Rainbow Lodge: “A step back in time”

FOR AN “OLD STYLE” SIERRA GETAWAY, the Rainbow Lodge near Donner Summit is unsurpassed. Nestled along the Yuba River, the turn-of-the-century lodge is a treasure.

The rustic, alpine lodge right off I-80 is a step back in time—for fine dining or a vacation. The building is made of granite and hand-hewn timber, all of it local.

You’ll find a big stone fireplace, river view rooms, and indoor and outdoor dining. The main dining room is surrounded by its original stone walls. Historic photos are displayed in the cocktail lounge, reflecting a romantic era.

“There’s not too much we have done — except maintain her,” says Manager Lynn Salmoria. “We just keep the old girl beautiful.”

The dining room offers exceptional French and California cuisine, made with fresh seasonal ingredients.

The French onion soup is classic: caramelized, thinly sliced sweet onions, served with croutons and imported Gruyere cheese.

Dinner entrees include broiled salmon (with caper cream sauce); mushroom artichoke chicken; a New York steak (with pan-seared mushrooms); and Sicilian pork tenderloin (with Julienne peppers, garlic, fresh basil and white wine).

Lighter fare, including sandwiches, is offered as well. In the summer, eating a juicy hamburger on the wood deck is a treat. You can also order chicken and ribs from a slow smoker—new this year. Brunch is served on weekends.

Another unique characteristic of the lodge is its water. The lodge sits near a pure Artesian spring, so you can enjoy the spring water for drinking or a warm bath.

Rainbow Lodge has 33 rooms, with mountain and river views. You won’t find TVs, but you’ll find beautiful scenery and many outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, skiing and stargazing, depending on the season.

The lodge has hosted some famous guests, including Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, who entertained guests during a Christmastime snowstorm. “The beer flowed and the music played,” says Lynn.

Rainbow Rd. Big Bend exit off I-80, Soda Springs
426-3661 TheRainbowLodge.com

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