The Snowbird Mountain Lodge
It was 24 years ago when Janice and I were vacationing in Fontana, Tennessee when we discovered the Snowbird Mountain Lodge. We were out driving along the Cheohala Skyway near Robbinsville, NC and came upon a sign for the Lodge. It intrigued us to see the lodge sign and name that sounded like you couldn’t pass it up, so we had to check this place out. We drove up the curvy driveway to the top of a ridge and saw the beautiful Snowbird Mountain Lodge, which faces the Snowbird Mountain Range.
Snowbird is located in the Nantahala National Forest, has spectacular views and is a perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is a place to unwind, disconnect, destress and enjoy the serene property, and the great outdoors along with the sounds of nature.
The Lodge was opened to its first guests back in the spring of 1941 and it is quite fascinating reading about the Lodge’s history.
Accommodations were wonderful, and the lodging rates include three meals daily. There were so many things we like about this historic lodge. The Main Lodge consists of the front desk, a beautifully decorated rustic lodge sitting room with large viewing windows from floor to ceiling with views of the mountains.
There is a table in front of the large windows containing multiple pairs of binoculars of varying optical zoom strength for scoping out a multitude of unique birds. The comfortable leather couches and chairs are perfect for grabbing a book from the extensive library and nestling in and reading for a while.
A canoe hangs above the front desk area along with antique fishing supplies. There are several games such as chess, backgammon as well as a puzzle, which you can work on while you sit near the fireplace. The main lodge has cozy, comfortable rooms located on the main and second floors.
Stairs leading up to the second floor are adorned with articles, letters, pictures, menus and more regarding the Snowbird Mountain Lodge and its history. We took time out to peruse the information and it was very interesting to read the history of the lodge.
At dinner time, the server would bring out a Lunch Menu for you to select what you would like for lunch the next day as you either adventure out on a hike or other activity. They would prepare lunch either in an Individually packed lunch bag or a Backpack for Two.
Our 4-Course dinners were delicious and a highlight of staying at the Lodge. For our first night’s meal, we started off with a nice bowl of Cream of Broccoli soup with cheddar cheese, The appetizer we chose was Shrimp and Grits, Argentine red shrimp brushed with a house-made barbeque sauce, served over stone-ground smoked Gouda cheese grits in a cast iron skillet.
My main entrée was the “Orchard Osso Bucco”, a Meyers Farms Pasture-raised pork shank, slow braised and topped with an apple demi-glace as my main entrée. I chose the Steamed Broccoli and Roasted Baby Potatoes as my sides. Janice had “The Duck Went Down to Georgia”, which was a Long Island raised duck breast, cooked sous-vide then pan seared, served sliced and brushed with a George Peach gastrique. She chose Sautéed Green Beans and Sweet Potato Puree as her sides.
Desserts at the lodge were on point. I had Whiskey on Ice – a Krispy Kreme donut served in a sizzling cast iron skillet with vanilla ice cream and High West Campfire Bourbon. Janice chose the Brownie Sundae with vanilla ice cream, caramel and a cherry on top. After dinner, we would sit outside on the deck of the lodge and just listen to the sounds of nature and watch for shooting stars when it got dark.
After breakfast the first day, we grabbed our Snowbird Mountain Lodge Backpacks that had our name on them with a nicely packed lunch and we headed off for the day to explore the area. There are many hiking choices in the area. We hiked Hooper Bald, Huckleberry Trailhead and then a nice a pleasant drive to Yellow Creek Falls. We enjoy waterfalls and this day use area was very enjoyable for hiking, eating our picnic lunch and seeing the beautiful falls.
When we finished our excursions for the day, we headed back to the lodge and was looking forward to relaxing before dinner.
Dining experience was on point
The Culinary team at the Snowbird Mountain Lodge as well as the wonderful servers provide a great dining experience. The breakfasts were outstanding and quite filling to prepare you for your activities of hiking, bicycling, fishing, tennis or just exploring the Nantahala National Forest for the day.
A few of the outstanding items we chose for breakfast were a Cheddar Omelet with two fresh eggs folded with aged Vermont Cheddar cheese with Country ham and Carolina stone ground white grits. I love Grapefruit and they served up a beautiful presentation of a Red Ruby Grapefruit Brulee` style with salted caramel, yummy. I chose one of my favorite breakfast items on the second day, which was Eggs Benedict. I would have to say they were one of the best Egg Benedicts that I have ever had.
Our dinner the second night was just as delicious as the first night. We had Carrot and Ginger soup with slivered Almonds to start. The appetizer was a Crab Cake with lump crab meat folded with breadcrumbs and herbs, then pan seared and served over coleslaw and a Dijon cream, it was delightful.
Janice and I both had the Brasstown Beef Ribeye, which was a grass-fed house-cut ribeye steak, seasoned, grilled and topped with a creamy garlic-rosemary sauce. My sides were mashed Idaho potatoes and Brussel sprouts. I chose the Pecan Pie Tart with whipped cream and caramel sauce and Janice had the Snowbird Apple Crisp served with toasted shortbread and bourbon gelato.
Hiking Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
We checked out of the lodge on our last day, and wanted to hike the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. It was an easy leisurely hike through this beautiful forest to see some of the largest living trees rising to heights over 100 feet and with circumferences up to 20 ft.
We could have stayed here for a week or more and enjoy the beautiful area. This is a romantic place to get away with your spouse. I would highly encourage anyone to experience a wonderful time together in this serene setting.