After a particularly strange ski season of masking and restrictions, Crystal Mountain becomes something else entirely this summer: a glamping site. Hospitality company Under Canvas will set up Crystal Sky Camp, 20 tents decked out with king-size beds and wood-burning stoves, around the mountain's Campbell Basin Lodge. Camping, but comfortable.
Sound blissful? Hope your Covid bubble is large, because Crystal Sky Camp will only be bookable by single, large parties of up to 50 people, like weddings or corporate events. And the cost is a bit more than the usual backcountry outing: $1,500 per person per night. That includes catered food and a posh shower facility—and wi-fi—plus transportation up the mountain. It takes two chairlift rides to reach the 6,000-foot camp, which skiers will recognize as the top of Forest Queen and the base of Chair 6. The camp will take bookings July 1–September 31 and is set to operate for at least three years.
The upside is, well, the setting; the ski area is nestled up against the Mount Rainier National Park boundary, and a killer view of the mountain is just a short hike or chairlift ride away. Camp activities include lawn games and stargazing using a high-powered telescope, or even berry-picking or hiking trips around the resort. (Glampers won't have the whole place to themselves, as the Mount Rainier Gondola runs in summer up to the Summit House Restaurant, but that's more than a half-mile away.)
Under Canvas runs nine other such camps near national parks, including Moab, Glacier, and Yellowstone, many of which have even longer seasons and rent tents individually (and they run as low as $199 per night). A rep says an a la carte version of Crystal Sky Camp isn't currently planned but could be a possibility. Until then, the party's at Crystal.