The idyllic little town of Chehalis, Washington is located along Interstate 5 just south of Olympia and a two-hour drive north of Portland, Oregon. In 1873, Chehalis was merely a train depot and warehouse adjacent to railroad tracks. When the Northern Pacific Railroad decided to omit the county seat from its plans and pass through Chehalis instead, the town became the new county seat and governmental buildings were erected. For years, the town was called Saundersville after the man that donated land for its official founding but was later changed to Chehalis in honor of the Chehalis Native American tribe that calls the region home.
Chehalis has thrived throughout most of its short history by means of coal mining, lumber harvesting, and forms of agriculture. Without forgetting its humble roots and blue-collar beginnings, Chehalis and its sister city, Centralia, combine to form a delightful, lively community with lovely weather and a great deal of natural beauty. When you rent an RV in Chehalis, it puts you in prime positioning to visit some of the state’s large metropolitan areas or some of its best kept outdoors secrets.
Experience the Sites and Scenery
It is no secret that the Evergreen State holds many natural wonders within the confines of its borders. This undeniably beautiful state is dotted with lush coniferous forests, towering mountains, and rugged coastlines, making it one of the best places to rent an RV in the country. Capitol State Forest is a short drive north of town towards the state capital, Olympia. The park is primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and off-roading on ATVs or motorcycles. You can observe the Mima Mounds at Capitol State Forest, an interesting geological formation that only exists in a few places.
Gifford Pinchot National Forest is one of the most well-known forests in the country. You can visit this massive stretch of wilderness to the east of town in your Chehalis camper rental and enjoy up close and personal views of the Cascade Mountains. This forest truly has it all, with old growth groves of evergreen trees, ancient stratovolcanoes, large lakes, hidden waterfalls, and a number of glaciers. Speaking of stratovolcanoes, the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument lies within the park’s boundaries and is a testament to the sheer power of mother nature. The infamous volcano blew its top off in 1980, causing one of the largest explosions in recorded history.
There are not one but two unbelievable national parks within driving distance of Chehalis, so you should, at the very least, choose one to visit in your Chehalis camper rental when plotting out your route. Olympic National Park, together with Olympic National Forest, makes up one and a half million acres of land with a variety of different ecosystems. Temperate rainforests around the majestic mountains can be seen from Seattle over the Puget Bay. You can hike the rugged coastlines or climb upwards past glacial lakes and catch divine views of the surrounding peninsula. There are several campgrounds where you can park while exploring in your Chehalis motorhome rental, as it is almost guaranteed that the park will captivate you into staying longer than you originally planned.
Mount Rainier National Park is one of the other famous national parks you can check out when you book an RV in Chehalis, with a wealth of natural beauty. The park is home to Mount Rainier, the tallest stratovolcano in the state of Washington at 14,500 feet high. Millions of guests visit the park each year and around 10,000 people attempt to climb the mountain, with only half of the attempts ending in success. You can camp out at this extraordinary park in your Chehalis RV rental and take a few days to explore some of the largest glaciers in the United States.
Where to Park It
If you will be needing a list of campgrounds to park your Chehalis travel trailer rental at while in town, you are in luck; there are plenty of places to camp nearby. Chehalis RV Park & Camping Resort shares its name with town despite being a brief drive outside of it. This camping resort is surrounded by lush forests and has an in-ground pool, a playground, sports courts, a sauna, a game room, and lots of fun trails to hike.
Paradise RV Campground is a nature resort with a pool, a store, and its very own lake to fish and swim in. Harmony Lakeside RV Park is also located on a lake, with dock space for boats, small beaches along the water, and a myriad of other fun features.
Both Centralia and Chehalis together make up a pretty stellar city center with lots of fun attractions, small-town diners, pubs, and local breweries. Farmers markets are commonly seen in the summer months and the Centralia Outlets is a place to visit for a bargain on brand name items.
The Chehalis Centralia Railroad & Museum brings train enthusiasts on a pleasant ride through the Washington countryside, along historic railway routes. This old locomotive has special events too, like elegant dinners and even some murder mystery events aboard the train.
The Veterans Memorial Museum is an amazing tribute to all the veterans who fought for the country’s freedom, and those that died defending it. A humongous collection of military artifacts, weapons, and vehicles can be seen at this small but interesting museum. The Lewis County Historical Museum lets you step back in time and relive the founding of the county. The indigenous people of Washington, the first settlers on the Oregon Trail, and much more are explained in great detail by expert tour guides.