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Originally published November 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 16, 2008 at 7:41 AM

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Washington parks rent out yurts, cabins and historic houses to vacationers

For winter campers who don't want to brave the rain and cold in a tent (and don't own an RV), Washington state parks offer yurts for nightly...

Seattle Times Travel staff

For winter campers who don't want to brave the rain and cold in a tent (and don't own an RV), Washington state parks offer yurts for nightly rental. Some parks also rent simple cabins and even luxury accommodations, including a historic lightkeeper's residence.

Here's a sampling of what's available:

Yurts

Yurts are circular, domed tents of heavy canvas with wood floors and locking doors, usually around 16 feet in diameter with a domed roof. They have bunk beds (but bring your own sleeping bag or linens) and electrical power, with a floor lamp and often a heater. Rates for a Washington state park yurt start at about $45-$55 a night for the rest of this year, and most can sleep up to five people.

Washington parks where you can rent a yurt include:

• Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly called Fort Canby State Park), on the Long Beach Peninsula.

• Grayland Beach State Park, near Westport, Grays Harbor County, on the Pacific Coast.

• Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, on the Green River near Enumclaw.

• Seaquest State Park, near Castle Rock, Cowlitz County (and Mount St. Helens).

• To get more details on yurt and cabin rentals, see the Web site of Washington State Parks at www.parks.wa.gov/yurtsandcabins/yurtcabin.asp and book by phoning 888-226-7688.

• Yurts also can be rented at Kayak Point Regional Park, a Snohomish County park on Puget Sound near Stanwood. (The park also has Kayak Kotttage, a three-bedroom, old-fashioned house for rent.) Small cabins also can be rented at Snohomish County's Flowing Lake Park, east of Everett. Get information at www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Parks/.

Cabins and more

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Some Washington state parks have small cabins for rent. Many are simple, one-room structures, just a step up from camping, with shared bathrooms nearby and cooking done outdoors, although some bigger cabins and bungalows offer kitchenettes, private bathrooms and sometimes separate bedrooms.

• Cama Beach State Park opened more than two dozen renovated beachfront cabins in the summer at what began as a 1930s fishing resort. There also are several larger bungalows for rent at the Camano Island park. Offseason rates for one of the basic cabins (with a shared bathroom nearby) begins at about $30 a night from now until April 15; it then increases to $62 a night for the spring/summer season next year. See www.parks.wa.gov/CamaBeach or phone 360-387-1550.

• One of the unique, and most expensive, state-park vacation rentals is the former head lightkeeper's house at Cape Disappointment State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula. The Victorian-style, refurbished three-bedroom home is on a bluff above the Pacific; in the peak season next year (mid-May through October) it rents for $388 a night. But in the offseason, now through May 15, it costs $283 a night on weekends and $183 nightly Monday-Thursday, a good deal since it sleeps six people:www.parks.wa.gov/vacationhouses/capedisappointment.asp. • Some of the most popular park vacation rentals are the former officers' houses at Fort Worden State Park adjoining Port Townsend. Some of the historic houses can sleep a crowd since they have six bedrooms: www.parks.wa.gov/vacationhouses/ftworden.asp.

Similar, but smaller, refurbished military-officer housing is available at Fort Flagler State Park on Marrowstone Island in Jefferson County and at Fort Columbia State Park on the Columbia River east of Illwaco, Pacific County.

For more details on Washington state-park vacation-house rentals, see www.parks.wa.gov/vacationhouses or phone 800-360-4240.

Kristin Jackson: kjackson@seattletimes.com or 206-464-2271

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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