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“The worst "motel" in the USA” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Lone Fir Resort

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Lone Fir Resort
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16806 Lewis River Rd., Cougar, WA 98616   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cougar
Lancaster
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The worst "motel" in the USA”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

The only place near Mt St Helens thus we stayed as I was climbing it.

The room was tatty and marginally clean.

We had an evening meal which was less than edible.

I did not risk the breakfast despite a long climb. Two other climbers had breakfast and were nearly sick on the mountain.

A totally squalid place which needs cleaning by a pyroclastic flow or a visit from public health.

I have never stayed in such a squalid place and that includes motels in the USA various places in Europe, Asia and Africa.

I hope it is closed down

Stay in Woodland instead

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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80 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    22
    35
    8
    5
    10
See reviews for
23
27
4
2
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Portland, OR
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

We had our wedding planned in a natural setting where we and our family were camping near Cougar, WA. We found the Lone Fir Resort with a 'half-price' voucher available through a local radio station. Our plan was to get a room at the 'resort' the night before in order to be able to offer showers and staging before the wedding.
When we went to check in with the front desk day before, we were informed our vouchers were no good for the season, though there were no limitations listed online or on the vouchers at all.
We paid for the room, though but mistakenly neglected to check the room as we decided to camp that night and make our way to the room the next morning for cleaning up. We were shocked upon arrival to find a messy bed, beer bottle and cigarette but strewn about the room. We immediately notified the management as we were worried someone had broken into the room the night before, and were notified housekeeping just never made it to clean that room. The time it took to wait for them to clean it caused delay on our very special day, and the management not only did nothing to compensate us for their error, but also charged me full price for a room not available to us for the few hours we needed it.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Western Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2008

Stayed here for one night prior to climbing Mt St Helens.
Unfortunately even the most basic amenities were worn, dirty and needing a lot of attention.
The washrooms were absolutely disgusting - dirty, dingy, collapsing, and the showers - for which you pay 50c - came out as a trickle of scalding hot water. It needs a lot of work.
The restaurant is almost as bad, physically it is a grubby place - dirty tables and a washroom opens right next to the tables. The food was ok - a huge pizza for $20. The staff were pretty terrible and very curt.
I like staying in campsites, but only if they are clean. This place is far from that. Unfortunately there is a bit of a monopoly near the end of the season on open camping areas near Mt St Helens - I would just head to Climbers Bivouac and take some extra layers and use their toilets. It is no worse than the Lone Pine.
The MSH walk is a great one with amazing views - highly recommended. Pick up your hiking supplies before turning down the road from Woodlands to MSH.

Stayed October 2008
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gig harbor, wa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2008

Only hotel near the trail-head. Really outdated and rank rooms. No A/C and no screens on the windows. Probably unsafe for women traveling alone. Gentleman at front desk very helpful with details about area. Large pizza tasty and good value. Would probably drive on after a long day next time.

Stayed August 2008
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Washington State
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2008

No phone, nor cell phone service in town. (Verizon wireless) No clock, remote missing, pool water was very cold....lack of phone service might be a problem with elderly or people with medical issues. No a/c..room very warm. Only 5 TV channels.

  • Liked — Size of room
  • Disliked — see review
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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San Francisco, CA
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2008

We stayed in one of the motel units and found it quiet and comfortable. It is definitely no-frills, but it's also a really good value. The staff was personable and answered all our questions. Note that they don't always serve breakfast early in the morning (if you're climbing Mt. St. Helens) so ask about this. You might want to buy food ahead of time. Our room had a fridge, which made this easy.

  • Liked — Location, friendly service
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Evergreen, Colorado
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2008

First of all, if you're going to climb Mount St. Helens, you really don't have much of a choice but to stay here. This town is SMALL and about 45 minutes from the next town (Woodland). There was a bed and breakfast. (I think called the Montfort, but I'm not positive.) I drove by the b&b, and it looked okay. It was basically a tract-type house, about two blocks from the Lone Fir. I would recommend looking into the bed & breakfast before making reservations at the Lone Fir. (I drove down from Seattle. I don't know the route those coming from Portland would take and the location of hotels along that route.)

Anyway, back to the Lone Fir. If you want to climb, there is no where else to stay, unless you camp. This place is dumpy, but I felt the price of the room was fair ($55). It was basic accomodations. I made the mistake of booking two nights, as I thought I'd be too tired after the climb to drive to Woodland. Going back there after the climb wasn't a benefit. I had already paid, so I stayed. However I did consider throwing away the $55 and driving the road.

As I said before, this "resort" provides basic accomodations. There was no clock. I asked for one, and they handed me a 40-year-old wind-up one. There was not a phone in the room. There was cable television, a microwave, and small fridge. There was a smelly brown carpet that was probably thirty years old, possibly 40-years-old. There was a pool, but my nine-year-old son said it was too dirty for even him to use. I did not feel the room was clean. It just felt like there were years of grime there. The fan had a layer of dirt that would blow all over if anyone was dumb enough to turn it on. There was internet service on a computer at the restaurant.

If you do stay here, STOP AT SAFEWAY in WOODLAND and bring your meals with you. Thank goodness I did this (but not for dinner). There is nothing between Woodland and Cougar. There are two restaurants and one small convenience store in Cougar. The restaurant at the Lone Fir was terrible. I didn't try the other restaurant the next night after the experience at the Lone Fir, so I bought our dinner at the convenience store.

I am glad, however, that I stayed my first night here. It is where you need to get your permit to climb and register. I was able to get my permit the day before. If you think you're going to get your permit the day of the climb, think again. They don't open that early. I'm not sure what time they do, but it will be after when you want to start your climb. So, in other words, you will not want to drive to drive to Cougar, get your permit, and then drive back to Woodland, just to get up the next day and drive 45 minutes back. So, either stay here, stay at the b&b, or camp. At $55 a night, you'll survive.

One thing I was surprised at was how uneducated the staff was when I asked questions about climbing Mount St. Helens, as this is basically the town's industry. I would ask them questions that I assumed they would automatically know and they would look at me blankly. If you want a trail map of the mountain, go to the convenience store. I don't mean this to be rude, but the bodily size of the staff would be a good indication that they've never attempted climbing the mountain.

Climbing tips: I obtained a permit to hike, but when I got to the trailhead, there were signs stating I needed a permit to park. As it was 7 a.m., and I knew the Lone Fir was not open (as well as the forest service), I took the chance and parked without one. I didn't get a ticket as only six people climbed that day. This is something I would look into if I did this again.

The other thing I would do if I had to do it again would be to bring snowshoes and hiking poles. These were not listed on the ten climbing essentials on the St. Helens site. I hiked on June 17th. I live in Colorado at 8400', and it never occurred to me there would be snow. There was - the entire way. I did not have snow shoes or snow boots. Also, Climbers Bivouac was closed due to too much snow on the road leading to the trailhead. Instead we went to the Marble Mountain parking lot, which adds about another 3 miles rountrip. If Climbers Bivouac is closed, RENT snowshoes. They are available at the Lone Fir.

So, if you're climbing the mountain and not camping, you should stay here the night before your hike, as it is the only place to stay. I am glad I stayed here even though it wasn't very nice. Book one night only.

If you're not climbing and just driving around Mount St. Helens, keep driving and go somewhere else.

  • Liked — It's the place to register for climbing Mount St. Helens
  • Disliked — It's a dump.
  • Stayed June 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lone Fir Resort

Address: 16806 Lewis River Rd., Cougar, WA 98616
Location: United States > Washington > Cougar
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cougar
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Lone Fir Hotel Cougar

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