Washington winter camping with style

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Categories: Hike & Camp

Summer camping in the Pacific Northwest is a bit of a blood sport, from securing reservations to overcrowded campgrounds. Yet winter doesn’t quite lend itself to muddy, wet tent camping — when available. Luckily, a range of public and private outdoors-ish options await the intrepid and timid alike.

One newcomer to the regional scene is Getaway, a national chain with two Washington State sites near Mt. Adams (deep in South-Central Washington forests) and the newest in Skagit Valley, about 75 minutes north of Seattle. These tiny-house-style cabins feature giant wall-to-wall-to-ceiling windows with forest views.

Getaway cabins offer the basics — bed and linens, private bathroom, heat, stove, minifridge and cooking items, sink and more — but you won’t pick up a cell signal here, as stays are meant to keep you off the grid.

A similar small-scale stay can be found at the six Rolling Huts in the frequently-snowy Methow Valley, although the huts are Wi-Fi equipped. Simple accommodations at “The Herd” include a sleeping platform, modular furniture, fridge, microwave and fireplace. You’ll have to walk to a shared facility for full bathrooms and showers, similar to car camping in a state campground.

Yet nature-lovers can still roll into Washington State Parks for winter camping at yurts, cabins and other “rustic shelters.” Year-round, people can stay at Washington State Park’s Cama Beach’s historic bungalows and cabins, or yurts at seven state parks, such as Cape Disappointment’s yurts well-located for storm-watching on the Long Beach Peninsula.

Summer camping in the Pacific Northwest is a bit of a blood sport, from securing reservations to overcrowded campgrounds. Yet winter doesn’t quite lend itself to muddy, wet tent camping — when available. Luckily, a range of public and private outdoors-ish options await the intrepid and timid alike.

One newcomer to the regional scene is Getaway, a national chain with two Washington State sites near Mt. Adams (deep in South-Central Washington forests) and the newest in Skagit Valley, about 75 minutes north of Seattle. These tiny-house-style cabins feature giant wall-to-wall-to-ceiling windows with forest views.

Getaway cabins offer the basics — bed and linens, private bathroom, heat, stove, minifridge and cooking items, sink and more — but you won’t pick up a cell signal here, as stays are meant to keep you off the grid.

A similar small-scale stay can be found at the six Rolling Huts in the frequently-snowy Methow Valley, although the huts are Wi-Fi equipped. Simple accommodations at “The Herd” include a sleeping platform, modular furniture, fridge, microwave and fireplace. You’ll have to walk to a shared facility for full bathrooms and showers, similar to car camping in a state campground.

Yet nature-lovers can still roll into Washington State Parks for winter camping at yurts, cabins and other “rustic shelters.” Year-round, people can stay at Washington State Park’s Cama Beach’s historic bungalows and cabins, or yurts at seven state parks, such as Cape Disappointment’s yurts well-located for storm-watching on the Long Beach Peninsula.

Bird’s eye views can be enjoyed in treehouses sprinkled throughout Washington State. In Southwest Washington’s Columbia River Gorge, the Skamania Lodge’s luxurious six treehouses boast decks, indoor/outdoor fireplaces and options for couples or families. The newest treehouses are unusual due to height alone — built 40 feet up.

Dozens of secluded Airbnb treehouse stays are available along the I-5 corridor, including roomy homes on stilts, perches, and houses built around trees. One of the more notable may be Sir Cedric’s Cedar Tree House, which centers around a four-foot-wide Western Red Cedar in Ferndale, near the Canadian border.

Airbnb offers a host of glamping options open in winter, including yurts, tiny houses, airstreams, and quirky stays such as a hobbit house on Bainbridge Island, the Grain Bin Inn on a Pasco farm, or the underground Corner Getaway BnB in Sequim.