A Local Waterfront Gem: Beachfront Cabins at Cama Beach State Park

Are you looking for easier ways to get outside? Learn about some highly-accessible cabins on Camano Island that can accommodate those who are looking for rustic accommodations to make a beach weekend easier to tackle.
Leah Rubinsky Leah Rubinsky
5-year Member and Writer
December 05, 2022
A Local Waterfront Gem: Beachfront Cabins at Cama Beach State Park
Leah's dog enjoying the fall leaves. All photos courtesy of Leah Rubinsky.

As life changes, the way we play outside does too. This is true of families with newborns, folks with caretaking responsibilities, those of us who might be nursing an injury or just want to take it a little slower for whatever reason. If you’re looking to get outdoors in a way that requires less planning and is less strenuous, consider an indoor adventure like renting a beachfront cabin at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island.

That’s what my spouse, myself, and our dog (yes, some of the cabins are pet friendly!) did along with our friends and their toddler.

My spouse and I have a retired adventure dog, our long-time partner in climbing and backpacking trips. Now 13, she’s slower than she used to be and it’s becoming clear that we need to respect that. But we don’t want to always leave her behind when we go outside. For my friends, the birth of their baby meant more supported, less gear-intensive trips. The cabins provided a sunny, beach-front base for a lower stress retreat where we didn’t have to worry about setting up tents or cold evening temperatures. With a toddler and an older dog in our party, we found these conveniences to be quite nice. 

What first delighted me about Cama Beach State Park was the gentle, forested bluff that overlooks a wide expanse of glassy water known as the Saratoga Passage. The cabins themselves are rustic but clean, with a microwave, refrigerator, and heating. All you really need to bring is your layers, your food, your cooking system (we brought a Coleman stove), a set of linens, and the fun, heavy stuff usually reserved for car camping like a guitar, a bottle of wine, or binoculars.


Once you’re settled, there’s a lot of fun stuff to do right from your cabin door. The unseasonable warmth shimmering on the water’s surface drew my spouse and I over to the Center for Wooden Boats where we rented a canoe for $30 an hour. We explored the surrounding pebbled coastline and spotted a seal’s head bobbing stealthily on the water. I also may or may not have skinny dipped from a secluded part of the beach. The sun was golden, the water was crisp and refreshing; you would have done it, too.

The area also has a network of over 15 miles of forested trails that are great for trail running accessible right from your cabin. I enjoyed a late afternoon trail run that took me through dense forest, alongside a quiet marsh, and out to nearby Camano Island State Park and back. 

Of course, like any experience, there are things to be aware of when renting cabins at Cama Beach State Park. The standard cabins do not have en-suite bathrooms - those are located nearby. So if that’s an issue, you might think about the deluxe (and more expensive) cabins that offer that amenity. The standard cabins that we stayed at were also on the pricier end of what you might pay for a cabin rental in a state park: about $130 per night plus a $15 pet fee per night. Finally, when you book your waterfront cabin, the way to access it is to park in the designated temporary lot, unload your things onto a provided wheelbarrow and cart it down the trail (a 5 minute walk) to the water where you will see your cabin among a row of serene, west-facing cabins. There is also a bus that can be arranged to assist in transporting people and bags.

While it might be tempting to mourn for the hard-core, high-mileage, high-energy backpacking trips we used to do (and might well return to), there are so many fun ways to be outside. Although a bit pricer, the cabins allowed my friends and I to gather in a new way as our families change.

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