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Rental Policies, Rules & Expectations


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our cabin rental policies are subject to change. Before reserving a PATC cabin, read the updated Cabin Rental Policies below to ensure that you are aware of all responsibilities, risks & liabilities. Please also review the PATC COVID-19 Addendum to our standard Terms of Service. The Cabin Coordinator is available to answer your questions by email. PATC will continue to post policy updates, as needed. These changes and precautions have been designed with your safety in mind. 

Reservation Tips & Guidelines

Booking a Cabin

  • Standard reservations should be placed online within 60 days of the arrival, unless that reservation will begin within seven days.
  • The Cabin Reservations Desk is open for limited call-in hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. During these hours, call the Cabins Desk at (703) 242-0315, ext 102 to ask questions or to place a standard reservation that begins within seven days. Before calling, please take a moment to review and accept our cabin rental terms of service agreement form. You must submit the form, in order to place a reservation by phone. For last-minute reservations, guests should be prepared to cover the cost of priority shipping for a cabin key packet or retrieve a packet from the drop box at PATC Headquarters in Vienna, VA.
  • Advanced reservations can be reserved by phone between 61 and 365 days in advance of the arrival. Call (703) 242-0315, ext. 102  when the cabin desk is open and ask to speak to the Cabin Coordinator.  Please also be sure to review and complete the cabin rental terms of service agreement form.  See additional information regarding advanced reservations below.

Cabin Rates

  • Rental rates are different for weekday nights and weekend nights--Friday and Saturday. Weekday nights are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Standard rates apply to reservations that are placed within 60 days of the start of the reservation.
  • Advanced rates (double the standard rate) apply to reservations that are placed between 61 and 365 days in advance of the reservation. See additional information regarding advanced reservations below.

Minimum Stay Requirement

  • Standard Reservations (31 to 60 days in advance) – A two-night minimum is required.
  • Standard Reservations (within 30 days) – Single-night reservations are permissible.
  • Advanced Reservations (61 to 365 days in advance) – A three-night minimum is required.

Maximum Rental Period

No reservation may exceed seven (7) nights.

Check-in & Check-out Times
Check-in on the day of arrival after 3:00 p.m. Check out on the day of departure before 1:00 p.m. Please observe check-in and check-out out of respect for incoming and outgoing renters. Guests who overstay may be charged for any additional time spent at the cabin. 

Standard Reservations

Standard reservations begin within 60 days of the intended arrival, and may be booked online. See “Booking a Cabin” above for instructions on placing a reservation within seven days. Use our handy 60-day calculator to determine the earliest opportunity to place a standard reservation. The booking software will accept standard reservations as early as 12:01 a.m. on the 60th day.

Advanced Reservations - Note September 2023 Update

Advanced reservations—placed between 61 and 365 days prior to the arrival—are subject to: (1) a three-night minimum; (2) an increased rental rate (double the standard rate) and; (3) a more severe cancellation penalty. In order to highlight the distinctions between standard and advanced reservations, the latter may not be made online.  See next paragraph.

As of September 2023, those wanting to book an advanced reservation should call the cabin desk, (703) 242-0315, ext. 102, during open hours.  We no longer use the advanced reservation form.  Please be sure to review and complete the cabin rental terms of service agreement form before you call.

Number of Occupants
Each cabin has a capacity limit that must be observed. The capacity for each cabin is denoted in the general cabin information table. Tent camping is NOT permitted in the vicinity of any PATC cabin and you may not exceed the cabin's stated capacity. Scout troops are NOT an exception to this rule; overflow tent camping is strictly prohibited.

Cabins & COVID-19

We expect renters to comply with state and CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, and recommend that cabin rental parties be restricted to members of the same household. If a cabin rental party is comprised of more than one household, renters should take appropriate precautions and be aware of the associated risks. It is the responsibility of renters to observe any travel restrictions in their state of residence, as well as that of the cabin.

We no longer have the COVID-19 Special Exception Cancellation Request (see here for additional details). Upon renting a cabin, be aware that you accept the risks laid out in the PATC COVID-19 Addendum. Remember that we do not have the ability to clean and disinfect between guests. The Cabin Coordinator is available to answer your questions by email. Be safe!  

Cabin Key Packets

Two to three weeks prior to your arrival date, a Cabin Key Packet will be snail-mailed to the address you provided upon booking the reservation. It will include a Cabin Key, a cabin condition report form (on reverse of the reservation details), the cabin direction sheet (with specific location information and recommendations on what to bring), the top PATC rental rules, a return envelope, and any additional information regarding your stay. To ensure proper checkout, the Cabin Condition Report should be completed and returned with the Cabin Key in the return envelope provided, within about one week of your departure from the cabin. If the renter requests, the Cabin Key Packet may also be retrieved from the 24-hour drop box outside PATC Headquarters in Vienna, Virginia. Cabin Key Packets will not be issued for reservations for Dunlodge or Old Rag Cabins because both are equipped with an electronic access lock; those guests should expect to receive their rental information by email.

Cabin Key Packet Mailing
All guests who place a reservation within twelve (12) days of the date of arrival will be automatically charged an additional fee for priority shipping for the Cabin Key Packet. This additional $9.90 fee for USPS Priority Mail includes a tracking number, and will allow us to ensure the timely delivery of your rental materials.

NO INTERNATIONAL MAILING--International guests will need to provide an address in the U.S. that they can access before they're stay, or pick up the key in person at our HQ office.


To opt-out of Priority Mail, you must email the Cabin Coordinator within two hours of booking. Your email must also include your preferred alternative, either: (1) pick-up from the 24-hour drop-box outside of PATC Headquarters in Vienna, VA; or (2) standard, snail mail at no additional cost. By choosing snail mail, you accept the risk that the packet may not arrive prior to the reservation.


Click here to find the most appropriate shipping method for your zip code. If, about five days prior to your reservation, you have not received the Cabin Key Packet, please alert the Cabin Coordinator as soon as possible. Remember: it is your responsibility to ensure receipt or retrieval of the Cabin Key Packet.

Billing and Mailing Addresses
The online reservation software does not acknowledge different billing and mailing addresses. If you want the Cabin Key Packet mailed to a different address than is associated with your credit card, please email the Cabin Coordinator or call (703) 242-0315, ext. 108, after you have made your reservation. If you fail to contact us, the Packet will be sent to the default address entered. It is your responsibility to rectify any error in your mailing details.

No Double Booking
The Renter of Record may only rent a single cabin for a given period. If more than one cabin is rented simultaneously by the same individual for the same night(s), the Cabin Coordinator will offer alternative suggestions or process any necessary cancellations.

Members-Only Cabins

For PATC members-only cabins, the Renter of Record must be an active PATC member in good standing. Additionally, the membership must remain active through the entire duration of the rental period. If the Renter of Record of a members-only cabin is not an active member, annual PATC membership dues will be charged to the cabin reservation automatically. Membership dues are non-refundable.

Guests have the option to add a membership when booking a cabin reservation online. Student Memberships do not apply to members-only cabin rentals because it is assumed that these members are under 21 years of age. Rental of these exclusive cabins is one of many benefits of membership. Click here for more information.

PATC Volunteer Rental Privilege 
PATC member volunteers in good standing may make one cabin reservation at standard rates per calendar year, up to 67 days prior to the desired arrival date. To place a volunteer privilege reservation, contact the Cabin Coordinator at (703) 242-0315, ext. 108. Proof of volunteer service will be required.

Proper & Improper Checkout 

Each renter is required to return the Cabin Key and a completed Cabin Condition Report within about one week of the date of departure.Lost Cabin Condition reports should be reported as soon as possible, so that the Cabin Coordinator may provide access to an electronic version of the report. Renters will receive confirmation of proper check out. Failure to abide by these guidelines will result in improper checkout. Multiple offenses will result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to the suspension or termination of rental privileges. *Dunlodge and Old Rag renters will submit an Electronic Cabin Condition Report, for which a link will be provided by email. 


Renter Responsibilities 

Renter of Record 
The Renter of Record is the PATC member or individual in whose name the reservation is made. He or she is accountable for abiding by the rental policies and is therefore responsible for the care and condition of the cabin during his or her stay. The Renter of Record must be 21 years of age, and agree to remain with his/her party for the duration for the rental period. This person must also ensure that all members of the party abide by the rental policies. Reservations may not be made in the name of a group or organization. 


Each renter is expected to leave enough split firewood and kindling for one night's stay by the next renters. This includes kindling and split wood measuring about 16" in length and occupying an 18"x22" area. Cutting of standing timber or removing limbs from standing trees or shrubs is strictly prohibited, regardless of whether the tree is dead or alive. This is especially important in Shenandoah National Park and US National Forests. Fires must be contained within approved structures (wood stoves, fireplaces, fire pits, pre-existing fire rings, etc). New fire rings may not be constructed on PATC property. Outdoor fires are not permitted within the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park. Each cabin is equipped with basic tools, including bow saws, splitting mauls, and a saw buck, in order to facilitate firewood collection.

Trash & Cleanliness
There is no trash or housekeeping service, meaning that renters must remove garbage and clean after themselves. Paper waste may be burned, but all other waste must be carried out. All items brought in must be taken out. “Donations” are not desired. Trash left by previous renters should be removed and/or reported. We cannot guarantee the return of any personal item left at a cabin. Outhouses are for human waste and toilet paper only. Baby wipes and feminine products should be carried out with other garbage. 

PATC does not provide cleaning supplies or personal protective equipment; renters are expected to pack their own. It is the responsibility of each renter to clean the cabin, before departure. Many guests, however, may choose to sterilizes surfaces upon arrival, as well. If the previous occupants did not clean the cabin before departing, please photograph and report the evidence to the Cabin Coordinator.


Damage to PATC property will not be tolerated, regardless of whether the damage occurs to cabins, items within the cabin, or the surrounding area. Structures such as fences and old buildings should not be defaced or dismantled. Any accidental damage should be reported immediately to the PATC Cabin Coordinator at cabincoordinator@patc.net upon your return. Any damage that may render the cabin uninhabitable or unsafe should be reported immediately to the maintainer listed on the Cabin Direction Sheet. Photographs are highly encouraged. Renters must accept responsibility for the cost of repairs, to remain in good standing.

Top Rental Rules


Restrictions regarding pets must be strictly observed. Pets are not permitted in some PATC cabins. In cabins where they are permitted, they must be kept off of bedding, including blankets and mattresses in consideration of fellow renters with allergies. Pets are not allowed at Blackburn Trail Center, Catoctin Hollow Lodge, Dunlodge, Glass House, Highacre, Horwitz, Huntley, Old Rag, Olive Green, or Rosser Lamb. Exceptions for service animals will be granted where advance notice is provided, but the selection of a comparable alternative is preferred. 


Be respectful of nearby landowners. Please keep noise to a minimum and do not trespass on surrounding property. Please be mindful to abide by any specific parking restrictions noted in your cabin direction sheet to avoid being towed.

Motorized vehicles
Use of motorized vehicles is not permitted on any PATC property in areas off-limits or inaccessible to cars. All gates and/or signs must be respected. Motorized vehicles include, but are not limited to, automobiles, ATV’s, motorcycles and minibikes.

The discharge of firearms on PATC property is prohibited. PATC also does not allow the use of any projectile-firing device (e.g. slingshot, bow-and-arrow, paintball gun) or explosives (e.g. fireworks) on Club property.

Use of chainsaws and/or generators by cabin renters is expressly forbidden on any PATC owned or operated cabin property. Rental privileges for any guests found to be operating a chainsaw or generator will be immediately and permanently terminated. If a downed tree or limb blocks access to a cabin, renters can either report the issue to the cabin maintainer and hike-in or use a handsaw to clear the obstruction.