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Property Watch: Shipping Container Cabins in Stevens Pass

Twenty minutes from the Cascades ski area, these two shipping container cabins work together to make a cozy two-bedroom accommodation.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd July 6, 2022

When it comes to a woodland getaway, there’s a good chance natural ambiance is going to matter a lot more than interior amenities. This listing by the Skykomish River has a clever choice of accommodations: Two separate but cohesive tiny houses built from shipping containers, both facing a common, covered patio, on an otherwise pristine quarter-acre.

In case you’ve never turned on HGTV or scrolled obsessively through Tiny House Internet, shipping containers—the ones that you see stacked up along the industrial waterfront—are a popular choice for scrappy-minded people who want an upcycled dwelling with an itty-bitty footprint. The sourced container is typically too old to be used for cargo anymore, so there’s no need to throw any more wrenches in the supply chain.

This trend did get a little out of hand at one point, with designers proposing Jenga-like skyscrapers that, being hard to build and insulate, ultimately defeated the point. When built correctly and on a small scale, though, shipping containers are ideal for tiny cabins in the great outdoors—they’re small, durable, and easy to place.

On this property, two containers make two separate structures built with sustainability in mind. They’re both well-insulated and feature Marmoleum floors—a rebrand of good old original linoleum, which is a biodegradable material made from linseed oil, pine rosin, sawdust, and mineral pigments. There’s a rainwater catchment system available, too, and the property is incinerator-toilet-ready.

If you look closely, you’ll notice these two separate structures are designed to be one cohesive home. Both of them have a bedroom in the back, complete with its own separate entrance. The rooms facing the patio are different, though: One has a cozy living room with a sofa and a TV, and the other a kitchenette with an office-style water cooler, storage, a small refrigerator, and a microwave.

A tiny log cabin hides off to one side, adding a third little house. It’s a storage shed right now, but there could be more adorable possibilities. RV hookups can expand the available accommodations, too.

This place is just a 20-minute drive to Stevens Pass, making it ideal for skiers that want to get started early. But with plenty of trails and lookouts in the surrounding Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest, not to mention the river, there’s something to do year-round. It’s just a three-minute drive to sleepy Skykomish city center for supplies, coffee, restaurants, and the train museum. (Eagle-eyed readers may notice that it's just across Highway 2 from previously featured cabin Sky Haus.)

If you want to just relax in place, there's plenty of stuff going on at the property itself, with a quarter acre of ferns, maples, Douglas firs, and granite formations to explore. It's pretty rustic—the shipping-container cabins are hooked up to electricity, but not water—but outdoorsy types are probably fine, and tiny-house people likely already have a solution.

Listing Fast Facts

11835 Tye River Rd, Skykomish
Size: 384 square feet/0.25 acres, 2 bedroom/BYO bath
List Date:
List Price: $295,000
Listing Agent: Suzanne Fortune & The Fortune Group, Windermere

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