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JBLM Lakefront cabins

Fish, boat and chill without leaving post

A recreational cabin overlooking American Lake on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Kristi Berry

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Escape the business of everyday life with a relaxing getaway on the shores of American Lake. Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Northwest Adventure Center has 10 log cabins available for rent year-round -- all with unobstructed views of the lake.

Studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom cabins are available from $85 to $160 a night. The three-bedroom sleeps eight and features a gas fireplace. The two-bedroom accommodates up to six with a queen bed in one room and two twin bunks in another. The one-bedroom sleeps four with a separate bedroom and sofa bed, and the studio sleeps two.

Cabins have a dining area; full bathroom with towel service; and full kitchen with stove, oven, microwave, pots, pans and service for four. Wood-paneled walls and lodge-pole furniture create a cozy retreat that feels just right for enjoying the great outdoors.

Spend your days fishing off-shore or launch a small boat from the dock in front of the cabins. The lake was recently stocked with rainbow trout and kokanee. It's also home to yellow perch, rock bass, small and largemouth bass and coastal cutthroat. Fishing licenses can be purchased at the Northwest Adventure Center, which is walking distance from cabins. It also rents kayaks and canoes that can be put in at the dock.

Drive or ride bikes to nearby Summer Cove or Shoreline Park to take a dip or let the kids burn energy at a playground. Summer Cove is a waterfront park with a shallow wading area, sandy beach and huge playground. Shoreline Park has a swimming area with a floating dock, volleyball court and small playground. Adult bicycles are available to check out free of charge.

If rain falls and indoor activities become necessary, the cabins have a television, basic cable and DVD player. Of course, you can always go old school with board games and charades. Spend lazy evenings sitting on the deck and cooking up dinner on the outdoor grill. Fire pits can be rented to top off the night with a campfire and s'mores.

"Our cabins are a great spot for families to come relax and enjoy all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer without leaving post," said Abigail Crosby, JBLM Northwest Adventure Center operations manager. "The cabins are very popular with our military families, and we're often booked to capacity. Cabins can be reserved three months in advance of the first night of stay. I definitely recommend booking 90 days out."

Reserve cabins by calling the Northwest Adventure Center at 253.967.7744 or book online at and use the MWR Online Registration WebTrac. A one-night deposit is due at the time of reservation. All cabins are non-smoking, and pets are not allowed. Check-in is at 3 p.m. and check-out at 10 a.m.

If you prefer to rough it a bit more, a lakefront campground offers five tent sites and 48 full hook-up sites.

The Northwest Adventure Center also offers trips, including sea kayaking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing and more. Camping trailers, tents, boats, stoves, grills and fishing equipment are available to rent, and the retail store stocks a wide variety of outdoor equipment and apparel.

Northwest Adventure Center, 8050 NCO Beach Rd., North Lewis, 253.967.7744,

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