Twice a month during the summer of 2010 I would drive past the Dog Bark Park Inn on my trips between Spokane, Wash., and Riggins, Idaho, on the Salmon River.
Without fail, every time I hit the crest of the hill near Cottonwood, in north central Idaho, I’d glance to the side of Hwy. 95 and smile. Who wouldn’t smile at the sight of two huge beagles? I loved those dogs. They are such a ‘sweet’ sight.
Sweet Willy, officially known as Dog Bark Park Inn, “is one of America’s latest additions to the type of roadside architecture popular in the early days of automobile vacation travel when travelers would often buy gas, eat meals or stay overnight in a building that looked like something else,” say owners Dennis and Frances.
One recent review on TripAdvisor states: “Where else can you stay in a dog and cozy up for bed in his head? Dennis and Frances have created a one of a kind experience – not only by the unique accommodations, but by providing such a warm atmosphere with every creature comfort you could want – including a delicious breakfast and munchies.”
As for the town of Cottonwood, it boasts a population a tad under 1,000 and sits “in the heart of the Camas Prairie where wheat, barley, canola, blue grass and hay are the dominate crops.” The town features places to stock up on groceries and fuel.
Dog Bark Park Inn
2421 Business Loop 95
Cottonwood, ID 83522
Hours: Open year round. Daily 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Approximate driving times —
From the South: Riggins, 1 hour; McCall, 2 hours; Boise, 4 ½ hours; Salt Lake City, 11 hours.
From the West: Richland, WA, 5 hours; Seattle/Portland, 7-8 hours
From the East: Missoula, 4 hours; Bozeman, MT, 8 hours
Photos: Courtesy of TripAdvisor