Huntington Lodge: A Great New Addition to Central Oregon’s Pronghorn Resort
By Brian E. Clark
In the middle of the 19th Century, roughly 400,000 farmers, miners, and others used the Oregon Trail – and its offshoots – to travel up to 2,100 miles from its start in St. Louis to reach their destinations in the West and begin new lives.
One of those offshoots was the Huntington Wagon Road, a spur which ran roughly 250 miles from The Dalles on the Columbia River south to Fort Klamath, which is about 60 miles north of the California border.
Part of that branch traversed the 640-acre Pronghorn Resort Community near Bend, Ore. Today, visitors to this high desert oasis can still see a marker on the property that shows the route.
The owners of Pronghorn – which opened in 2004 and is surrounded by 20,000 acres of federally protected land amidst a 1,000-year-old Juniper forest – borrowed the name from the spur for the resort’s new, 104-room Huntington Lodge, which opened in April to praise from Conde Naste Magazine.
Rebecca Zook, a spokeswoman for Pronghorn, said the Lodge is purposefully different from other buildings at the resort because the owners wanted to create a “fresh and more modern look with clean, organic lines”.
“The architectural style is a departure from a traditional alpine lodge with heavy dark wood,” she said. “The owners want to bring desert inside, so all of the decor is inspired by the high desert and is light, fresh and airy.”
Zook said the impetus for the new lodge was the desire by the owners to add lodge rooms to the property. Previously, guests could book one-to-four bedroom condos all the way up to multi-bedroom, luxury homes.
“So the Huntington is a new approach,” she said. “We needed more lodging space to accommodate larger corporate groups, weddings and gatherings like that.”
When I visited the lodge this summer on a trip from Seattle to Bend and back in a restored VW bus from Peace Vans, my teenagers and I stopped at the Huntington Lodge check it out. Indeed, the lodge was bright and spacious. The views from our room, the Coyote lodge bar, and lounge looked out over the pool to ghost-like Juniper trees. They added an almost ethereal feeling to the landscape.
The lodge is also filled with unique pieces of art created by around 30 different Beaver State artists, to say nothing of the tapestries in each of the rooms loomed by third-generation master weavers from Sandy, which is on the way from Portland to Mount Hood. There are also vintage, black-and-white Library of Congress photos of the region, arrowhead displays, poetry and a cascading series of tumbleweeds that hang from the ceiling.
“We wanted to highlight the beauty of our location here in Central Oregon,” Zook said. “The artwork is a huge part of the story of the lodge that ties in with the setting, the name and the fresh approach of the design.”
She said many guests who visit the lodge get out to enjoy the myriad of recreational opportunities in the area, ranging from playing golf on two, 18-hole courses on the property to hiking, paddling on lakes and the Deschutes River, cycling on roads and mountain-bike and skiing and snowboarding at Mount Bachelor, which is less than 20 miles from Bend.
“In the winter, we see the Huntington Lodge as a cozy escape, a getaway to find some peace and quiet, though we can certainly transport people to the ski slopes and trails if they’d like,” she said.
And in the spring, when there is still snow on the runs at Mount Bachelor, they can ski or snowboard in the morning and play golf in the afternoon if they wish, she added.
Guests can also take advantage of Pronghorn’s four restaurants, as well as a full-service spa for massages, facials, pedicures, manicures, and other treatments. Rooms at the Huntington Lodge start at around $300 and go up, depending on the day of the week and the season.