2021 Keystone Hideout
2021 Keystone Hideout
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In the hills of southern Washington along the Interstate 5 corridor, the charming town of Castle Rock welcomes both visitors and those just passing through. The town is located firmly in the heart of timber country, surrounded on all sides by lush, temperate rainforests. Castle Rock is named after the massive natural landmark that shares its name with the town. This massive rock structure overlooking the Cowlitz River looks like a castle tower and has been called Castle Rock for hundreds of years.
Castle Rock mostly depends off of timber harvesting and small-scale farming, with a tiny town center serving as the hub. Aside from the town center, the rest stops off of Interstate 5 have lots of shops and restaurants for travelers to take a break from the road and get a bite to eat. Most people just pass through to fill up gas or buy some food, but they all miss out on the small-town charm of Castle Rock.
When you book an RV in Castle Rock, you'll be located about halfway between Seattle and Portland, so whatever direction you set off in, you will head towards one of the Pacific Northwest’s best-known cities. That coupled with excellent parks, breathtaking forests, and stunning coastal areas to the west make Castle Rock an ideal place to rent an RV and create the trip of a lifetime.
When tasked with plotting out the outdoors destinations you want to visit when you rent an RV in Castle Rock, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. Washington is known as the Evergreen State after all. Seaquest State Park is the closest option to Castle Rock, just a short drive east. The park has dense forests that you can hike through, as well as a mile of shoreline along Silver Lake. There is a boat launch for people to put their boats in the water and go fishing, and a boardwalk overlooking the water too. Although it is 30 miles west of Mount Saint Helens, Seaquest State Park has a great visitor’s center that talks about the volcano’s explosive history. If that weren’t enough, you can park your Castle Rock camper rental overnight for a restful night’s sleep at the wooded campground. Ike Kinswa State Park is farther to the northeast but quite easy to find with your Castle Rock motorhome rental. This incredible state park sits on the northern shores of Mayfield Lake, a massive man-made lake. You can go boating, fishing, swimming, or water skiing in the lake and the Tilton River, or simply stick to hiking and biking on land.
The Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument is a unique feature of Washington, not quite a national park but definitely deserving of such a designation. What was once a towering stratovolcano in the heart of Washington now lies in a state of desolation after the infamous explosion of 1980 that rocked the state to its core. The large and tragic eruption forever reshaped the volcano, replacing its prominent peak with a massive crater. This gorgeous slumbering giant is amazing to see in person, where you can truly witness the power of nature at its best. North of Mount Saint Helens is the other heavy hitter in central Washington, Mount Rainier. Mount Rainier is located in Mount Rainier National Park and is the largest stratovolcano in the entire state. This 14,500-foot peak is not easily summited, yet thousands of people attempt to climb it each year with about half succeeding. If mountain climbing isn’t your thing, you can hike the extensive trails that weave through the mountains, forests, and subalpine meadows, seeing some incredible scenery along the way. The park has plenty of campgrounds so you can stay at the park for a few nights in your Castle Rock RV rental in an effort to get a feel for the area.
One of the best parts about getting a Castle Rock RV trailer rental is the amount of campground and RV park options you have to pick from. Silver Cove RV Resort has camping spots on the river, with fishing, boating, and swimming to keep you cool and occupied. Toutle River RV Resort has volleyball, croquet, disc-golf, a clubhouse, a pool, a sauna, and many other amenities. There is a general store to pick up camping supplies or last-minute s’mores ingredients to cook over the campfire.
Longview North/Mount Saint Helens KOA is part of a national chain of campgrounds. It is only two miles away from the interstate and quite easy to find.
There are also dozens more places to look into. Seaquest State Park has a lakefront campground that might just be one of the best bets. Many of the other state parks and national forests are loaded with camping spaces so do your research and find the best fit for you and your Castle Rock RV rental now.
The town of Castle Rock is quite small and might disappoint if you head in with lofty expectations. This is by no means the place to go if you crave big city lights and a vibrant nightlife. Seattle and Portland are much better suited for this type of vacation. Castle Rock has some cool things to check out in the area, but most of these things rely on the great outdoors. The Mount Saint Helens Visitor Center mentioned before at Seaquest State Park is a fantastic resource for those fascinated by natural and geological history. You can get in-depth analysis and history of the volcano’s epic eruption back in 1980, with a movie and several different exhibits.
The Spirit Lake Memorial Highway has a large bridge that climbs high above the coniferous canopy of the forest below. The views from this road are stunning and on clear days you can even see Mount Saint Helens from a distance. The road leads to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, which lets you see the volcanic crater up close and personal.
The Castle Rock Exhibit Hall & Visitor Center is the main feature in town, with a bit of history about all things Castle Rock. There are amazing crafts and artwork on display and a wealth of information about the town’s history.