STAYING AT THE WARM LAKE LODGE IN CASCADE, IDAHO
This post is sponsored by the Cascade Chamber of Commerce.
I’ve shared my love for Idaho many times on the blog, and I recently had a chance to spend 4-days exploring one of its lesser-known destinations – Cascade. Located 70 miles from Boise, many people pass through Cascade on the way to the more popular town of McCall, and during my time in Cascade, I learned exactly what I have been missing out on. Hot springs, trails, and lakes, all without the crowds.
Warm Lake is one of the spots I discovered. The largest natural lake in Boise National Forest, Warm Lake offers plenty of outdoor recreation, along with a relaxing vibe and cozy accommodations at the newly renovated Warm Lake Lodge.
In this blog post, I share the details about staying at the Warm Lake Lodge and things to do during your stay.
The Cabins at the Warm Lake Lodge
The Warm Lake Lodge spent the last several years renovating the interior of all of the cabins and just reopened its doors for the first time in the summer of 2019. Currently, there are 5 cabins available, with 5 more on the way. Cabins are located just a short walk from the lake, each with a spacious porch and immediate access to group fire pits.
All of the cabins are different sizes (and prices), so before booking, you should check the descriptions on the website. Our cabin had two full-sized beds, along with a queen sleeper sofa. We had an in-cabin toilet, sink, mini-fridge, microwave, and a dining table with chairs.
The cabins were clean and comfortable with modern mountain decor with little details that made the cabins feel like home.
Showers were in a separate building right across the lawn. They were unlimited, hot, and incredibly clean. I’d argue that it was one of the best “campground” showers I’ve ever taken.
The Restaurant at the Warm Lake Lodge
Before the Warm Lake Lodge reopened, dining options were limited to the North Shore Lodge located on the other side of the lake. New in 2019, the Warm Lake Lodge has a brand new restaurant and full bar that has completely elevated the culinary experience at Warm Lake. The Warm Lake Lodge restaurant puts a bistro twist on some mountain classics. We tried a number of things on the menu, and for a brand new restaurant, we were really impressed (the artichoke, spinach, jalapeno dip is a MUST!).
I will note that the dinner menu didn’t have a lot of options for vegetarians, and there was nothing for vegans. Hopefully, once they’ve been open a bit longer, they will expand the menu to accommodate certain dietary restrictions.
You can dine in their brand new bar (which they did a killer job on), or you can take your meal outside. The owners will even start a fire for you for maximum outdoor ambiance.
Things to Do at the Warm Lake Lodge
Go Paddle Boarding
The Warm Lake Lodge has a number of paddleboards available for guests. The lake is a no-wake zone before 11am and after 6pm everyday, which means early mornings and sunset are prime time for getting on the water.
Watch for wildlife
Warm Lake is home to bear, moose, deer, elk, osprey, bald eagles, and dozens of other birds. Bring your binoculars and a comfy chair and set up on the shore near the Warm Lake Lodge. Sunrise is especially beautiful and will be your best chance at spotting (and photographing birds).
Visit the nearby hot springs
Warm Lake Lodge is just a short drive from a number of hot springs. Before you head out to Warm Lake, stop by the Idaho State Parks Visitors Center in Cascade where you can pick up a brochure with directions to the area’s best natural soaks.
Before you visit the hot springs, please brush up on your hot springs etiquette. Keeping the hot springs clean and enjoyable is a group effort, and all visitors need to do their part.
Rent a boat
If you want more speed, head over the North Shore Lodge where you can rent a boat for the day.
If camping is more your pace, the Warm Lake Lodge has 5 campsites within a stone’s throw of the lake. Each comes with its own grill, and one even had a smoker. Campsites were spacious, but fairly close together. It’s a great option for groups or big families who can’t all fit in the cabins.
I’d also recommend checking out the walk-in campground at Picnic Point. It’s operated by the Forest Service and had some awesome sites on a cliff overlooking the lake.
If you’re a dog owner, camping is going to be your best option, as the cabins at Warm Lake Lodge are not dog-friendly.
For More Information
For more information or to make a reservation, check out the Warm Lake Lodge website.
Got questions about the Warm Lake Lodge? Leave a comment below or join the discussion in the Bearfoot Theory Outdoor Adventurers Facebook Group.