Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge and Resort
Doubles cost $80-$269 per night.
A POTENTIAL HAZARD of staying at Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge and Resort: Your kids might grow gills. From the moment you arrive, the lake is the epicenter of the action, which might include morning swims from gravel beaches, rock-skipping competitions, fishing for browns and rainbows, and long circumnavigational paddles. Surrounded by towering firs and pines in the southern Cascades, the 15 brown clapboard cabins that radiate around the lake from the main lodge, general store, and marina give the place a 1940s-fishing-camp vibe.
But there are dry-land alternatives: miles of easy and moderate trails, many lined with purple asters, for hiking and mountain biking under the gaze of the perfectly symmetrical 9,495-foot Mount McLoughlin. My favorite is the 9.3-mile High Lakes Trail to the lunar landscape of the Brown Mountain lava flow. And the sedate seven-mile trail that runs around the lake is good for taking in the dramatic views of the surrounding Rogue River National Forest.
On our last day we stuffed a basket with snacks, hiked deep into the dense forest, and stayed there so long we practically grew antlers.