Best place to rent cabin at Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park Lodging does not rent cabins inside the park. Rent in Ashford to be near the Nisqually Entrance. Stay at the Crystal or Greenwater area to be close to the White River Entrance. Or, try Packwood to be just outside the Ohanapecosh Entrance.

Best place to rent cabin at Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park Lodging, within the Park Boundaries

The choices for overnight stays within Mount Rainier National Park are:

Two Hotels: Paradise Inn or National Park Inn
Camping in the backcountry with a special permit.
Camping at designated areas, like Ohanapecosh campground.

Many visitors, however, prefer to rent cabins for the luxury of privacy and comfort, or to meet the needs of group accommodation. There are many great cabins to rent outside the park, yet still within beautiful national forests. These cabins can be just as charming as anything within the park proper.

Ashford Washington: Best Place to Rent a Cabin at Nisqually Entrance

The little town of Ashford Washington is near the Nisqually Entrance. This gate, in the southwest corner of Mt Rainier National Park, is open year round. It leads to Longmire and is the best way to get to Paradise when the roads are open. Here are some examples of cabins in the Ashford area:

Three Bears Lodge, Ashford WA: This is 200 yards from the park and sleeps 8. The Three Bears Company has several reasonably priced cabins nearby, which sleep 6, 10, and on up to 20 people. One of their cabins is on a creek.

Stormking Cabins and Spa, Ashford WA: This is one mile from the Nisqually entrance. Stormking has private, romantic cabins, each accommodating one couple. It comes highly recommended by Frommer’s Guide, Best Places to Kiss in the Northwest book, and Smart Money Magazine.

Cedar Creek Treehouse, Ashford WA: Ten miles from the park entrance, 50 feet up in a 200 year-old cedar tree.

Crystal Mountain and Greenwater Washington: Best Places to Rent a Cabin near White River Entrance

rent cabin at Mount Rainier

The closest cabins in this area have a Greenwater WA address (or sometimes an Enumclaw address). The small town of Greenwater Washington has a store or two and about 91 people. White River Entrance is in the northeast corner of the Mt Rainier park and is the best gateway to Sunrise. Here are some examples of places to stay:

Alta Crystal Resort, Greenwater WA: These cabins are in the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and close to the White River Entrance. The resort has a heated pool and one cabin is for honeymooners.
Anything in Crystal River Ranch (about 10 miles from White River Entrance) or near Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.
Packwood Washington: These Cabins are Near the Ohanapecosh Entrance to the Park:

Packwood is the city closest to the Ohanapecosh Entrance in the southeast corner of Mt Rainier National Park. And, it’s only 30 miles from Mount Saint Helens. Packwood is a small town of 1,000 people, near the Cowlitz River, in the vast wooded expanse of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

There are many rental cabins which are individually owned (and rented online) in the Packwood region, because the area is near White Pass Ski Resort.

To be near the Nisqually Entrance (Longmire and Paradise), look for a rental with an Ashford address. To be near the White River Entrance, rent a cabin with a Greenwater or Crystal Mountain address. For the Ohanapecosh Entrance, choose a vacation rental with a Packwood address. Remember that most of the areas outside the national park are still within a national forest. And many of the Mt Rainier accommodations (outside the park) are nestled within deep green woodlands.

Rent Outdoor Camping Equipment at REI in USA

REI started out in 1928 as a humble cooperative, in Seattle, for climbers who needed serious mountain climbing gear like that used in the European Alps. Now, REI has morphed into an upscale megastore in 28 states. It is, however, still a good place for mountaineers to rent ice axes, backcountry campers to rent camp stoves, and for novice campers to find down sleeping bags, family tent rentals, and other outdoor camping equipment.

REI Membership Benefits

Mount Rainier

REI is a consumers’ cooperative just like it was with its first 23 Mount Rainier climbing buddies, except now there are over 3 million active REI members. Campers do not need to join the co-op to buy or rent equipment, though membership at REI brings a discount on family tent rentals and other outdoor camping equipment. Membership includes a discount on shop services, such as bike repairs and ski tune-ups.

Membership benefits include a 10% refund or rebate on a member’s purchases in the form of an annual dividend.

List of Outdoor Camping Equipment Carried in Various REI Stores

Mountaineering Gear
Camp Stoves
Tents (Family tent rentals and other tents)
Backpacks (Mostly used by campers in the outback, though ask an REI employee.)
Sleeping Bags and Pads (Don’t let children use the same sleeping bag they use for indoor sleepovers.)
Paddling Gear
Alpine Skiing Equipment (Downhill skiing)
Snowboarding Equipment
Nordic Skiing (Cross-country and telemark skiing)

Other Camping Gear Essentials

Don’t forget to bring a Coleman lantern or something similar. Several hand-held flashlights are also needed for night time trips to the bathroom. Older campers may find a camping chair (or beach chair) a godsend for old bones.

Locations of REI Stores

REI Co-ops are Located in 28 States. See the site to find out what areas have a co-op store in the neighborhood. If there is no store in the area, call or email REI. The employees are fanatics about outdoor activities and adventures, so someone may be able to pass on information about other stores that rent outdoor camping equipment.

Also, it may be worthwhile to check prices at other stores (or online stores) for camping gear rentals or sales. Or, look for used equipment on Craigslist.

Family Tent Rentals, Camp Stoves, and Down Sleeping Bags

Each REI Co-op store carries different camping gear for rent. Ask the employees what they think a camper might need for a particular camping adventure. The sales people are knowledgeable about the details of each state and each sport.

There are many places in the United States and Canada which rent outdoor camping equipment, however, REI is a good place to start. REI has camp stoves, down sleeping bags, and family tent rentals. They also rent equipment for paddling excursions and winter sports. For the more advanced outdoor adventurer, the REI co-op rents mountain climbing gear.

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