terraces that take full advantage of the region’s sage-and-sunshine vibe.
Inside, the two-bedroom suite is just as event-ready: an open dining room, full chef’s kitchen with marble counters, dark wood floors, and interior flourishes crafted by local artisans. Handcrafted Oregon-made furnishings draw on Japanese, Scandinavian, and West Coast traditions.
The penthouse showcases the pinnacle attractions of the lodge. But each of the 104 guest rooms and suites features unique art, luxury furnishings, and commanding views of the Cascades or surrounding desert. Designed by hip Portland firm OMFGCO, the property’s sleek style represents a departure from the classic alpine feel (heavy wood beams, overstuffed leather furniture, brocade pillows) typical of mountain lodges.
Opened in 2019, Huntington Lodge is the crowning piece of the Pronghorn Resort, home to a pair of world-class golf courses that somehow remain the West’s best-kept golf secret. “The Nicklaus back nine, carved from a flow of volcanic rock, may be the most delightful Jack has ever designed, with gambling holes and gorgeous scenery at every turn,” raved Golf Digest of the resort’s Jack Nicklaus public course. The private Tom Fazio-designed course features a mind-blowing eighth hole built on top of a lava tube. The Pronghorn Academy offers the kind of high-level club fitting and performance coaching found mostly at hotshot resorts in California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.
“People don’t think about the Pacific Northwest in terms of golf instruction, but I liken this place to Field of Dreams — build it and they will come,” says academy director of instruction Jeff Ritter, who relocated to Pronghorn from the Pebble Beach area in California and who is also national director of Nike Junior Golf Camps.
Build it they did. Surrounded by a thousand-year-old juniper forest preserve, the Pronghorn’s side-by-side courses opened in the early 2000s. People have come. But not so many that there’s ever the feeling of being crowded.
For all the modernity, there’s also history on the resort grounds. Running through a corner of the property, the Huntington Wagon Trail was a 250-mile route used for hauling supplies south from The Dalles on the Columbia River to Fort Klamath near present-day Klamath Falls. Developed by namesake John W.P. Huntington, a California gold seeker who became an Oregon state representative then Abraham Lincoln’s superintendent of Indian affairs in Oregon, the trail was active until the late 1870s. Today, arrowheads, tree blazes, and wagon ruts can be seen along an easy 2-mile walk.
Once guests arrive here in central Oregon, they rarely feel compelled to leave the property. Four top-notch dining options, an expansive adults-only pool, electric bikes, and other attractions keep visitors happy on the resort grounds. When the urge to explore strikes, breweries along the Bend Ale Trail, and Mt. Bachelor ski resort, are easy draws. For large parts of the year, you can ski in the morning, golf at Pronghorn in the afternoon, and finish the day with a Huntington Cocktail — the sprig of burnt sage in the glass is a reminder you’re in one of the West’s most tasteful lodges.
For more information about Huntington Lodge and Pronghorn Resort, visit pronghornresort.com.
Photography: Images courtesy Huntington Lodge
From our October 2020 issue.