Frequently Asked Questions

about our Mt. Rainier Cabins

RESERVATION INFORMATION

What are your rates?

Our rates vary depending on the cabin, season, day of the week, and number of guests. You can find the rates for all 7 of our vacation rentals on our Rates page. We also offer a variety of discounts and special offers throughout the year.

How do I make a reservation?

  1. Choose which cabin you would like to stay at (check our Compare Cabins page for an overview of each home).
  2. View our Availability Calendar to see open dates at each cabin.
  3. Book online through our Reservations page, or call our office between 9am and 5pm, Monday-Friday to make your reservation.

How do I pay?

We require a 50% deposit at the time of booking, and the balance is due 30 days prior to the arrival date (or in full if the arrival date is within 30 days). We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We can also accept personal checks for reservations made at least 45 days in advance.

Do you require a cleaning or damage deposit?

No, in lieu of a deposit, we require guests to agree to/sign a Rental Agreement outlining our policies. Cleaning is included in the nightly rate, with the exception of a $25 cleaning fee for single night stays.

What if I'm not sure how many people will be in my group?

It is not unusual for groups to change their headcount prior to their stay. You can book your stay based on your estimated group size and adjust that number closer to the date of your stay. We cannot offer refunds after your stay, so please let us know of any changes to your guest count at least 48 hours prior to your arrival.

How do I get the directions to my cabin?

Our cabins are all private homes located though out the community of Ashford, WA. There is no front desk or formal check-in process, so we will send directions and a keycode for your cabin. 

What are your Check-In/Check-Out times?

Check-In is anytime after 4pm and Check-Out is by 11am. We offer an Early Check-In and Late Check-Out option at most of our cabins, when available (excluding our largest homes, The Dancing Bear Lodge and Lazy Bears Creekside Cabin), for an additional fee of $50 each. Early Check-In allows you to arrive at 1pm, and Late Check-Out extends your checkout time to 2pm.

What if I need to cancel my stay?

If you need to cancel your reservation, 30-days cancellation notice is required for a full refund, minus a 10% cancellation fee off the reservation total. This helps us cover the credit card transaction fees and bookkeeping costs. There are no refunds for cancellations within 30 days of a reservation, but we'll make every effort to rebook the nights. If we can rebook the dates we will gladly refund the reservation, but to cover our administrative costs the 10% cancellation fee still applies. We realize that unforseen circumstances can arise, but the financial impact for us is huge when we get a last minute cancellation. Most of our bookings are made far in advance, and rebooking dates only a month or less away is challenging (often those dates never rebook), so we ask that you please make certain that your dates are firm before booking your stay.

What if I need to change dates?

Changing dates is considered a cancellation. This is because booked dates are removed from our availability calendars and all inquiries are turned away and referred to other accommodations. On a case-by-case basis, however, if the date change has a minimal impact on our calendar, we may be able to accommodate the change for a small administrative fee.

CABIN INFORMATION

Where are your cabins located?

Our cabins are located throughout the community of Ashford, near the SW entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park, WA. This is the only entrance open year round and the gateway to the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise.

Getting to our vacation rentals near Mt. Rainier is easy, and the roads are well-maintained ensuring access to our cabins year-round. They are approximately:

  • 2 hours from Seattle
  • 1.75 hours from SeaTac International Airport
  • 45 minutes from Tacoma
  • 2.5 hours from Portland

We will provide directions to the cabin you've reserved after receiving your signed rental agreement. GPS is unreliable in the area, so please bring the directions.

What items do you provide at the cabins?

KITCHEN: We supply all of the dishware, pots and pans, gadgets, and utensils you will need to prepare and serve meals, including a blender and hand mixer. We do not have crockpots. We also provide cooking oil, a spice rack, Starbucks coffee, assorted teas, hot chocolate, and popcorn. Each cabin has a Belgian Waffle maker, waffle mix, and syrup. We suggest you bring your favorite waffle toppings for a special breakfast treat.

PAPER GOODS & CLEANING SUPPLIES: We provide paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, facial tissue, garbage bags, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, laundry soap, and dish/dishwasher soap. We can provide irons/ironing boards upon request.

ENTERTAINMENT: All cabins have board games, videos and DVDs, a selection of books, and a CD player. You can rent additional movies at the Ashford Valley Grocery or bring your own favorites. Some cabins also have an XBox with games, iPod dock, pool table, horseshoes, croquet, and other outdoor games.

KID/BABY ITEMS: Our 6 family-friendly cabins have a selection of children's toys, games, kids' movies, and plastic dishware. We can also provide a high chair and travel crib upon request.

DOG ITEMS: At our 4 dog-friendly cabins, we have a "doggie basket" with treats, dog tags with the cabin address and phone number, dog towels, and plastic baggies. We also provide a large dog crate, washable dog bed, and food & water bowls.

FIREWOOD: We supply firewood for our cabins with indoor wood burning stoves or fireplaces. If you would like to enjoy the outdoor fire pit at any of our cabins, you'll need to bring some firewood, which can be purchased in Ashford. The fire pit can be used even during "burn ban" periods.

What should we bring to the cabin?

MEALS: Our kitchens are fully stocked for meal preparation, including cooking oil and spices (see complete list above). You will need to bring food and beverages, including condiments, and storage items such as Ziploc bags and Tupperware containers for leftover food.

ALCOHOL: There is no liquor store in the area, but the Ashford Valley Grocery (a gas station/convenience store on your right just after entering Ashford) sells beer and a small selection of wines.

TOILETRIES: You will need to provide all of your toiletries including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, feminine products, etc. All cabins have hand soap and hair dryers.

HOT TUB TOWELS: Please bring your own towels for the hot tub, as we ask that you do not take the cabin's bath towels outdoors. You may want to bring your bathrobe and slip-on shoes for walking to and from the hot tub.

FIREWOOD: We supply firewood for our cabins with indoor wood burning stoves or fireplaces. If you would like to enjoy the outdoor fire pit at any of our cabins, however, you'll need to pick up firewood. You can purchase bundles at the Ashford Valley Grocery on the way into Ashford for approximately $5 per bundle. The Gateway Inn right next to the National Park entrance also carries firewood if you'd like to pick some up on your way in or out of the Park.

CHAINS: The roads in the area are plowed regularly, and we've never had a guest unable to reach our cabins due to adverse weather conditions. If you plan to visit the National Park during the winter season (Nov 1 - May 1), however, you will be required to carry chains. This requirement applies to all vehicles (including 4WD drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions. Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford rents tire chains of all sizes.

MOUNTAINEERING & SNOW SPORTS EQUIPMENT: Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford rents and sells climbing/hiking gear, snow sports equipment, and sleds and tubes. 

Is there phone service or WiFi at the cabin?

CELL SERVICE: Generally, there is no cell phone service in the Ashford area. We have a telephone at each cabin for local and toll-free calls. We've posted our toll-free number, 877-782-3277, next to the phone in case you need to reach us during your stay. To make long distance calls you will need a calling card.

INTERNET ACCESS: All cabins have free wireless internet access. Whittaker's Bunkhouse Cafe in Ashford offers an internet kiosk as well.

What if I need to reach you during my stay?

The phone numbers for our office, Property Manager, and Maintenance Person are posted in each cabin. The cabin phone number is also posted, and provided with the directions we send prior to your stay, so your friends or family members can reach you if needed.

AREA INFORMATION

Where is the nearest grocery store?

In Ashford, there are two small stores, the General Store and the Ashford Valley Grocery, that are similar to convenience stores and would have snacks, beer and wine, and a few toiletries (toothpaste, etc). We suggest you stock up on groceries at one of these larger markets on your way to the cabins:

Eatonville (25 min): The Plaza Market is a small grocery store in the middle of town with all the basics and a good selection of produce. They take cash or checks only, and have an ATM on-site.

Morton (30 min): Morton Country Market is a small grocery store located near SR 7 with a deli and bakery.

Packwood (70 min via SR 12; 40 min via Forest Service Road #52/Skate Creek Road during summer months): If you're coming from the east, Blanton's Market is the last good-size supermarket on SR 12.

Randle (50 min): Fischer's Market is a small grocery store on SR 12. Spanaway and

Puyallup (60 min): Coming from the north or west, these are the last towns you'll pass on the way with large supermarkets (Spanaway from Interstate 5 and Puyallup from SR 161).

Can you recommend places to eat?

If you would like to pick up an easy-to-prepare meal on your way to the cabin, stop by the Ashford Valley Grocery for a freshly-made take-and-bake pizza. If you prefer to eat out, there are several restaurants that we return to again and again. The first five are located between Ashford and the National Park entrance:

Alexander's Country Inn and Restaurant: (800) 654-7615 37515 Hwy 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304 Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Dinner $14-$25)

Copper Creek Inn: (360) 569-2799 35609 Hwy 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304 Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Dinner $10-$22)

Whittaker's Bunkhouse Cafe:(360) 569-2439 30205 Hwy 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304 Breakfast, ice cream, espresso

Wildberry Restaurant: (360) 569-2277 37718 Hwy 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304 American and Nepalese - Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Dinner $12-$22)

Highlander Bar & Grill: (360) 569-2953 30319 Hwy 706 E, Ashford, WA 98304 Breakfast, lunch, dinner

National Park Inn: (360) 569-2275 Located inside Mt. Rainier National Park (20 minute drive from SW entrance) Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Dinner $15-$28)

Puerto Vallarta Restaurant: (360) 832-4033 220 Center Street E, Eatonville, WA 98328 Sunday Brunch 11:30am-3:00pm (Adults $10, Children $2, Children under 2 are free), lunch, dinner

Bruno's Family Restaurant & Bar: (360) 832-7866 204 Center Street East, Eatonville, WA 98328 Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Dinner $12-$22)

Can you recommend specific hikes?

There are many hiking trails within and outside of the National Park that range from short loops to strenuous climbs. We have quite a few guidebooks at the cabin for day hikes, snowshoeing, cross-country skiiing, hiking, and general mountain information.

National Park Service Day Hike Information:  Easy and enjoyable trails that the whole family can experience together. Consider the trails in the Longmire, Paradise, Ohanapecosh, Sunrise, and Carbon/Mowich areas of Mount Rainier National Park. Note: Dogs (other than service dogs) are not allowed on trails within the National Park.

State and National Forest Hiking Information: Peruse www.trails.com and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest website for a wealth of hiking information.

Where can I hike with my dog?

Although the trails within the National Park do not allow dogs (other than service animals), there are many dog-friendly trails in the national forest and surrounding areas within or near Ashford. Here are a few recommendations:

Ashford Valley Playground: In town on the west side of the highway. There are trails leading from the park to a lookout point with picnic tables.

Nisqually River: From our dog-friendly cabin called Three Bears Lodge, walk 2 minutes down to the river and stroll along the levee for miles!

High Rock Lookout Trail: http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGW049-110

Glacier View Trail: http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=HGW049-112

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Trails: (the trails toward the top are closest to Ashford)

Where can I go fishing, swimming, or boating?

There are lots of fishing options near Mt. Rainier. You may even catch something in Big Creek, just steps from our three creek-side cabins! For a variety of water activities, we recommend:

Mineral Lake: Located about 20 minutes SE of Ashford off Hwy 7, Mineral Lake is stocked with trout annually, and you can rent everything you need for a day on the water at the www.minerallakeresort.com, including fishing poles, bait & tackle, row boats, and pontoon boats.

Alder Lake: Also a 20 minute drive from Ashford is Alder Lake, situated about midway between Eatonville and Elbe. This large lake has 2 boat ramps, a swimming beach, picnic area, playground, and is a great place for outdoor summer recreation. Check out the impressive dam from Alder Lake Park!

Holiday Lake: For guests staying at one of our 4 Paradise Estates area cabins (Lazy Bears Creekside Cabin, Little Bears Cabin, Starry Nights by the Creek, and Cedar Cabin on the Creek), you can enjoy access to this small neighborhood lake which offers a park and play area, floating dock for swimmers, and fishing from the shore.

What are some other activities in the Ashford area?

Here are a few recommendations for activities near Mt. Rainier that you might enjoy during your stay. For more suggestions, visit ourtrip planning page.

EZ Times Outfitters: (360) 569-2449, 18703 Hwy. 706, Elbe, WA EZ Times has 1-3 hour guided horseback riding trips on 20,000 acres of state forest trails near Mt. Rainier. Ask about their special Sunset or Nisqually River Rides. Rates are $35 per person per hour (special rides are a bit more) and credit cards are not accepted. Reservations are suggested but not required.

Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad Train Tour: www.mrsr.com Experience the Golden Age of Steam as you chug across spectacular bridges, clickety-clack through lush tall forests. All trains are pulled by vintage steam locomotives. We offer a variety of open window and enclosed coaches for your enjoyment. This is ideal for kids and families. It's an amazingly beautiful trip through our Cascade Mountains at the base of Mt. Rainier.Northwest Trek Wildlife Park: www.nwtrek.org Another classic trip for families and children, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is a treasure for wildlife enthusiasts. The signature tram tour through the 435-acre free-roaming area offers the opportunity to spot different species of animals as they wander through forests, wetlands and meadows. In the core walking-tour area, visitors can get a peek at native wild canines and cats as well as forest and wetland critters. Ride the tram, take the walking tour, hike nature trails, visit Cheney Discovery Center and much more! Children of all ages love this trip. It's also great for mobility impaired visitors.

Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park: www.danielklennert.com 22410 Hwy 706, Ashford, WA 98304 Amazing one-of-a-kind sculptures formed from recycled metal by artist Dan Klennert. Wander through a field of horses, dinosaurs, and many other animals and objects. If you like what you see, feel free to leave a donation.

Tanwax Public Golf Course: 36510 Mountain Hwy E, Eatonville, WA 98328 This 9-hole course is located NE of Eatonville just off of Highway 7, about 40 minutes from Ashford.

What is the weather going to be like? Do I need chains or 4WD?

The best website for local weather forecasts is the Mount Rainier Recreational Forecast, National Weather Service. There is usually snow at the higher elevations within the National Park between mid-November and June. The snowpack is typically thick enough for sledding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing by mid-December.

Ashford is at the 2000-foot level, so there is often snow at the cabins at some point between November and April, but it really varies from year to year. The roads are well maintained in Ashford, and we've never had a problem with guests getting to and from our cabins in the winter. If you plan to visit the National Park during the winter season (Nov 1 - May 1), however, you will be required to carry chains. This requirement applies to all vehicles (including 4WD drive), regardless of tire type or weather conditions. Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford rents tire chains of all sizes.

Is there a shuttle between Ashford and the National Park?

There is a free shuttle service offered by the National Park service on weekends in the summer (starting in late June, running through early September). The shuttle runs between Ashford, leaving from the information kiosk adjacent to Whittaker Mountaineering, stops in Longmire, and ends at Paradise. Avoid the hassle of parking at Paradise! For schedule information, visit the Paradise Shuttle page on the National Park website.

Is there a movie theater nearby?

There are two theaters in the area. The Roxy Theatre in Morton features movies, musical theater, concerts, and more. To get there from Ashford, follow Hwy 706 west back to Elbe, and take a left onto Hwy 7 S. Approximately 30 minutes.

There is a theater in Eatonville also named The Roxy Theater. It is a one-screen theater featuring first-run films. 115 Mashell Avenue South, Eatonville, WA 98328, (360) 832-7699. From Ashford, follow Hwy 706 to Elbe, and then continue onto Hwy 7 N to Eatonville. Approximately 30 minutes.

What activities do you recommend for families with children?

There are an abundance of kid-friendly activities to choose from! In the summer, many of the hiking trails are suitable for kids of all ages (see hike information above), and in the winter, they'll love sledding at the Snowplay area at Paradise.

In Ashford, kids will enjoy the park located on the west side of town. As you come into Ashford from the west, you'll see a sign for the Ashford Valley Playground on your left. There are trails leading from the park to a lookout point with picnic tables. Dogs are welcome too!

After the park, head over to Whittaker's Bunkhouse Cafe for ice cream (or hot chocolate on those cooler days).

Another fun family activity is fishing, swimming, or boating at one of thenearby lakes. Mineral Lake, just about 20 minutes SE of Ashford off Hwy 7, is stocked with trout annually, and boats can be rented at the Mineral Lake Resort. Also a 20-minute drive from Ashford is Alder Lake, situated about midway between Eatonville and Elbe.