Just in time for Labor Day, a secret Frank Lloyd Wright in the Sierra Nevada

August 24, 2015 | By | Comments (6)
Inside that middle pavilion of the Nakoma Resort's clubhouse is a grand four-sided stone fireplace. Photograph by Vance Fox.

The clubhouse at the Nakoma Resort, in the Sierra Nevada, was built only 15 years ago, but the design is from the 1920s. Photograph by Vance Fox.

We thought we knew all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Western masterworks, from the Hollyhock House to the Marin County Civic Center to, of course, Taliesin West. But we’d never heard of the Nakoma Resort’s clubhouse, an hour’s drive north of Truckee in California’s Eastern Sierra. Which is strange—after all, look at the place!

The Nakoma Resort's Wigwam Room. Photograph by Vance Fox.

The Nakoma Resort’s Wigwam Room has a massive central chimney and four fireplaces. Photograph by Vance Fox.

Turns out that although the plans date back to 1923—FLW drew them up for the Nakoma Country Club in Madison, Wisconsin—they lay unused till 2000, when the developers of this property bought them and put them, finally, to good use.

The lobby of the Lodge at Nakoma. Photograph by Vance Fox.

The lobby of the new Lodge at Nakoma. Photograph by Vance Fox.

Now that the resort has, as of August 14, opened its 42-room Lodge at Nakoma, you can see for yourself. (And being brand new, it probably still has rooms available for the Labor Day weekend.) From $189.


  1. Jeanne Dansby

    It’s 2016, and Nakoma’s popularity continues to grow. While things are still a bit quiet in November, the summer was bustling! Homes are under construction, Altitude Recreation Center, too!

    November 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm
  2. Stephan Bianchi

    Looks like a great place for a wedding or conference. Bring your own human interaction.

    September 2, 2015 at 9:09 pm
  3. M maehl

    Nakoma is beautiful no doubt. BUT, you will be the only person there so don’t expect any human interaction. When I was last there at lunch time (August) there was ONE customer having a sandwich and glass of water on the deck. Not even his wife was having lunch….did not see ANY houses being built and apparently all the lots that originally sold are for sale again.,,at 1/2 price….enjoy yourself……..

    September 2, 2015 at 3:15 pm
  4. G Garrett

    I’ve been in both Timberline and the Nakoma and, aside from both having huge central stone fireplaces, these two buildings generate completely different impressions. While monumental in size, inside Timberline is close and dark, almost oppressive, whereas the Nakoma is a more varied and interesting space more open to views of the mountains and forest. Inside and out, as far as mountain lodges are concerned both here and in Europe, the Nakoma is one of a kind.

    August 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm
  5. larrydevincenzi

    Reblogged this on larrydevincenzi.

    August 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm
  6. Kurt Winner

    The exterior looks very similar to Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood Oregon

    August 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

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