Mass Timber Simplicity
For a ‘rough it’ vibe, mass timber lodges like the Cottonwood Cabins are a perfect retreat. These six bunkhouses are characterized as a “welcome refuge for trekkers at the basecamp for Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions” in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Suspended bunks give campers options to use the space, including sleeping, sitting, or game night with the family. “Drawing on the camp’s rich porch culture,” the cabins share a singular roof over a common outdoor gathering and kitchen space.
These versatile, sturdy structures are the product of the Colorado Building Workshop, the University of Colorado Denver’s Department of Architecture and Planning design build certificate program. The cabins use screw-laminated tongue and groove fir timbers for the floors, walls, and ceilings, allowing for self-supporting assemblies without the need for additional framing. “Traditional headers over doors and windows are no longer required as the timbers work to carry the loads. This structural assembly is also utilized in the fabrication of the doors, window bucks, and post-tensioned floating bunk beds.”
Shelter on High
Treehouse cabins, like the Canopy Crew’s near Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, provide a unique perspective not found with traditional camping, including panoramic views, suspension bridges and a “ kitchen crane” to hoist coolers and food. There’s no cell service on site, but they do offer heating/cooling, kitchenettes, beds, and even a hot tub.
The company’s founder, Django Kroner, spent three years living in a treehouse when he decided to share the canopy experience. Today, he is dedicated “to life in the trees,” through treehouse rentals, as well as custom treehouse building and tree care.
Let’s Go Glamping
For secluded solace with all the conveniences of home, cabins like The Barn in Wisconsin offer ample space for large families. While the outside surroundings are pastoral, The Barn offers “inspired comforts” like a wood-burning stove, designer furniture and a gourmet open kitchen to encourage gathering and connection. When solitude is needed, “guests can find respite in the reading loft, silo patio or one of two soaking tubs.”
This 3,000 square-foot cabin is one of seven, known collectively as Candlewood Cabins. Owners Norbert and Susan Calnin began the resort in 1995, intending to offer every guest the space to relax, enjoy the quiet surroundings and unplug. The Barn was built using aspen for the ceilings, pine for framing, and reclaimed oak for the flooring.
Regardless of desired amenities, a wood cabin can boost moods. Research finds that humans automatically relax when they are surrounded by elements from the natural world. Being outdoors makes people feel good, and being exposed to nature—and natural, organic materials—can have positive effects on our sense of well-being.