Mounthaven Resort Cabins: "Rustic Cabins Right Outside Nisqually Entrance" Mount Rainier National Park Hotel Tip by glabah
Mount Rainier National Park Hotels: 21 reviews and 32 photos
Photos on the walls of the office show the cabins as they appeared in the 1920s, and thus you should be warned that this is a place that has been here for quite a while. The cabins are still very comfortable and better than a campground camp site or state park cabin, but at the same time this also isn't a modern luxury resort either.
Cabins come equipped with a propane wall heater in the main living room, a small kitchen, a small bathroom, a wood stove, a sofa, dining table, and beds. The size and number of beds depend on the cabin, as each cabin is somewhat different. Don't expect there to be a huge amount of space in the bedrooms, as modern bed sizes and the size of bedrooms in the 1920s are two radically different things. In some bedrooms you may have enough space to get around the bed, and that is it.
Cabins come with firewood and a wood stove, and in our case the fire had already been laid in the stove and all that was needed was to light it.
There are also several recreational vehicle parking places on the east side of the facility. However, none of these are pull-through so it is best to have some practice at backing up, especially if you arrive in the dark.
Cost per night is difficult to describe, as it really depends on how many of you there are and what cabin you get. For example, my friend and I got the cabin named Pine, which costs $150 per night ($164.70 including the taxes). We were only two people (she slept in one bedroom and I in another) but under the right circumstances four could be accommodated - a couple in the main bedroom with the single large bed and two more in the bedroom with two separate twin beds.
I'm not sure if one is supposed to wash the dishes when finished in the kitchen or not. My friend and I washed up after we were done (I did the dishes and she dried them) but I didn't find anything in the contract that said that we were supposed to wash them.
It should be noted that the contract does say there will be a $50 charge and / or immediate eviction without refund in the event that there is evidence of pets, smoking, or unregistered guests in the cabins.
The fire in the wood stove got going very well and very quickly once it was lit. However, there was enough water in the air that the fire in the outdoor fire pit outside our cabin did not start very well at all (it is, after all, the second week of October!). As the state had closed the highway past Box Canyon in order to perform maintenance before the snow set in, there wasn't much traffic at all on the highway, especially after dark. It was a wonderful, peaceful, relaxing time spent here.
My friend did have a little trouble with the shower. She is somewhat short, and the shower head is something like 7 or 8 feet off the floor. In this tiny shower stall, it was somewhat hard for her to adjust to the water coming from so far above her.
It got quite hot once the water heater and kitchen stove were going full blast. Opening the kitchen window took a little effort to locate the right spot on which to push the frame of the window in order to open it. It does in fact open, as do many of the windows in the cabins, but it just took a little while to figure out how to get it to open.
The wood stove did let quite a bit of smoke out into the room when the door was opened. The draft seemed to be very good when the door was closed, but it is a fairly modern design that, once heated up and going, recirculates the smoke to be burned again. Opening the door interferes with this circulation pattern and thus puts some smoke into the room. Even with the windows closed this was such a small amount of smoke it was not noticeable once the door to the stove was closed again.
Yet, these are very small things to complain about. Both of us would be very willing to stay here again, especially if we were able to find more people to make the price per person lower. It is only that I wish to warn you that this is no luxury hotel you are booking where everything is absolutely perfect.
As an added bonus, the morning brought some sunlight on the creek right outside our window.
The couple that currently owns and operates the facility will be retiring at the end of this year, and though not officially announced the facility is on the market. I find them to be an absolutely wonderful couple, and full of useful tips and helpful advice about the mountain, its roads, and the park. They will be sorely missed by those who made use of their knowledge and lodging just outside the Nisqually entrance.
Unique Qualities: Each cabin is a little different. If your conditions allow it (# of guests, etc.), I would suggest staying as far away from the highway as possible. Not that there is that much traffic past the facility at night but even so it is best to be as far away from the artificial noise that is present in the facility.
If you manage to hit the spot when there is less tourist traffic, you can awaken to the sounds of the forest with little people or traffic noise. Peak tourist season brings a lot more traffic on the nearby road these days.
The facility has some modernizations from its original construction, but there are other elements that keep it more rustic in nature. For example, the entrance is very narrow (take note if you are driving a large RV!) and none of the driveways in the facility are paved.
Yet, here you stay right in the forest and may even have some of them wander right into the facility to take a look at you - just as much as you want to look at them.
Address: 38210 State Route 706 East, Ashford, Washington 98304
Price Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: Located just west of milepost 13 heading towards the Nisqually entrance to the park. It is on the south side of the road. This is the road to the popular Paradise location on the south side of the mountain.
Phone: (360) 569-2594
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