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Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument is located near Castle Rock, WA, in the southwest region of the state. This area is very rural and is situated only around 60 miles north of the border the state shares with Oregon. The nearest larger town is Longview, which is around 60 miles to the west while the nearest large city is Portland, OR, which is around 70 miles to the southwest.
Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument is nestled within the drier, scrub-covered mountains that are common to this region. Outdoor activities are very popular here, from hiking, biking, and camping in the summer to winter sports, such as cross-country skiing, when the snow flies. There are also several lakes located nearby where water-based activities can be enjoyed.
Renting an RV at Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument gives you the chance to engage in a wide variety of recreational activities. There are numerous hiking and biking trails offered around the local area. These can vary greatly in their difficulty levels as some make their way to the summits of nearby mountains while others stick to the valleys and lower-lying areas. All offer great opportunities to view the local terrain and give you the chance to spot the wildlife that calls this area home. These trails can be used during the winter, as well, to engage in activities such as snowshoeing.
There are several bodies of water located near Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, and these include Coldwater and Spirit Lakes. There are opportunities for fishing and swimming at these locales when the weather is warm enough. Boating is also popular, though some of the lakes only allow non-motorized watercraft. Paddling a canoe or kayak is a perfect way to appreciate the beauty found along the lake's shores. Some of these locations can only be reached via a hiking trail.
There are a variety of tours offered around the local region. Treehouse Island Zipline Adventures allows you to zip through the treetops and offers a bird's-eye view of the forest canopy. Other adventures include guided hikes and kayak tours on the local waterways.
You won't have any difficulty finding places to camp with an RV near Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument. There are numerous National Forest Service campgrounds throughout the nearby forestland, and there are also RV parks available closer to town.
There are a number of campgrounds located around the monument that can accommodate RVs. Campers should be aware that many of these are maintained by the National Forest Service, so they are likely to be quite rustic. Often these types of campsites may only offer potable water and vault toilets. They are usually closed during the winter, as well.
Should you prefer a campground that offers more amenities, check out the Toutle River RV Resort in Castle Rock. This park offers pool access when the weather is warm. It also provides a camp store on-site. Bathrooms and showers are available here, and pets are welcome, as well. As there is a wide variety of fun things to do nearby, many people enjoy RV camping at Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, so there should be plenty of services available if you need them.
When you book an RV in Cowlitz County, you will find a number of interesting places to visit are found near Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument. The Johnston Ridge Observatory is a visitor's center at the monument. It tells the story of this volcano that most recently erupted in 1980. This is known as one of the worst volcanic disasters to have occurred in the US to date. Educational ranger talks and films are available here. As its name would imply, the observatory also offers scenic views of both the volcano as well as the surrounding countryside. Visitors should be aware this location is only open during the busy summer months. National Monument RV camping makes it easy to experience all the options these parks make available.
Should you enjoy scenic drives, you'll like the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. It runs from I-5 in the west all the way to the monument. The original road was destroyed when the volcano erupted, but it has been rebuilt. The road winds its way throughout this mountainous area. It is known for its scenic lookouts that make for perfect photography spots or places to enjoy a picnic lunch. It also features some picturesque bridges as it crosses mountain gorges.
This area is known for its flowers, and there are several places you can visit that feature various blooms when they are in-season. One of these is Castle Rock Blooms, in that town. Another is Castle Rock Lavender. You can purchase products made from the flower at this farm. During the warm months, you can see the bees that also enjoy the blooms. At the Gardens at Stillmeadows, there are walking paths that snake through flower and water exhibits. This locale is open throughout the year, and there is even a hot tub and sauna for visitors to enjoy.
When you've been looking for a scenic place to visit that also played an important role in the nation's history, consider camping near the Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument. Go for a hike through the local forest, learn about one of the most destructive volcanoes in the country, or see the local area on a scenic road. Camp in an RV near Castle Rock and enjoy your time in southwestern Washington.