The Cowlitz Valley area is administered by the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District. This area is located in the Northern most portion of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington, and comprises about 575,000 acres of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The Cowlitz Valley area is roughly located among three volcanic peaks: Mt. Rainier to the north, Mt. Adams to the east, and Mt. St. Helens to the west. A line connecting Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens following the Boundary Trail #1 makes up the southern boundary. On clear days this trail affords spectacular views.
This large campground (98 sites) is on a flat along the Cispus River and is located in an old growth stand of Douglas fir, Hemlock, and Cedar. Lush vegetation and ample space between sites makes them quite private. This is a great place to camp while exploring the more remote side of Mount St. Helens. Iron Creek Trail #99 encircles the campground and is perfect for a stroll through the big trees and offers great views of the Cispus River.
This large campground (100 sites) is located right off of US Highway 12 at the junction of the Clear Fork of the Cowlitz and the Ohanapecosh Rivers. It is situated in an old growth stand of Douglas Fir, Hemlock and Cedar. Most sites offer good privacy. The Purcell Falls Trail #162A and the Blue Hole Trail #167 originate from the campground and offer views of the falls and the Blue Hole along the Ohanapecosh. This is a great destination for those traveling through looking for an overnight stay and also makes a great central location for an extended stay while exploring the local area.
This campground is located near the Cispus River and right on the banks of the North Fork of the Cispus River. The campground includes three group sites and the main campground. Two trails are accessible directly from the campground. River Trail # 131 is a relatively flat .6 mile trail that goes behind the group sites. The North Fork Trail #122 is a 1.6 mile trail that starts behind the old Guard Station and climbs quickly to the bluff above the campground. Several vistas provide good views of the Cispus River.
A very popular campground close to the shore of Takhlakh Lake. The Campground includes ten walk-in sites. The views across the lake of Mt. Adams are outstanding. The northern trails of the Mt. Adams Wilderness are nearby. Takhlakh Loop Trail # 134 originates in the campground and encircles the lake. It’s a 1.1 mile flat hike around the lake. You can also connect to the Takh Takh Meadows trail #136 that leads you to an old lava flow. Great views abound from the top of the lava field. Mosquitos can be numerous in the early season.
A popular high elevation campground on the shores of Walupt Lake and surrounded by the Goat Rocks Wilderness. The campground provides outstanding views of the the southern Goat Rocks Wilderness. The campground offers various sizes of camping units as well as 7 walk-in sites The Lake has a primitive boat ramp and day use area great for swimming and hanging out a hot summer day. Mosquitos can be a problem early in the season. There are numerous trails nearby. Walupt Lake Trail # 101 goes along the northern edge of the lake and is an easy hike to the end of the lake. The Nanny Ridge Trail # 98 climbs steeply but offers great views of the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Be sure to fill out a Wilderness Permit before entering the Wilderness.
Mt. Adams is a prominent landmark in the area. Elevations here range between 1200 feet at the Wind River Work Center, 12 miles north of Carson, WA., and 12,276 feet at the summit of Mt. Adams. Precipitation varies from 70.7 inches of rain and 65.1 inches of snow at the Wind River Work Center and 44.1 inches of rain and 95.7 inches of snow at the Mt. Adams Ranger District office in Trout Lake, WA. The area features a great diversity of habitats and features, from old growth to second growth forest, wetland areas, low and high elevation meadows, glaciers, and low and high elevation lakes.
Goose Lake is a popular fishing, boating and swimming lake. It is especially good for children. The lake is stocked with fish several times a season. The day use area has parking, picnic tables, a vault toilet and a boat ramp. Campsites are located in level spots on the hillside with attractive views of the lake. Parking for the sites is on the road side. The sites are walk in and allow tent camping only.
Peterson Prairie Campground is an attractive campground with level, well shaded graveled sites. This site is located near large huckleberry fields making the campground very popular during huckleberry season. It has easy access on a paved road. The popular tourist spots, Natural Bridges and Ice Caves are nearby. There is drinking water and in season a host in the campground.
The Lewis River Valley will delight visitors with spectacular waterfalls surrounded by old-growth forest. Trails, ranging from easiest to most difficult, provide paths of discovery through this appealing landscape. Accessible trails allow close approach to Curly Creek, Miller Creek and Lower Lewis River Falls. Other waterfalls are viewed from the Lewis River Trail, which follows the Lewis River for over 15 miles.
The campground is located in a pleasantly wooded setting on the Lewis River next to Lower Falls. The campsites are tucked in among the trees creating a sense of seclusion. The campground road is paved and shaded by large evergreen trees. A trailhead for the Lewis River Trail #31 is located in the campground. Lewis River Trail is a multi-use trail (hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding) that follows the bank of the river through old growth and past several striking waterfalls. The river is open to catch and release fishing and kayaking. Lower Falls Day Use Area is within the campground.
Lower Falls Campground offers 43 standard sites that accommodate both tents and RVs (60 feet), but no hookups are available. Picnic tables and campfire rings with grills are provided, as are composting toilets and drinking water.
There are falls viewing opportunities at Lower Lewis River Falls, Curly Creek Falls, Big Creek Falls, and Middle Falls, all within 15 minutes of the campground. Lewis River Horse Camp is 5 miles away.