Modernist Mountain Living

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C h a d K i r k p a t r i c k

Washington’s Methow Valley, at the Northern Cascades’ eastern approach, is a destination for outdoor activities, thanks to myriad cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking trails, and indoor activities, thanks to the state’s oldest legal saloon. But the best time to visit is during the Pacific Northwest’s late-breaking, feverish spring, and the retreat par excellence is Rolling Huts, a group of minimalist-modernist dwellings tucked into an alpine meadow that offer panoramic views of the mountains.

Designed by architect Tom Kundig and his Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig, the former RV campground has become something decidedly more space-age. Kundig says the huts were conceived as a modern alternative to camping – a more refined alternative anyway.

Purposefully small-footprint, each hut sits lightly on large wheels surrounded by the meadow’s grasses and wildflowers. The interiors are equally thoughtful, with cork and plywood surfaces and modular furniture (each hut holds a sleeping platform for two, plus another modular platform that can sleep another two). Weekending essentials are pre-stocked for visitors, who will have a fireplace, fridge, microwave, coffee pot, dishes, and real silverware at their disposal. And yes, there is WiFi. Also, a barn with hot-water showers and more bathrooms.

When visitors can pull themselves away from their wheeled wombs, they head up to nearby Pipestone Canyon, where Bald and Golden Eagles circle a luxuriant – if not luxurious – forest. [From $135 a night;]

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