Last Updated on September 10, 2021
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Looking for a unique yet casual off-the-beaten-track place to stay? A place where you can come after a day of hiking, biking, or spelunking, then kick off your boots, and relax on the porch? Or maybe gather around a large dining room table and compare notes on the day’s amazing adventures? I can certainly help with that.
Such an idyllic place is the historic Collier Hotel located in Etna, California. This tiny Siskiyou County town, nestled in the Klamath National Forest, is close to the Oregon border. Siskiyou County enjoys a four-season climate and is a perfect destination for your Northern California road trip.
The History of the Collier Hotel
Built in 1897, the historic Collier Hotel is the perfect place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The lovingly restored 19th-century rooming house is filled with authentic touches and noteworthy spaces.
Boasting high wood beam ceilings, enormous suites, and a large fenced-in yard makes it the perfect location for a family reunion, girl’s retreat, or even a small wedding.
The giant tree in the middle of the backyard provides shade and ambiance as you enjoy your leisure time on the wrap-around porch or play a game of corn hole under its majestic branches. In the springtime, mature wisteria vines along the side yard explode with cascades of blue and purple blooms that are a feast for the senses.
Rich and Ali Cloutman purchased the property in 1998 and renovated it to be a personal residence for their young family. After creating many beautiful memories at the hotel, they decided to turn the time-honored hotel into a vacation rental.
Asa and Samantha Robinson have recently taken over the management of the property. Cassie, who was my contact for reservations and assistance, made sure I knew how to access the key box so we could let ourselves in the house.
About the Accommodations at the Collier Hotel
The house is 3,600 square feet with six bedrooms and three full baths and can sleep 12-18 people. The large kitchen with a dining area with numerous chairs also has a foldout worktable in a sunny corner with a telephone and a modem for Internet access. You can be where all the action is, yet not take up valuable real estate on the dining table with your laptop.
The well-equipped kitchen is complete with a dishwasher, full-sized refrigerator, stove, oven, grill, and, of course, dishes and utensils. A coffee maker with an ample supply of coffee and tea is located on the counter for easy access. I loved sitting at the dining table with a hot cup of coffee cradled in my hands in the early morning with sunlight streaming in the windows—such a peaceful way to contemplate the approaching day’s activities.
The living room contains comfortable furniture, and the deck/patio area has plenty of comfy chairs and benches. The balcony runs along the street side and back of the house, affording lovely mountain and village views.
Entertainment includes television, a DVD player, books, games, and a full video library.
Linens and towels are provided to guests, and a washer and dryer are very convenient. Optional housekeeping is available. Other guests commented that the property is immaculate. And I can attest to that.
If you’re hosting a large group at the house and need a bit more space, you can expand to the nearby park. The park (reservation and fee are required) is well maintained and includes a large BBQ pit, covered eating area, and many movable picnic tables. The Collier Hotel staff can assist with making reservations for the park, obtain catering, entertainment, photography, and other services.
The historic Collier Hotel, just steps away from a market, is also within a short walk to restaurants, breweries, the distillery, a hardware store, and boutique shops. Purchasing food is a cost-effective way for couples, families, or large groups experiencing the area.
About the Town of Etna
Etna, located in rural Scott Valley is about an hour west of Mt. Shasta. Heading east off Interstate 5 freeway at Yreka, you slip into Scott Valley from the north. Springtime greeted my husband and me on our May visit with a carpet of yellow flowers and purple lupine as far as the eye could see. The snow had melted from the surrounding mountains making the grass a deep, verdant emerald green.
The area is ideal for exploring the natural beauty of the Marble Mountains, the Marble Mountain Wilderness, the Russian Wilderness, Trinity Alps, Scott and Klamath River watersheds, Etna Summit, and the Pacific Crest Trail.
Only about 700 people currently live in the bucolic village of Etna, once a gold mining town. But don’t let its size fool you. This is a vibrant and up-to-date destination whose residents take pride in preserving its history. Local children who grew up and moved to the big city to find their success are now returning to make a difference in their hometown. They bring sophistication and modern ideas to run successful businesses.
If you want to explore the town, there’s a museum housed in a 1905 building designed after Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Antique shops, murals, a library, hardware store, unique item shops, and beauty salons share Grain Street. Also known as Main Street, the moniker “Grain Street” is a nod to the strong agricultural industry in the region.
Food, Brews, and Spirits in Etna
If you’re looking for artisanal food, fine distilled spirits, and craft brews close to The historic Collier Hotel, look no further than Etna Brewing Co., Denny Bar Co., and Grain Street Bakery.
Etna Brewing Co. is only a block away from the historic Collier Hotel. Well known for their BBQ Brisket, we enjoyed it fresh from the grill accompanied by a delicious craft brew.
Denny Bar Co. is housed in a preserved historic building on Main Street and the only distillery in Siskiyou County. They proudly give tours of the building along with their distilling equipment and process. The original safe once used to store gold from the mines, now holds Denny Bar Co. spirits. A historic cash register from that era sits on the counter, a museum treasure to enjoy.
Grain Street Bakery creates Kouign-Amman, a delectable, caramelized mélange of flour, butter, salt, and sugar. I daresay that if you succumb to this pastry, you will surely want to return to Etna to have it again. I suggest an early two-block morning walk from The historic Collier Hotel, and pick up a couple. People come from miles away just for these delectable treats.
Our Northern California road trip was truly memorable. We got off the beaten path and enjoyed comfortable lodging, good food, craft breweries, and distilled spirits. I’m looking forward to my next visit to Etna, The Collier Hotel, and Grain Street Bakery for those amazing Kouign-Amman.
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