STAYING IN MOUNTAIN TINY HOMES IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
#VanLife and Tiny Homes: Arguably the two biggest housing trends of 2018, which still continue to be a big topic of conversation into 2019. All it takes is a quick scan of social media, or HGTV, and you can see how popular these two lifestyles have become.
But what if you’re on the fence? What is the idea of a tiny home seems awesome but you don’t know if you could handle it for the long term? Fear not, there is an option! Choose a tiny home as your next form of accommodations on a trip!
There are many ways to find tiny homes to “rent” ranging from Airbnb to private companies that specialize in tiny home “resorts”. Petite Retreats’ Tiny House Villages are the answer you are looking for if you are located in, or have an upcoming trip to, the Pacific Northwest.
how to get to the mt. hood tiny house village
When in Portland mountain getaways are a must. The great thing about Portland’s location is that it is plopped almost smack dab in-between the coast and the mountains.
The Mt. Hood National Forest offers a plethora of experiences and activities, and being that it’s about an hour away from Portland it makes for a perfect weekend escape or a couple day adventure on a longer trip.
The thing with the Pacific Northwest is that you are going to have to rent a car if you want to go anywhere outside of the Portland Metropolitan or the Seattle Metropolitan areas. There are some bus companies offering transportation to some of the larger sites, but for those locations slightly off the beaten path a car rental is required.
The Mt. Hood Tiny House Village is located about an hour east of Portland. There are a variety of ways to get there (no toll roads involved) so it really just depends on where you are staying.
The village is located within the larger Mt. Hood Village RV Resort, in Mount Hood Village, so this is what you will need to put into your GPS. I made the mistake of solely putting in the address and not the larger resort so my phone got a little confused when I got up towards the mountain.
65000 E US-26
Welches, OR 97067
TIME & DISTANCE (from Portland):
About 42.6 miles and 57 minutes without traffic
DIRECTIONS (from Portland):
Take the I-84 East to the US-26 East
(the RV Resort is right off Highway 26)
how to get to the leavenworth tiny house village
The Leavenworth village is located in Washington, but similarly to the Mt. Hood the tiny houses are within the larger Leavenworth RV Resort (which is a Thousand Trails Campground). Again, make sure your GPS is directing you to the Leavenworth RV Resort and not the specific address. Although the tiny houses are not through the main entrance to the resort this is where you need to go in order to check in.
The Leavenworth Tiny House Village is about 2 hours to 2.5 hours east of Seattle, depending on the route you take. A rental car is also going to be required to get to the village as it’s not right in the town of Leavenworth, but you will want to have it on you to get to some of the activities in the area, in addition to the town.
20752 Chiwawa Loop Road
Leavenworth, WA 98826
TIME & DISTANCE (from Seattle):
115 miles and about 2 hours and 12 minutes without traffic (via Highway 2)
152 miles and about 2 hours and 38 minutes without traffic
DIRECTIONS (from Seattle):
VIA HIGHWAY 2
Take 1-90 East to I-405 N
From I-405 N take WA-522 E (for about 14 miles)
Take US-2 E (US-2 East is going the be the highway you drive on the longest)
Towards the end of the journey you will take WA-207 North to Chiwawa Loop Rd (the road the resort is on)
VIA HIGHWAY 90
Take 1-90 East (which is majority of the trip) to WA-10/WA-970
Take exit 85 onto WA-970 N
Continue on WA-970
Take US-97 N/Chumstick Hwy for just over 67 miles to Chiwawa Loop Rd (the road the resort is on)
when to visit the tiny house villages
When it comes to visiting you have two questions to ask yourself:
What kind of a vibe to I want in the surrounding area?
What kind of weather can I realistically tolerate?
The reason that these two questions are very important is because both of the villages are located in the mountains. If you have zero tolerance to the cold and snow then definitely do not visit during the winter, and consider that spring may also not be the ideal time because it can still snow in the spring in the mountains. That being said the snow can make places so much more magical – in my opinion, especially when it comes to the Leavenworth location. If you visit during the summer and early fall then you will be greeted with warmer weather, multiple events, and the ability to participate in numerous outdoor activities.
the benefits of staying in a tiny house
The benefits to a tiny home are similar to the benefits of staying in an Airbnb or other home stay.
You can set your own food budget (i.e. making your own food) vs. relying solely on hotel food prices or eating out
These tiny home villages have access to a variety of amenities (similar to what you would get in a hotel) because they are part of larger RV resorts
MT. Hood Amenities:
Clubhouse (with billiards/game room and TV), bike trails, year-round indoor swimming pool & hot tub, fitness center, pet friendly, on-site restaurant and bakery, general store, nature and hiking trails, shower facilities, laundry, picnic/BBQ Area, volleyball, horseshoes, library, business center
Clubhouse (with billiards/game room and TV), bike trails, shuffleboard, swimming pool (outdoors and seasonal), pet friendly, little on-site store, nature and hiking trails, mini golf, laundry, picnic/BBQ Area, volleyball, basketball, horseshoes, tennis courts, library, pickleball, Bocci Ball, Satellite TV, softball, snowmobiling, DVDs to rent at the front desk
The charm and character is going to be infinitely more noticeable than a cookie cutter hotel room
There is more of a cozy cabin vibe where you won’t feel guilty staying in at night with wine, snacks and a good movie
You get more space than in a standard hotel room
which tiny homes to book on mt. hood and in leavenworth
When trying to decide which tiny home to stay in up at Mt. Hood I had a couple of musts on my list. The tiny home needed to have enough space for my sister and I to stay (and not feel like we were on top of each other), it needed to have some storage space, and it needed to have cute decor.
Don’t get me wrong all of the tiny houses are super cute up at the Mt. Hood Tiny House Village, but Scarlett (the farmhouse themed home) was the one that charmed me right away. It is one of the larger tiny homes in the village, with a twin bed downstairs and two, separate full sized bed lofts. There was a closet to store food and extra bags (the slightly cut off twin bed area also doubled as storage for us), there was a couch and table for eating, extra storage under the stairs, and the cutest little porch out front.
Each of the tiny homes at Mt. Hood have a sort of theme going on with them, so in addition to your “wants” of what you need to have in your tiny home to make you feel comfortable the actual vibe of the tiny home should also be taken into consideration as well.
Atticus was giving me modern, lumbersexual vibes
Lincoln was the true cabin type getaway
Zoe is the millennial girl’s dream with a vibe of “wild & free”
Savannah will give you all of the charm of being down in the South
When it came to Leavenworth I was SO TORN! I had a really hard time deciding between fashion and function - in that I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go with the tiny home that looked the cutest on the outside, or had the best layout for my friend and I on the inside. In the end, functionality won out and I chose Otto, due to how large it was on the inside (it’s 287 square feet and can sleep 4-5 with it’s loft with queen bed and twin bed, and pull out couch), plus the overall interior layout. Belle was the close contender based on the sheer cuteness of the exterior.
There was the cutest little breakfast nook inside of Otto that faced directly towards the outdoors (and had the most amazing morning views), the couch was perfectly placed for the TV, and I loved the travel/tribal accents throughout the tiny home.
Now when it comes to the other tiny homes it really does depend on how many of you are going to be visiting and how much stuff you have. Because as cute as some of the tiny homes are, you don’t want to be tripping all over your stuff when you are inside.
Belle (my fave) was slightly larger than Otto but the kitchen layout was pretty small for the overall size. The vibes that you’ll get totally mimic Beauty and the Beast.
Adeline has two separate sleeping areas (similar to the tiny home we stayed in at Mt. Hood) but the couch for some reason looked oddly small for the small. The open concept L-shaped kitchen was an overall nice touch though.
Hanna is the smallest of all of the Leavenworth tiny homes, as it only sleeps two. The bright interior decor colors and patterns totally match the purple exterior. So if you are looking for a true “tiny” experience, Hanna will be your best bet.
Rudolph is the bright red tiny home (surprise, surprise). It’s right about in the middle when it comes to overall size, and boasts almost the exact same design as Otto. The main differences are that Rudolph has a slightly larger front porch space, which makes it so that you don’t have a breakfast nook and the table is directly in front of the couch (beneath the TV).
where to eat near the mt. hood tiny house village
I will caveat this by saying both of the tiny house villages are not located right in the main mountain towns (where all of the shops and restaurants are). Each of them are going to require a slight drive if you choose to go out to eat for any of your meals.
There is not a huge amount of passable options, in my opinion, near this tiny house village. Sure there are a bunch of places to eat but I am not the person to recommend just any place because it has food.
Some of the best places to eat and grab a drink are going to be the Blue Ox Bar at Timberline Lodge (30 minute drive from the village), Mt. Hood Brewing Company in Government Camp (17 minute drive from the village), Skyway Bar & Grill in Zigzag (8 minute drive from the village), and Solera Brewery in Parkdale (50 minute drive from the village).
where to eat near the leavenworth tiny house village
The best thing about the Leavenworth Tiny Houses is that they are noticeably bigger than the Mt. Hood houses. I’m not exactly sure why, especially as they are run by the same company, but it could have to do with the availability of space in Leavenworth vs. the RV resort at Mt. Hood.
Not only that the tiny houses here were designed and decorated in a Bavarian style which makes them the cutest things ever, in the most picturesque setting! So you are going to want to make your breakfasts “at home” and take in the alpine views with a cup of coffee or tea.
The fact that the tiny homes in Leavenworth make them more comfortable to cook in. The downside of the tiny homes in Leavenworth is that the actual town is such a cute Bavarian getaway that you will not want to spend much time in your home but rather be in the town trying out all of the restaurants and watering holes.
For everyone who doesn’t enjoy cooking in general, or doesn’t enjoy cooking while they are on a trip, the town of Leavenworth has got you covered! Keep in mind German food isn’t the lightest of fares, but you will definitely leave satisfied.
Here is a brief list of places you must have on your list when visiting:
BREAKFAST: Louie’s Café (get the Belgian waffle or Monte Cristo), Parsley’s Pantry (get the Loaded Biscuit & Gravy Bowl), Wild Huckleberry (get the giant pancake), Good Mood Food (everything looks pretty decent), Argonaut Espresso Bar (avocado toast)
LUNCH: München Haus (get a beer and a brat), Rhein Haus (get a beer and a big ass pretzel), Icicle Brewing (get a beer, the Landjaeger plate, stay and play some games)
DINNER: Watershed Café (warm pecan cookie with ice cream, duh), Mana Restaurant (for an amazing splurge), South (Taco Tuesday baby), Yodelin (fresh PNW cuisine), Andreas Keller (the German dinner you’re looking for)
DRINKS: Leavenworth Cider House (they’ve got a great, young ambiance inside with games and tournaments), wine tasting (Milbrandt & Ryan Patrick, The Wine Cellar which features 6 different tasting rooms)
TIP TO NOTE:
Walk into Wok About Mongolian Grill and go up to the roof.
You’ll get a pretty awesome view of the town!
what to do near the mt. hood tiny house village
The things you are able to do outside of your tiny house village is going vary according to the season you choose to visit but just know that each season has its own benefits.
In the winter there are a plethora of ways to get outside and enjoy the winter wonderland.
Downhill Skiing (at one of Mt. Hood’s 5 ski resorts): Mt. Hood Meadows, Timberline, Skibowl, Cooper Spur Mountain Resort and Summit Ski Area
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing: The popular places to go are Trillium Lake, Teacup, and Pocket Creek, and there are additional trails at Mount Hood Meadows and the Crosstown Trail just outside of Government Camp.
Sledding: There are so many great sledding options including Snow Bunny and White River West Sno-Park.
Timberline Lodge: This is the epitome of being up at Mt. Hood and no matter the season a place not to be missed. Built in 1937 the lodge is internationally known and one of Oregon’s architectural crown jewels. When you go during the winder you can enjoy dinner, drinks and awesome snowy views of the mountain (since this is the closest most people will be able to get). Also, FUN FACT: The Shining was filmed here.
When you visit during the summer months you can take in the views and waterfalls with a multitude of hiking trails. Some of my favorites are Zigzag Overlook trail from Timberline Lodge (4.4 miles round-trip, out and back), the Tamanawas Falls trail (3.6 miles round trip, out and back), the stunning Bald Mountain from Lolo Pass Hike hike (6.6 miles round trip), and the easy Trillium Lake Loop around the edge of the lake (1.9 miles total).
In addition to the classic outdoor activity of hiking there are a variety of other things to enjoy up at Mt. Hood, many of which are conveniently located in the same place at Skibowl.
Government Camp: This scenic little enclave is just down the road from the turnoff to Timberline Lodge and features a bunch of little shops.
Hiking: Miles of trails will take you through Mt. Hood’s national forest. Timberline Lodge also happens to be a location as a starting point for multiple hiking trails around the mountain right outside the lodge doors.
Mountain biking: There is a trail that will take you from Timberline to into town
Malibu Raceway: At Skibowl is race track featuring three different style cars allowing everyone from is to adults to test their racing skills.
Bungee Jumping: If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush then look not further than the 100’ Freefall Bungee Jump Tower at Skibowl! Not only do you get to experience an exhilarating freefall, you get perfect views of Mt. Hood in the background as well.
Zip Lining: This is one of my favorite warm weather activities to participate in! You’ll get to launch yourself off of the three-story tower and zip along a 800 foot long line above the forest.
Horseback Riding: Skibowl is the only place that offers horseback riding within Mt. Hood National Forest. Guides take people through miles of backcountry trails.
Disc Golf: There is an 18-hole course at the Mt. Hood Adventure Park which meanders downhill after your initial scenic lift ride up to 4,400 feet. Once at the top you will play the course down the mountain.
Alpine Slide: This was always my sister and my favorite summer activity! It’s the Pacific Northwest’s only 1/2 mile slide dual alpine slide which sends you over 350 feet down the track at reaching speeds up to 37 MPH (you can control the speed of your sled). The trip up to the top of the slide also happens to be a scenic one on the Scenic Sky Chairs, which utilize the winter ski lift. The Alpine Slide is a summer only activity, but is something worth timing your visit for.
TIP TO NOTE: The trail to Tamanawas Falls is accessible in the winter, but this is not something I would recommend for most people. Although the water can freeze in the winter and be a spectacular sight the trail to get there will be more treacherous. You will need snow shoes, need to go with a buddy and be aware of the dropping temperatures and lack of visibility of the actual trail. It is just as impressive in the warmer months.
what to do near the leavenworth tiny house village
Similarly, to Mt. Hood, the activities will vary slightly from season to season. The difference between Leavenworth and Mt. Hood is the fact that the actual town of Leavenworth is a tourist destination in itself, so no matter the season you can be completely satisfied by driving from your tiny home into the town on a daily basis and exploring around for the afternoon, the evening, or the entire day. A full breakdown of what you see and down in Leavenworth will be coming soon!
Leavenworth is a Bavarian town so expect to feel as though you have been transported to Germany when it comes to the types of activities you can experience, the types of events that take place, and the food that you can indulge in. To make your decision to visit a little easier I’ve broken down the top things to do in the warmer months and in the colder months below.
In the Spring, Summer and Fall you can bird watch, camp, bike ride, fish, golf, hike, go horseback riding, paddleboarding, rafting, kayaking, tubing along the river, play tennis, go for a carriage ride, zip line, enjoy art, and take in theater.
In the Winter the outdoor activities don’t stop! There is snowmobiling (which we did and had the most amazing time), snowshoeing, sleigh rides, visit reindeer, tubing and sledding, skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, dog sledding, and take in all of the holiday decorations and festivities in town.
Tiny Homes having definitely been trending for a while, and for good reason. They may not be your choice of permanent home but they are the perfect option when you are trying to sift through your accommodation options when visiting somewhere new (or looking for a cute weekend getaway).
Petite Retreats does have a couple of other locations throughout the US but their Pacific Northwest tiny home villages are the perfect spots for a mountain escape. You have your own private home, you can have a mixture of the comforts of home (and home cooking) with eating out and exploring, there are a plethora of activities to do in and around the resorts, and they will make a cuter, and longer lasting impression on you than a generic hotel room.