Thursday, May 23, 2013

Suncadia Weekend: Wide Open Spaces, Quaint Small Towns, and a Classy Resort

View of the Cascades from Suncadia Lodge
Recently I had the pleasure of spending the weekend at Suncadia, a fairly new resort near Roslyn and Cle Elum, Washington, about 30 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass.  On the sunny eastern side of the Cascades, Suncadia is a popular getaway for often sun-starved Seattleites.

Full disclosure: In my eco-warrior days I was involved with an environmental group opposed to Suncadia's development, but I admit they've done a good job being mindful of the local ecosystem as the resort has developed. 

Here where ponderosa pine mingle with  Douglas fir in this drier climate east of the Cascade crest, Suncadia features activities for most everyone.  From two golf courses, a sports and fitness club, swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking trails, to a winery and spa, there's plenty to do.  Or maybe you might prefer to just chill with a good book and not do anything at all.

The grounds behind Suncadia Lodge slope steeply to the Cle Elum River

However, while my roomie was busy at a Washington National Guard convention at the lodge, I left the resort for part of a day to explore. Just a few miles east, both Roslyn and Cle Elum are box store-free hamlets that retain an authentic small town feeling.

Downtown Cle Elum
After a stop at Pioneer Coffee Roasting Company for an excellent cuppa, I head over to Glondo's Sausage Company and Italian Deli, a local gem.  Proprietor and Cle Elum Mayor Charlie Glondo, whose father was one of the many Italian Americans who worked in a former nearby coal mine, has been making wonderful sausages and salamis here for over 25 years.

Charlie Glondo at his sausage shop and deli.
"It tastes of the world," says friendly and generous Charlie of his coppa,  handing me some thin slices of this naturally dried pork.  I'm not sure if it's the world I'm tasting, but the savory coppa cola is wonderful.  Same for his salami.

Glondo Sausage Co. coppa cola

Across the street, the helpful folks at Sahaptin Outfitters [sadly no longer in business] recommend a hike out of town on Tanum Ridge because on this day there's too much snow up above Suncadia to hike.  I hop onto I-90 and drive about 10 miles east past classic eastern Washington wide open spaces and then head up the Tanum Creek drainage, where sagebrush and arrowleaf balsamroot crowd the landscape in happy yellow clusters.

East of Cle Elum enroute to Tanum Ridge

Arrowleaf balsamroot
So the hike isn't worth blogging about since I took the wrong trail and ended up on an ATV (all terrain vehicle) trail.  But it was a nice drive out and back!

Later in the day, I enjoy soaking in one of the several rock-rimmed hot tubs and relaxing in a sauna at Suncadia's Glade Spring Spa.  On this brisk spring day, I mostly have the outdoor pools to myself, except for a few women on a girlfriends' weekend away.  I buy a day pass, which allows me to lounge as long as I want in the numerous pools, saunas, steam rooms, or indoor lounge, where they serve healthful and tasty spa bites and smoothies.

Glade Spring Spa hot tub

Our excellent dinners were catered as part of the convention, but I did have breakfast in the lodge dining room, with those awesome views of the Cascades pictured above.  While I have some food restrictions, they were very accommodating with my special requests.  My breakfast of mixed sauteed veggies and eggs was perfect.

This quick getaway gave me a taste of Suncadia and what it has to offer.  I'm not a golfer, but next trip I'd like to spend more time on the resort trails.  I've also heard the restaurant at the Swiftwater Cellars Winery is excellent. And overall the service at the resort is very friendly and helpful. If you've been to Suncadia, what do you especially enjoy there?

When You Go
The Lodge at Suncadia has lots of events and special packages. It's just a few miles off I-90, but feels a world away from the interstate.  In the summer, there's lots of hiking close by and much more. 

And special thanks to the Washington National Guard for all the dedicated and hard work they do to keep us safe!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jill, We've been out to Roslyn and Cle Elum a few times in the last couple of years and have driven by Suncadia and wondered what it was all about. Thanks for this post. Well done, as always. MaryM

Anonymous said...

Nice post! And I loved the Cascade peak views from airplane. I am so impressed you know all the names all the way up here ;--)

Keep the posts a'comin!

Doug said...

it's nice to hear about your travels and nice to know that some people actually get out and do stuff.

Suezy Proctor said...

It was a fun weekend. My pals really enjoyed having you with us. Thank you for sharing a bit of Cle Elum with us-I enjoyed the history lesson and the fruits of your visit. Thanks for the post Jill.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your blog. I was interested in your post on Suncadia, as I'd also been disappointed when I saw the launch of the development years ago. However, I also love the landscape and the weather in that area, and was glad to get an insider's view of the resort. It does look like they've worked hard to integrate it into the surroundings.

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