Spending The Night In An Original Rustic Caboose

Last Updated on April 29, 2021


One of the first things that appealed to us in Mount Rainier was that we could ride the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad steam train in Elbe, WA as well as sleep at the Hobo Inn, in an original rustic caboose, with modern convinces: a sink, toilet, shower, beds and electricity. The only thing it was missing was a Wi-Fi connection and cell reception in the area.

There’s something unique about sleeping in a converted caboose and we loved it. The Hobo Inn also has the largest collection of cabooses in Washington State.





We stayed in number one and it was a lot bigger inside than we expected. We loved that we could climb up a little ladder inside and sit up top in the cupola, looking out the caboose at the world passing by. We also loved that there was a VCR with old VHS Disney movies for the kids, as well as a cupboard that had some blocks to keep our two year old occupied. It was also great that the beds could move; we were able to push them together easily so that we could block Madison from rolling off the bed. The bathroom was tiny, but that was expected. Even a short person has to sit sideways on the toilet; we had a good laugh over that one!

The fun in staying here is in the overall ambiance of the cars.

For it being a unique accommodation, the price tag wasn’t bad either. Nightly caboose room rates are $115US before tax, based on double occupancy.







Also part of the Hobo Inn was the Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Co., where the Cascadian Dinner Train (best known as the American Freedom Train) once toured the country with 26 cars displaying over 500 treasures of Americana.

We loved that we could take the train theme to the extreme and eat inside another train car. We both chose a milkshake and the Railroad Belt Buster Burger; it was all delicious, right down to their “secret sauce”. Service was fast and friendly and we loved supporting a local small business in Elbe.

We were disappointed that breakfast was no longer included with our stay and that they only opened at 9am, not giving us enough time to eat breakfast there before we had to hit the road.



It was exciting to be surrounded by so much train decor!



All in all, we had a great experience spending the night in a caboose. We really enjoyed the uniqueness the Hobo Inn has to offer.

You’ll have so much fun staying at the Hobo Inn that you’ll find yourself using some version of their slogan:   “Sorry honey, I got side-tracked” when you leave.


Where have you stayed in cool, unique accommodations that you would recommend?