by Jeff Bogle
This affordable, lodge-style hotel is given high marks for cleanliness and reliability, and for a delicious breakfast featuring make-your-own waffles, fresh pastries, warm apple cider and much more. Rooms with two queen beds are spacious enough for a family of four and the included flat-screen TV, microwave, refrigerator, free Wi-Fi, and Keurig coffeemaker will be a welcome sight. Located off of highway 12, just minutes from downtown Packwood, the Crest Trail Lodge is a convenient and comfortable place to stay with kids while visiting Mt. Rainer National Park and / or skiing in the area.
Our Editor Loves
- Waffle breakfast
- Location to Mt. Rainier
- Free Wi-Fi
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
We came through Packwood to visit Mount Rainier, and called the hotel while driving in. The weather was terrible, but we needed to stop. We spoke with Rebecca and she assured us we would be able to get a room. We arrived and she was welcoming and got us all set up. She is a wonderful hostess and representative for this hotel. She runs a tight ship and this is the reason all is just perfect. Clean, clean room. Comfortable bed, sheets, pillows. Towels are thirsty and all one needs is there. Not fancy, but much better than most chain hotels. Rebecca gets up very early to fix a nice breakfast and stays up late to ensure everyone is good. We had a chance to spend some time talking with her and she was a joy, never forgetting what her job was.
We still want to see Mount R and when we do, we will stay here. Thank you, Rebecca!
Most guests stay a night or two and move on in their travels. I come here for a week or so at a stretch, and use it as a base for great day hikes in Mt. Rainier NP and the Goat Rocks Wilderness, even down to Mt. Adams. For these activities, the location can't be beat.
The previous managers retired (congrats to them!) and now Rebecca runs the place (although it's owned by a group that has a number of motels in the area). She is pleasant and helpful despite having a lot to do from the morning breakfast to getting the late arriving guests in. I enjoyed her company and banter a lot, and she made me feel right at home. She gets replaced a couple days a week by an equally competent manager who's been there for a long time. The housekeeping staff is great - attention to detail you'd expect from a much fancier place.
I like the location, somewhat out of town, and it's very dark and quiet at night. Also elk regularly come down the road in back to eat from the fruit trees at the edge of the forest. When it's warm I enjoy leaving the window open to hear coyotes and owls at night. There's not much traffic noise from the highway at night either - but watch out for elk by the road driving through town (seriously!).
Breakfast is fine though not fancy. Eggs, sausage, make your own waffles, yogurt, juice containers, basic breads. For a week's stay is can wear thin though adequate, but... there's a microwave and fridge in each room and I just nuke up some good additions to the breakfast, like pre-cooked bacon or ham or boiled potatoes. Gets me out for the day on a full stomach.
From the older reviews you might see that a common complaint was that the breakfast area was small and crowded on busy summer weekends. No more! They've put in a very nice addition that more than doubles the dining area and although I was not there at a crowded time, from past experience I know this will make it a perfect size.
The best think I can say about Crest Trail (btw that's what the locals call the PCT) is that I keep going back every year for at least five, and I feel good when I walk in the door. Highly recommended! Oh, good wifi also!