Public Lands FTW

The Northwest's Best State Park Cabins

Cozy rentals at budget prices.

By Allison Williams

Cama Beach State Park cabins, reporting for duty.

Airbnb has the fancy treehouses, Insta-ready A-frames, and backyard hot tubs, sure. But few private vacation homes are as cheap—and as close to our stunning public lands—as state park rentals. More than 20 Washington parks and 30 Oregon ones offer overnight, roofed cabins and yurts, a kind of middle ground between camping and a condo. Most cost less than $100 per night. Many of Washington's are currently available to rent, while Oregon last week widened their reservation window to six months in advance. There's something comfortingly rustic about a state park cabin, with nary a trendy throw pillow or "Live Laugh Love" poster in sight; don't sleep on these places to sleep.

Kitsap Memorial State Park

Perched on the far side of the Kitsap peninsula, these simple cabins make for a rustic overnight that's practically a commuter's distance from the city. Bluffs overlook the rocky Hood Canal shoreline, and Poulsbo's bakeries are just down the road for provisions.

Grayland Beach State Park

The yurts tucked into the woods near a Pacific-facing beach are simple; expect bunk beds, futons, and shared bathrooms. The round tents are sturdy and heated, not to mention most are pet-friendly. Pack the steaks for the charcoal grill outside and think of it as an upgrade from tent camping.

Cama Beach State Park

The fanciest of the cedar beachfront cabins on Camano Island have their own bathrooms, but all are close to the pebbled beach and updated with wood panel interiors. Some have windows that look directly out onto the water, and an eight-person bungalow boasts a big front deck. The nearby Center for Wooden Boats operates rentals in the summer, and this onetime fishing resort retains a bit more charm than most barebones state facilities. 

State park yurts are mostly BYO bed linens, but there are plenty of places to crash.

Alfred A. Loeb State Park

One of Oregon's southernmost state parks feels more like Northern California, thanks to the grove of redwood trees and more sunshine than the rest of the coast. Wood cabins set along the Chetco River have decorative touches along the front porches.

Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Though most of Oregon's rentable accommodations sit along the coast, this site along the John Day River in the northeastern part of the state is strikingly distinct. Rolling grasslands give way to dramatic riverside cliffs and winter snow stacks on the rustic cabin roofs. Here visitors should take note to avoid rattlesnakes—not a problem you find at most weekend getaways.

LaPine State Park

Though some are categorized as rustic, other cabins at this south-of-Bend state park get the deluxe label and they rival any vacation house booked on Airbnb: Think TVs, microwaves, and showers. Situated under ponderosa pine and along the Deschutes River, the spot is ideal for river floating in summer and cross-country skiing in winter.

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