The best camping near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument adventure.

The best camping near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument adventure.

Camping near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

90% (5 reviews)

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument adventure.

Explore the blast-zone, backcountry, and lava tubes of Mount St. Helens.  

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Community favorites near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

98%
(33)

Riverside Camping Near Mt Rainier

10 sites · RVs, Tents5 acres · Elbe, WA
Welcome to our campsite located near Mt. Rainier. Our property is close to the Nisqually River on one side and the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad track on the other. The entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park is just a 15-minute drive away, making our campsite a convenient base for exploring the park. Enjoy fishing, hiking, and watching the scenic railroad pass by. Our campsite offers a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature. Whether you're here for the outdoor activities or just want a quiet spot to camp, we look forward to hosting you.
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$45
 / night
99%
(340)

Cowlitz River Rentals

54 sites · RVs, Tents70 acres · WA
BURN RESTRICTIONS NOW ON as of July 10, 2024 WELCOME to Cowlitz River Rentals! We will be hosting a number of events this year, so be sure to plan your stay accordingly. 2024 EVENTS July 27-28 Muddaubers Jeep Races Aug 2-4 - Flivvers at the River Aug 3 - Gambler 500 "Run Forest Run" road rally & forest trash cleanup Aug 3-4 HooptieX car racing Aug 10 - Trail Mix 2024 endurance trail race (on foot) We plan to be open from May 1 - September 30, 2024. We do have some sites open for Labor Day this year. What is special here? -- Very large and spacious sites, w/no charges for extra tents and vehicles. -- Distance between sites for privacy. -- Room to accommodate large groups with multiple camp vehicles. -- River views from almost every site. -- "Float the Loop"-A 20-30 min river float without leaving the property. -- Pets off leash as long as they are under control. -- Four beaches that can be accessed by all campers. -- Firepits and Picnic Tables at each site. -- Many paths for walking and bicycling. -- An atmosphere to relax and play like a kid again! Thank you, to all who stayed with us in our first season. We hope you had lots of fun, in spite of the dust. We are now in the process of revamping some of the camping areas to allow for a better camping experience. We have created some new sites and have changed the capacity of others. Many names have changed, so be sure to read the descriptions. The names on the 2023 reviews may be off as well, since we changed some names and moved things around. We are also now have a website: CowlitzRiverRentals.com It is online with basic info. We will be adding more site information soon. Within the site listings here on Hipcamp, I will clearly notate if a site is brand new, or if it has a name/location change for 2024. We had to adjust our check-in/check-out to noon. You are welcome to come to the property early, and stay on the property until early evening to enjoy the river....there are plenty of places to park before you check-in or after you check-out. This is only valid for the days that you are booked. If nobody is booked in behind you, you can stay in your spot til late afternoon. We will have a spigot with potable water available at the gate area. If you are in a camp vehicle, be sure to ask about water BEFORE you drive to your site. It is long drive back out from the other end of the property. There will be plenty of porta potties spread throughout the property. These are cleaned weekly on Friday. This year we will have an option to pack out your own garbage or use our dumpster for $10/bag. Our 2024 season will have 10 Group sites and 15 Individual sites on 70 acres. Our sites are listed as: -Individual - up to 6 people -Group - up to 16 people. All of our group sites can accommodate much larger groups. Please call to make those reservations, so that we can make sure your specific needs can be met. USE THESE COORDINATES (46.5354948, -121.9697498) to get to the access road at Milepost 114.5 on Hwy 12, just west of Randle, WA. Once arriving there, follow the posted instructions. or USE THE WRITTEN DIRECTIONS in the BOOKING CONFIRMATION.....PLEASE! The sites are listed based on reviews, as a default of the Hipcamp site. Please scroll through. Not all sites can accommodate groups. Some sites are not feasible for large trailers. Click on a site for more details in the description. We offer some of the most beautiful scenery in western Washington. Here you will find the peaceful quiet of being "away from it all", yet in reality you are only a little over a mile from the local grocery store, restaurants, and gas stations along Hwy 12 in Randle. Randle is a gateway to many other outdoor areas and activities including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens. We have a private entry from the highway, so you can feel safe leaving your camp set up while you take day excursions. We have sites scattered across 70 acres. Your perfect camping site may be found in the fields, in the shade of the trees, by the river, in view of Mt. Adams, or a combination of these. You can be assured plenty of space for privacy and quiet, even if other campers are in the vicinity. We currently host newly developed, private river access, camp areas on the upper Cowlitz River. Many of the sites may have a lot of dirt rather than grass. This dirt turns to dust in dry weather. We are hoping to have most of them seeded with grass, but we will see how that goes (grows). This has been a cattle grazing pasture for the past 100 years. It is also flood plain, so we get a fresh covering of river silt almost every year. This also turns to a fine powdery dust in dry weather. However, many say that the river access, the surrounding beauty, and the privacy, far outweigh the inconvenience of any dust. We also have a very active mole population throughout the property. This makes it extremely hard to keep sites level and smooth. We are mowing grassy areas, but many are still rough due to years as pastureland. If you are worried about bumpy ground, please bring a cot or some type of air mattress or cushion to put under your sleeping bag. The property has a TWO MILE perimeter.....there is plenty of room! We have 25 site locations strategically spread across this large acreage, each with its own "personality" and benefits. All campers have the ability to access the river at any of the four beaches. One of the most common comments from our campers is that they cannot believe how much space is between campsites. This year, almost all of the sites have a view of the river. We make an effort to maintain site privacy and a peaceful atmosphere. We value being in the outdoors, with the feeling of "getting away", without having the rules, restrictions, and the crowded conditions found in typical campground areas.... we figure you do too. WE JUST ASK THAT YOU RESPECT OTHER CAMPERS, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING CAMPSITE NOISE LEVELS AT NIGHT. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave. Campers can "float the loop" which consists of launching on the upriver side of the peninsula, floating/kayaking around to the downriver side, getting out and walking across the field to launch again. PLEASE READ THE DESCRIPTION FOR EACH SITE to find out what type of vehicle it can handle. We have pictures for many, but we are still working to develop others. The only Hipcamp site location pinpoint will be for the access road at the highway. Please look at the picture of our site map to see where your site is located. We have to do this because people have not been reading the directions given, and our neighbors have given negative feedback about strangers driving into their yards. New pics will be added as we get them. Please feel free to ask questions about any site. Most areas can be accessed with 2wd vehicles, although certain areas may be a little rough for something with low clearance. Some sites are more friendly to larger trailers than others. Please read the descriptions and ASK QUESTIONS IF YOU ARE UNSURE. We have four separate riverbars, some with sandy beach areas. There is plenty of river space for all. Ask us about river floating and kayak options. Let us know if you have a special group event. We are very flexible and can help you create the situation that would suit your group the best. Pets are welcome, but be aware that coyotes, bobcat, and cougar have been sited in the valley. There are also eagles and hawks to be aware of for smaller animals. Feel free to reach out with questions before booking to make sure all of your needs can be accommodated. Things to be considered: Need for campfire wood, need for water, types of vehicles, your camping goal (group get together or total solitude with peace and quiet), quick easy access to the main road or camping way off the path, best pet areas, best kid friendly areas, ect. We welcome your questions. Our goal is to help you make great memories!
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$68
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92%
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Isla Springs

10 sites · Tents22 acres · Winlock, WA
Beautiful wooded 22-acre campground with the Olequa creek running through it. Loaded with wildflowers, fruit trees, newly planted trees. Gravel and dirt roads circling throughout the area. Wood stoves in most campsites for cooking on and warmth. There is a big area that can be used for events.... We are conveniently located 4.8 miles off I-5 between Portland and Seattle.
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$50
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95%
(3643)

Naked Falls

21 sites · RVs, Tents130 acres · Stevenson, WA
Naked Falls is the second largest waterfall on the Washougal River. This section of the river has been a hotspot for Kayakers and Cliff divers for decades. If you like watching Salmon run, this is a great place to do it. This is easy car access to a raw outdoor camping experience. You will be camping next to the crystal clear Washougal River and have access to Naked Falls and Reeder Falls. Come prepared as the nearest potable water source is at least a mile away and you won't see any lights or electrical outlets on the property. There are portables toilet now between sites 4 and 5 on the east side of the road and between sites 15 and 16 on the west side. Portable toilets taken out in Mid October and put back in in Mid March. Firewood is not delivered to each site if you order it. There are many good reasons for this, not the least of which is that it can rain and then all the wood gets wet. We keep the firewood in a small woodshed and give you instructions on where to find it and what the code is before you check in. Also, please remember that I don't live there and there is limited service on the property. If you have questions, please contact me in advance as I may be unreachable when you arrive at the property. The Campsites mostly go in the order they appear as you drive through the campground. With some exceptions. Sites 8 and 11 (in that order) are up the hill from the fork at site 2. Sites 12 through 19 are in order on the West side of the river. There are signs with the site numbers next to each site. The sites each have their own parking spaces. Please see the brief descriptions below so you have a good idea of what kind of experience you can expect at each site. If you are not familiar with the area, or even if you haven't camped there before, I recommend contacting me for directions or information about the area before you go up. Also, if you have an RV, you will want to contact me to discuss which site you really want to book depending on the size of your RV, awnings, slide outs, etc. Each booked site is allowed 2 cars or 1 RV. If you have more than 2 cars or 1 RV, there is a fee of 10.00 per additional vehicle. Camping was banned all along the upper Washougal River in 2006 due to abuse from the public. An attitude that no one could be trusted up there formed and I lost my favorite place to camp in the whole world...but I understood why they did it. In 2017 I bought the property and worked with Skamania County to restore camping and the public trust in good people who love nature. There are now 20 campsites, mostly along the river, and I'm so pleased that the vast majority of Hipcampers are reliable co-stewards of this amazing recreational resource. It is up to us to keep Naked Falls available by keeping in mind that it is a crucial fish and wildlife habitat and we are but visitors there. Be sure to stick to trails and pack in/pack out. Nothing from town should be left there and nothing there should be brought back to town. *** Site 1: Saltness Creek This is the only site with direct trail access to the river on the camping side. It's also right on a creek and encompasses a corner of the confluence of the creek and the Washougal River. It's a nice open space right off the gravel road which allows you to park right by where you will set up tents and have your campfire. It also means other campers will drive right by your site and they will need to pass by it to take the trail to the river. This site is very convenient but not very private. Site 2: Naked Falls There is a short narrow trail that leads to the campsite on the Naked Falls cliff. It's awesome! This is the original campsite at Naked Falls and has likely been there for 100 years or more. It overlooks the waterfall and island downstream. It's really the coolest campsite but it's not for everybody. The area for pitching tents is smaller than at the other sites. Only 2 medium sized tents will fit comfortably. You may be able to cram 3 tents in but should be aware that it's only really meant for 2. Groups larger than 6 may want to consider another site. Also, it is right on the cliff where people like to jump so, while you have the best view of all the fun stuff happening at the falls, you also have cliff divers coming up to say hi during the day. Site 3: Desk Job This site is just past the falls. It has a wide short trail to the camping area and a beautiful view of the river that passes right by the site about 30 ft below it. It is nice, quiet and secluded. Site 4: Middle Management This site is nice for pulling vehicles in and around. It loops around some trees in the center. The trees to the east and North are all alders so it has limited shade in the morning when there aren't leaves on the trees (winter and early spring) The trail down is wide and short. There is a small opening with a nice view of the river and it's quiet. A great place to listen to the flow of the river and the beat of your heart. Site 5: Conference Room The Conference Room is tucked into the woods a little more than the other sites. It's right over the river just like all the rest of the sites but the trees like living on that cliff...like a whole bunch. You can walk to the edge and see the river but it's not the most open view of the river. I love this site. It has two old growth stumps from the first harvest ever at Naked Falls. They tell stories of the Yacolt burn and a lot of hard winters. A short narrow trail get's you from your car to to the camping area in about 20 steps. Site 6: Printer Jam This site is quite large and has the most extensive view of the river. Great for bigger groups or bigger tents. This is a chill spot where you can roast marshmallows while watching the flow of the Washougal River 35 ft below. Site 7: Budget Meeting This site is not meant for vehicle traffic! Please do not drive your vehicle onto the site as that has caused damage to the site itself and it needs to recover. The last site on the road has the longest walk...about 50 yards. It is also a large space and is the most secluded. It's the longest distance from river access but also the most private. The walk down passes an old growth tree that must have fallen decades ago. It has a huge base and the root structure is about 12 ft tall. There are a variety of trees that hug this campsite. If you don't mind the walk, you are sure to dig the vibe at our version of a Budget Meeting. Site 8: The Slash Pile Please read this full description before booking. I'm giving this site a go because I think it's a rather unique experience for the right people. This site sits up above all the river sites. It is not on a river but has a river view and view of all the other campsites. It is surrounded by a slash pile which is the wood debris left over from logging. You can drive right to it but only if you have 4wd/AWD. The road is also surrounded by alder trees that might slap the side of your car as you go up so if you are concerned about that, this is not the spot for you. There is not much shade up there either. You may want to bring a shade tent. The site is fairly large and has plenty of room for tents but I don't recommend any trailers or RVs here due to the steep rocky road. Your walk to the river will be about as long as the walk from site 7. It will be an easy walk down and a bit of a trek up. If no one books this site, I will totally understand but It's a cool spot if you are cool with the challenges it presents. Site 9: Hard Scramble Creek This site is embedded in the woods and has the most tree cover. It is even further from the river access than site 8...about a half mile walk. There is plenty of room but only one way in and out so turning around should be thought out before you set up your tents. Also, I've seen people pull off trailering large rigs up there but I'm pretty sure it was painstaking. If you have a large RV or Trailer, I would skip this site. Smaller trailers and RVs should be fine if you have some experience and patience. This site is quiet and the sound of the creek is soothing during the day and night. Site 10: Rock Beach Woods This site is in the woods along the river near an inviting rock beach that flows into a crystal clear swimming hole. This site is not behind a gate and day use visitors are allowed to use the trail and access the rock beach. The rock beach gets less traffic than we have right by Naked Falls but it is part of the day use area. This is a park and walk site. Parking is along the main road and you hike in about 50 yards to the campsite. This is one of the coolest campsites we have. Literally cooler as it is along the river edge and not along a cliffside like most of the other sites. Also cooler because it is under deep tree cover with soft mossy terrain. If you like the sounds of the river, shady woods and very close access to swimming, you will love this site! Site 11: This One Goes to Eleven! Situated on the top of the hill, this site has the most impressive views of all the sites! About a 270 degree view of the surrounding mountain region give you a great vantage point that often includes eagles flying below you, elk across the valley and a variety of other wildlife. This site is the farthest from the river, civilization and all the other campsites. If you are looking for something remote and have a 4wd/AWD vehicle, this might be the best site for you. Sites 12-19: All of these sites are right near the West side of the river. They were designed to accommodate RVs and Trailers. They are made for one trailer or RV per site or 2 camper vans. Tents are fine here too. There is easy in and out access to each site. It is nearer to the W2000 road and the sites are a bit closer together. There is still a significant amount of treed space between each site, just not as much as the original campsites. They each have a fire pit and cleared space for tents along with the graveled area for parking your RV. The sites are fairly level but not perfect and some leveling may be required depending on the size of your RV. This area has it's own trail down to the river or you can use the day use trail just a short walk North past the wooden Naked Falls sign. There are 3 total vehicles allowed at each of these sites (no exceptions) that includes the rv or trailer. So, truck and trailer count as one and you can have one addition car...or you can have 3 cars if you are car or tent camping. There is a charge of 10.00 extra for the third vehicle. No parking is allowed along the W2000 road unless you have a Naked Falls parking pass for day use. Site 0. This is the old site 12 that I had closed down. It is just up the hill from the fork at site 2. So at the fork near site 2, you will take a left and go up the hill about a quarter of a mile. It will be on your right hand side before you get to site 8. This is a large site part way up a hill surrounded by trees about 15 ft high. Very little shade, so you will want to bring a shade tent in the Summertime.
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$50
 / night
97%
(777)

WindWoodRivers

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents80 acres · Home Valley, WA
One of the oldest original homesteads in the area, for nearly 150 years this gem has been in the family. We have shared it with many people over the years and would love to share it with you! These beloved woods are the remaining part of the once vast, St. Martin homestead-started in the late 1800s. Our family ties and our roots grow very deeply in these woods-we've been born and raised here and continue to strive to be good stewards of these lands. Pristine woods, trails, river access, and more! Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, 60 minutes east of Portland, 25 minutes west of Hood River. A truly tranquil place to enjoy exclusively, or to use as a basecamp for the unlimited adventures possible in this scenic area. Welcome and enjoy!
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$75
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91%
(82)

Cowlitz River Sandy Edge Campground

9 sites · RVs, Tents30 acres · Castle Rock, WA
The Cowlitz River Sandy Edge Campground is 30 acres of serenity and peace. A bird watchers dream place to be! lots of singing birds throughout the campground and the anglers delight with known fishing holes right off the banks. Enjoy the private campsite with ample space for family fun and cool quiet nights on the sandy edge of the Cowlitz River. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and a large trash can. All campsite will have their own pathway to the river with seasoned blackberries to pick! I ask to help keep our environment as natural as possible pick up after yourselves and your furry friends. Also do not leave personal items on the beach overnight we need to leave a natural environment and we are not responsible for missing or lost belongings. As we all know about bodies of water and to be as safe as possible around or near them and I advise life jackets especially for the little guys. The campground has no life guards so swim at your own risk waiving all liability from Cowlitz River Sandy Edge campground. Each site are allowed 7 campers and 2 vehicles.... $5 charge per day guests and $5 per guest vehicle. Apply that cost to campsite booking please. Thank you Dry camping with self contained travel trailer only at River Run and River View Tent sites will have access to a porta potty with permanent bathroom in near future. Fishing, (w/your own lic.) kayaking, hiking and exploring. Leave what you find. Preserve as much as possible. Close to I-5 and is located adjacent to the quaint town of Castle Rock with everything less than a half mile away! Such as; coffee shops, donut bakery shop, Mexican restaurant, other great places to eat, Cascade grocery store, souvenir shops, farmers market on the weekends, motocross flat track racing usually on memorial weekend, and several different attractions at the Castle rock fair grounds. Mount Saint Helens only 30 minutes away! Sky diving, zip lining and big cheese festival in the town of Toledo next city northeast of Castle Rock. DIRECTIONS: If you're coming from South take I-5 North exit 49 make a left onto Huntington go over frwy bridge first right is Cowlitz View drive. If coming from the North take I-5 South exit 49 make a right onto Huntington then first right is Cowlitz View drive stay left and I'll meet you at the gate to escort you to your site.
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$55
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99%
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Two Frog Bog

6 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents20 acres · Roy, WA
Welcome to Two Frog Bog, a 20-acre forested haven featuring 5 acres of wetland. Our accommodations include a 24-foot yurt with a private, semi-attached bathhouse, two 10 x 20-foot tent cabins with outdoor kitchens and private outhouses with composting toilets. You’ll enjoy the outdoor shower that is available for all guests. The communal fire pit is a great place to roast s’mores and maybe meet new friends. But wait, there’s more: a two-tent campground where we provide the tents, a shared, covered and fully equipped outdoor kitchen, a shared composting outhouse (cleaned at least once a day). Campground has access to shower and fire pit as well. Explore our forest trails leading to the serene wetland, and don't miss our unique 26-foot-wide, 10-foot-tall Woodhenge – a magical spot to relax in a hammock, read a book, or stargaze. Two Frog Bog invites you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the variety of accommodations and shared spaces we offer.
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$35
 / night
90%
(42)

Rainier Hideaway

7 sites · RVs, Tents1 acre · Ashford, WA
This location is only a mile away from the Mount Rainier National Park entrance. There is usually traffic going towards the National Park on weekends during peak season (July-August), so we encourage everyone to leave the site by 9 am during those days if you are planning on heading into the park. There is a full service restaurant (WildBerry Restaurant) that offers both traditional American and select few Nepalese dishes right next to the camping site. There are also more restaurants, gas station, and a grocery store about 5 miles from the location. You may see some elk and deers on the property if you get lucky.
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$45
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96%
(178)

River Front with Trees

7 sites · RVs, Tents10 acres · Toutle, WA
Our property was part of a logging camp way back when before the mountain erupted on May 18th 1980. After the eruption the land raised 5 feet or so higher then it was previously. We found the property and loved the closeness of the river and purchased the land from Weyerhaeuser 8 years ago and had have been enjoying it ever since.
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$37
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99%
(1032)

Nature Camp, Cabin and Farm

10 sites · Lodging, Tents10 acres · Yacolt, WA
Do you feel more at peace in nature? Nature Camp is a magical experience that immerses you in nature and all its wonder. It is a beautiful forest garden with lots of wildlife and lush edible plants. If you've been feeling like you need to get away, leave your electronics and your chaotic, busy lives behind, Mother Nature is calling you. Nature Camp has been a dream made reality where we protect and adore our old growth forest. Our property is nestled among hundreds of acres of forest and creeks, some of it also old growth. Only an hour North of Portland, come find yourself here at Nature Camp. Meditate, connect to the Earth, and find peace in our many offered secluded spots. Nature Camp specializes in small groups, couples, and families that are seeking a wholesome family friendly genuine Pacific NW experience. Our mission is to create Heaven on Earth for those who truly appreciate nature and want to create real solutions to protect our forests and planet.
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$65
 / night
99%
(286)

HolisticLifeFarm Clatskanie OR

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents17 acres · Clatskanie, OR
Welcome to Holistic Life Farm! We are a working homestead and delight in sharing our daily experience and offer visits with our sheep, cows and chickens. Holistic Life Farm offers a 1 dry tent site for up to 12 people, a quaint hideaway cabin, and a glamped out 16x20 canvas tent with a wood stove. We also offer 1 RV site in our parking area. Stop on your way to Astoria and the coast and make this your destination. Find us about 30 minutes off I-5 freeway across the Longview bridge or 45 minutes east of Astoria. Our farm sits about 5 miles off Highway 30 to the north. We can direct you to hiking and mountain biking trails in the area (Beaver Falls trailhead is 5 miles from our farm). There is a motor boat launch in the town of Clatskanie, with access to Columbia River. There is also a launch in the city park for kayaking. The Zen Monastery is just 5 miles away. Long Beach, WA is across the Columbia River via the Astoria Bridge. Lounging about the homestead works too.
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$35
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96%
(364)

Wilderness Path

5 sites · RVs, Tents1 acre · Ashford, WA
Our rental property was once a mini Rail Road with full size locomotive's, train cars, pumper cars and more. My dad & grandpa layed all the tracks & put together the buildings in the 1970's. Once done my grandma sold tickets to the tourist and my grandpa ran the engine around the 7 acre oval track pulling a train car full of happy tourist through the woods over the train bridge and past the big water tower back to their vehicles so they could finish their journies with a drive to Mt. Rainier. There is a lot of history on this property for our family and we hope by sharing it with others they will be able to experience some fun here as well.
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$42
 / night

The best camping near Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument guide

Overview

About

The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens blasted off the conical summit of this Cascade volcano, leaving behind a two-mile-wide crater and a transformed landscape. At Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, visitors can peer into Mount St. Helens’ still active crater from the Johnston Ridge Observatory; hike across the eruption-scarred surrounds; spelunk through a lava tube at the Ape Caves; or attempt a permitted summit of Mount St. Helens’ rim via Monitor Ridge. Although the monument has no campgrounds, it is part of the larger Gifford Pinchot National Forest, which features a variety of camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and boating opportunities. Excellent camping can be found at Gifford Pinchot’s Iron Creek Campground and Kalama Horse Camp, as well as at nearby Seaquest State Park. For more camping options close to Mount St. Helens, including RV parks with full hookups and cabins, check out the nearby towns of St. Helens, Cougar, and Morton.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  • Campsites in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are a mix of reservable and first-come, first-served options.
  • Reservable sites can be booked online or by calling (877) 444-6777.
  • Some Gifford Pinchot campgrounds are seasonal, operating from mid-May to mid-October. For specific info on the current season, call the park ranger’s office at (360) 449-7800.

When to go

Most visitors come to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument between mid-May and October. This is when the seasonal John Ridge Observatory and most nearby campsites are open. Spring visitors may enjoy wildflower blooms, while even summer campers can expect low temperatures in the 50s. Rain gear is advised year-round, though winter visitors should prepare for the possibility of driving and hiking on snow and ice.

Know before you go

  • The Johnston Ridge Observatory features a museum covering the volcano’s geology, viewpoints, and trailheads into the blast zone. 
  • The Ape Cave on the south side of Mount St. Helens offers 2.5 miles of subterranean hiking, scrambling, and climbing through a lava tube. Reservations are required—and be sure to bring a flashlight or headlamp.
  • Experienced climbers can attempt to reach the 8,365-foot summit of Mount St. Helens’ crater rim via the Monitor Ridge Route. Permits are required to go above 4,800 feet, and depending on conditions, snowshoes and crampons may be necessary.

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