HideOut Lodge / by William Martin

The HideOut Lodge is an amazing backcountry lodge south of Kirkwood about 30-45 minutes. You won’t see any signs for the nondescript turn off of Highway 88 that takes you to one of the most magical places you’ll ever go. A few miles out from the road, the HIdeOut sits at about 7,400 feet and is completely isolated in the wilderness. The lodge is owned by the Hoover family, who built the multiple dwellings by hand from trees logged on the property. I have so much respect for the hardworking and skill demonstrated by this family, and you will too once you have a chance to see the lodge. If you remember playing with Lincoln Logs as a kid, this place is your wildest Lincoln Log fantasy come to life.

In the summer, they host a lot of weddings at the HideOut, and it’s the perfect setting for one. The property is rustic, wild, and downright beautiful. It makes you feel like an old west settler traversing through California with plans to strike it rich by staking your own gold claim. In the winter, a white blanket of snow covers everything the eye can see for as far as the eye can see. I’ve flown a drone up as high as a bird and you can’t see a trace of another soul for miles in any direction. What you can see however, is the insane amounts of accessible terrain that’s completely untouched and just waiting for you to get out there and shred. Skis, board, sled, doesn’t matter, there’s enough space to play for everyone regardless of what your primary winter sport is.

The main buildings on the property are the Lodge and the Saloon. Yep, there’s a Saloon, complete with bar, pool table, cedar sauna and hot tub. The Saloon has full amenities on its own without the masterpiece that is the main Lodge. But the main Lodge, holy shit, I wish I could do it justice by describing it to you now, but words simply can’t encapsulate what it’s like, you really have to be there. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be after a full day of skiing in the backcountry. Every day at the Lodge feels like a gift and I’ve never been happier to pour my blood, sweat, and tears into my work than when I get to work out here.

I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a braggart, because I truly hope that all of you who want to get to share this experience at some point. If you feel so inclined, you should check them out and see if you’re able to book a visit. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely worth it.

Here are some of the photos I’ve been lucky enough to capture of the property and the good times to be had. You can check them out at http://stayhideoutlodge.com/