Are We Open? Lodge and Program Centers Update

Our lodges are currently closed to the general public for overnight accommodations due to the pandemic. Our program centers also remain closed to indoor programming. We suspect that will continue throughout the winter.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 17, 2020
Are We Open? Lodge and Program Centers Update

For many people in our Mountaineers community, spending time at our lodges is a winter and holiday tradition. During a normal year, many of our courses begin hosting lectures and practice sessions at our program centers in the winter months. And without a pandemic our Baker, Meany, and Stevens Lodges would be serving as home base for Mountaineers members and guests for snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, lift-serviced alpine skiing, and other winter adventures. 

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, our lodges are currently closed to the general public for overnight accommodations. Our program centers also remain closed to indoor programming. These closures will likely continue through the winter.

The characteristics that make our lodges endearing—shared common spaces and bunk rooms, the ability to dine with and meet new and old friends, and cozy spaces to warm up after a day of adventures in the snow - make reopening during a pandemic a non-starter. Likewise, current state guidelines prevent us from allowing indoor activities at our program centers. 

This winter, limited day-use may be possible at some of our lodges for Mountaineers programs, with COVID-19 protocols in place, of course. In addition, a small number of volunteer hosts will periodically visit and stay at the lodges for maintenance and to ensure the buildings stay secure. We we continue to monitor Washington state’s reopening guidelines to determine when we can begin hosting activities at our program centers.

Read on for more detailed plans for each of our Outdoor Centers this winter. 

Baker Lodge

Baker Lodge, located near Heather Meadows and adjacent to the Mt. Baker Ski Area, is currently closed to the general public for overnight accommodations. A small number of Mountaineers courses (e.g. avy education) will have limited access to the lodge for toilets and the gear/warming room but COVID-19 protocols such as masking and distancing will be in place. In addition, the parking area for the Baker Lodge will be utilized by course participants and lodge volunteers. Course leaders who wish to access the lodge should contact a member of the Baker Lodge Committee to discuss that possibility and to coordinate parking. 

Meany Lodge

While Meany Lodge itself won’t be open for overnight stays by members of our community or the general public, we will be open our rope-tow for day use on weekends this winter. Located 60 miles east of Seattle on I-90 near Stampede Pass, Meany is unique in that we own the parcel of land it sits on and it has its own ski lift: a unique rope tow that allows people to have a side-country experience on the slopes above the lodge. We will be running the rope-tow for day users, offering an alternative to other ski areas, with far smaller crowds and all the charm of the Meany property.

Be sure to carefully read the Meany Lodge webpage for important information about planning your visit and protocols that are in place to respond to COVID-19 guidelines.

Stevens Lodge

Stevens Lodge, located near the Stevens Pass ski area off Highway 2, is a frequent destination for those wanting to stay overnight for both the ski area and the backcountry in the National Forest. Like Baker and Meany, the unique and endearing configuration of the lodge and generally tight quarters in shared areas such as the dining room, bathrooms, and bunk rooms, prevent us from being able to open to the general public while still maintaining COVID-19 precautions like social distancing. We know this is a disappointment to our community because there are very limited options to stay overnight at Stevens Pass. As with Baker and Meany, if we’re able to open to the general public this winter we’ll let our community know right away.

Kitsap Forest Theater & Cabin and Irish Cabin Property

The Kitsap Forest Theater & Cabin and our Irish Cabin Property (near Mt. Rainier) are generally only visited by our community in the summer months. At this point we aren’t able to commit to hosting activities, such as youth camps or musicals performed by the Mountaineers Players next summer, but we remain hopeful. We’ll know a lot more about whether the pandemic is getting under control and the pace of reopening allowed by Washington State next spring.

Check back with our COVID-19 Response webpage frequently for the latest information about restrictions, reopening plans, and program-specific information. 

Seattle and Tacoma Program Centers

Both the Seattle Program Center and Tacoma Program Center were closed to indoor programming following Governor Inslee’s updated COVID-19 guidelines that were issued in November, prior to Thanksgiving and in response to a significant spike in cases and deaths. The Governor’s proclamation was extended to at least January 4, 2021 so we do not know at this time when our program centers will reopen to indoor programming. Our COVID-19 Response webpage is the go-to place for the latest information about programs and facility reopening so check back there often!

While at this time we don’t anticipate being able to open our lodges or other properties to the general public this winter, we’ll update our community if we reach the decision we can open safely and in accordance with state COVID-19 guidelines.