nice and clean
- Free Wifi
- Free Parking
The old lumber mill site in Packwood plays host several times a year to Sports Car Club of America Solo2 and ProSolo autocross events, including a National Tour event drawing drivers from, well, nationally. As an autocrosser, I frequently stay overnite in Packwood and the folks at the Crest Trail Lodge have always been very accomodating. The lodge itself is newer construction, and the accomodations basic, clean and functional.
Recently new management took over and the whole place seems to have had a refresh, including a nice breakfast room with the usual pastries, cereal, juice, coffee and U-Make waffles. Not the Bellagio, but a nice update. Most importantly, the service and attitude are even better than before, and it was very good.
The only caveat is that race weekends can book up months in advance (Hmm, a Mt. Rainier drive, a little autocross...count me in) especially the National event in Mid-August, so plan accordingly.
My husband and I had a very late arrival at Crest Trail Lodge and the hotel manager patiently waited for us to arrive after 10:30 p.m. (In our reservation, we had been asked to contact the Crest Trail Lodge because the front door is locked after 11:00 p.m.) The hotel manager was very gracious and patiently answered our questions that night. The room itself was quite spartan but very clean. We enjoyed a quiet night of sleep before heading off to Mt. Rainier. The breakfast was limited to large muffins cut in quarters , english muffins, orange juice, coffee, and water. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Don't be put off by the spartan appearance of this place.
Packwood is great for Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens Windy Ridge access. About 11 miles from Ohanapecosh southeast entrance of Rainier. You have to go through Randle to get to St. Helens but I didn't see evidence of anyplace as nice as Crest Trail Lodge in Randle. The Crest Trail is about a mile or so west of the main part of Packwood, making it slightly closer to Randle. The room was large and clean with a fridge and microwave. Total was about $75 a night with tax for two people. We ate at Blue Spruce in Packwood on one night (place was packed for the Wednesday $3 taco special) and Big Bottom in Randle on the next. Both were serviceable places to get basic pub food and a beer. Big Bottom had a more extensive menu. You can see pictures of rooms and check availability at their website.
One thing you have to be careful of on this site is reviewers with inappropriate expectations.
I had a chance to stay in two full service Marriotts and this hotel in the three conscecutive days. I loved the Marriott chain in general but I would not rate those particular hotels any higher. Sure they had a 42" flat screen TV, and this lodge had a 19". But those hotels were over $250 a night.
At $68, this place is a gem. Very clean, as clean as the Marriott as a matter of fact. Beds were not Marriott, but comfortable, staff was friendly and you even got a refigerator and microwave in the room. (Don't get that at most Marriotts.) Wireless internet works very good and was free. (Don't get that for free in most Marriots either.) Towels were not large, but soft and there were enough. Shower was hot.
If you have stayed at a typical Fairfield or Hampton Inn, this hotel ranks only a tiny, tiny bit lower, but above most Super 8s, and Days Inns. And a huge measure above your classic Motel 6.
Had soap, but there are no hair dryers, or shampoo. I did not necessarily expect that, but just letting people know as they plan their trip.
Location was good for Mt. St Helens and Ranier adventures. I did have cell service.
It is obvious they take pride in their establishment. And that is my number one expectation of any hotel. Nice place.
We stayed overnight on our way from Seatac to Portland, OR. Our journey took much longer than expected because the US123 had collapsed in the winter floods. The detour took hours to drive but we had wonderful views of Mount Rainier on the way which was a bonus. The owner was very helpful when we arrived rather later than expected. The comfortable room was just what we needed after such a long drive and there were one or two places in Packwood to have dinner or breakfast - we missed the hotel's breakfast time. We would definitely stay at Crest Trail Lodge again.