We were about a week into our Washington road trip and already clocked 35 miles of hiking around the Olympic National Park and now parts of Mount Rainier. It was unexpectantly snowing in the park – and then raining at lower levels – and the mounted was clouded with fog.
With our body aching from those 35 miles and the weather being less than ideal, we decided that booking a last-minute session at the Cannibal Hot Tub was just what we needed. And, it ended up being one of my favorite things we did at Mount Rainier National Park. Let me show you why.
Cannibal Hot Tub: Mt. Rainier’s Unusual Soaking Tub At Paradise Village Lodge
Ok, no this isn’t a true hot spring but it has the vibe of a natural hot spring (bare-bones, tucked in the woods, hot water, can fit a crowd.) See, the Cannibal Hot Tub is fire heated hot tub and I’ve never seen anything like it available in the United States.
A giant metal tub sits above a huge fire that is tended to by hotel staff. The water heats up fast, so they provide rocks you can put on the bottom to sit on and thus prevent your feet or butt from being uncomfortable. If the water gets too hot, there’s a spout to add cold water in and temperate control.
There’s also a sauna, but that isn’t available to use until February 2022. The tub is about 3-4 years old. When the new owners took over the Paradise Village Hotel and restaurant circa 2016-17, they built this giant tub and arch overhang for a unique soaking experience. At night, the lights glow for extra whimsical vibes.
The Cannibal Hot Tub is open to guests and non-guests to reserve the tub for a private soaking session for 1 or two hours at a time. Usually, it’s booked out days, sometimes weeks in advance, so it’s best to plan ahead here. But, I lucked out and was able to get a same-day booking, probably from a last-minute cancellation.
I was so happy. We only had one day in Mount Rainier and I was super bummed the mountain wasn’t out and everything was so foggy you couldn’t see much. I knew it could clear by the afternoon but wasn’t sure how to spend the hours waiting for it to clear. So the hot tub came to the rescue! And, by the time I was done soaking, the fog cleared and we could see half the mountain!
Again, I wasn’t able to book same-day on the site but I called them and booked that way, so you can always wait until you’re at Mount Rainier to squeeze something in spur of the moment. but it’s safer to just book ahead. Sessions are $100 an hour, which is a bit pricey but it’s fun experience and if you come with a group, super cheap.
We visited in October but I would love to come back to this tub come December or January and soak in it while the world outside is covered in snow. (Would make the perfect addition to a Mt. Rainier romantic getaway with my husband!)
Most hotels with hot tubs have standard chlorine tubs with jets, so I found this creative solution to be super special and fun – really close to what it actually feels like when you hike into a natural hot spring and soak there. But private, and with better smells.
I wasn’t able to find any Mt. Rainier hot springs on the Ashford side of the national park so this is the closest you’ll get. I’m sure there are natural hot springs somewhere around the mountain – on my next visit I’ll have to hunt them out for you guys!
So, would you soak in something called the Cannibal Hot Tub? Or are you a natural hot spring only type of person? Tell me below! And, if you have questions leave a comment or DM me on Instagram @thewhimsysoul and I’ll try and help.