Cabins & Cottages

The Best Washington State Park Cabins

Some are simple, some are surprising, and all sit on public land—and that means they rent for cheap.

By Allison Williams May 14, 2017 Published in the June 2017 issue of Seattle Met

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Cabins at Cama Beach.

There are more than 100 state parks across Washington; some that sit on the ocean or lakes, and others tucked into wild corners of the mountains. There are desert parks, island parks, and historic parks—and many have cabin rentals. We chose from the 20 cabin-equipped state parks (another 10 offer vacation houses, and seven have yurts) to pick the best.

Cama Beach

Hello, waterfront. The 24 standard cabins that line Cama Beach have at least two beds each, and some can sleep up to six. Most have access to a bathhouse, but eight more deluxe cabins have bathrooms. They’re next to the Center for Wooden Boats, which offers free classes and family programing throughout the summer. Note: Cama Beach Historical State Park has the most cabins and facilities, but Camano Island State Park just down the road has five more rentals and more privacy.

Peak rate: $76-$110 at Cama Beach, $74 at Camano Island

Cape Disappointment

Is a lighthouse keeper’s house really a “cabin”? The residences near the mouth of the Columbia River are charming Victorian relics, though they’re not as cheap as the rustic woodland cabins located nearby. The park also has rentable yurts, beaches, art installations, and an interpretive center to tell the story of how Lewis and Clark stumbled here more than two hundred years ago.

Peak rate: $69 for cabins, $308-$407 for lighthouse keeper houses

Deception Pass

At the site of one of the state’s most dramatic vistas, Deception Park State Park, like its famous bridge, also spans from Whidbey Island to the mainland. One abode, the Ben Ure Cabin, is on an island accessible only by kayak or rowboat, and has an outdoor shower. The other five cabins are more traditional, with parking nearby and fire pits outside. A CCC museum nearby tells the history of the 20th century work crews that constructed much of the nation’s green space infrastructure.

Peak rate: $79 for cabins, $91 for Ben Ure Cabin

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The Deception Pass bridge.

Potholes State Park

It’s not named for holes in the road; Potholes Reservoir is a marshy freshwater lake surrounded by desert. It’s well prepared for fisherman, boasting four boat ramps and 60 geet of dock space. Though the five cabins are rustic in many ways—no cooking inside, no plumbing—they do have the most important amenity of all: air conditioning.

Peak rate: $69-$79 for cabins

Mount Spokane State Park

The eastern Washington state park has the coolest rental on the state park system, a 14-by-14 foot fire lookout perched on top of Quartz Mountain, with a deck (and windows, obviously) that go all the way around. You can see into Idaho from the high spot, and the space can sleep four. There’s no electricity, but there’s really no need with the propane stove and campfire ring outside.

Peak rate: $93 per night

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