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KelsoUnited States of America

This scenic town in Washington State is famous as a gateway to the Mount St. Helens volcano, but it also delights with its parks, playgrounds and museums.

Kelso is a small town close to Mount St. Helens volcano. As such it is a popular vacation spot for travelers to the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument where they participate in a range of outdoor pursuits. Explore the natural phenomenon and then discover what the town has to offer.

The national monument was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1982. The protected area covers 110,000 acres (44,515 hectares) encompassing mountains, lakes and forested areas.

Hike or cycle through extensive trails that traverse mountains and forests. Stop at various points along the way to photograph the volcano. Some of the best views are from the open-air theater at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. The vantage points look directly into the crater, some 5 miles (8 kilometers) away. During the summer, the theater hosts the Music on the Mountain concert series.

Take the boardwalk nature trail at Coldwater Lake. Go horse riding along the Sheep Canyon Trail and explore long lava caves. During the winter go cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the Sno-Park: Marble Mountain.

Beginners and experienced climbers who want to reach the top of the volcano will need a climbing permit.

When you are back in Kelso, take your time exploring the town’s attractions. Unwind in some of the many parks. The Rhododendron Gardens is noted for its flora while Tam O'Shanter Park is a popular picnic spot with a large children’s playground. If you like golf, play the 18 holes at the Three Rivers Golf Course.

While you are downtown visiting shops and restaurants, set aside a couple of hours to visit the Cowlitz County Historic Museum. View exhibits that explore the history of life in Southwest Washington.

Kelso is easy to reach by road and rail or by flying into Southwest Washington Regional Airport.

September is a good month to visit the town as you can join locals for a weekend of celebrations during the Highlander Festival. The two days of Scottish- and Celtic-themed fun includes games, parades, costumes and caber tossing.

Top Hotels in Kelso

Red Lion Hotel Kelso Longview
Red Lion Hotel Kelso Longview
3 out of 5
510 Kelso Dr, Kelso, WA
The price is $85 per night from Nov 29 to Nov 30

Situated in Kelso, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tam O'Shanter Park and Three Rivers Mall. Cowlitz County Historical Museum and Three Rivers Golf ...

3.5/5Good! (822 reviews)

"Overall good place to stay, conveniently located."…"

Reviewed on Aug 20, 2020

Red Lion Hotel Kelso Longview
Super 8 by Wyndham Kelso Longview Area
Super 8 by Wyndham Kelso Longview Area
2 out of 5
250 Kelso Dr, I-5 Exit 39, Kelso, WA
The price is $62 per night from Dec 21 to Dec 22

Situated in Kelso, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tam O'Shanter Park, Three Rivers Mall, and Cowlitz County Historical Museum. Three Rivers Golf Course ...

3.7/5Good! (961 reviews)

"breakfSt was too light. out of most itemscoffee was was too strong"…"

Reviewed on Oct 3, 2020

Super 8 by Wyndham Kelso Longview Area
GuestHouse Kelso Longview
GuestHouse Kelso Longview
2.5 out of 5
501 Three Rivers Dr, Kelso, WA
The price is $79 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in the heart of Kelso, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Three Rivers Mall, Tam O'Shanter Park, and Cowlitz County Historical Museum. Three Rivers ...

4.2/5Very Good! (989 reviews)

"Stayed one night. Room clean and beds comfortable. Convenient location off highway."…"

Reviewed on Oct 3, 2020

GuestHouse Kelso Longview
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Kelso

Spacious Private new Suite Perched on the Bluff, Overlooking the Columbia River
Spacious Private new Suite Perched on the Bluff, Overlooking the Columbia River
Kelso, WA

Located in the heart of Kelso, this romantic apartment building is 4.5 mi (7.2 km) from Louis Rasmussen Day Park and within 12 mi (20 km) of Tam O'Shanter Park ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (27 reviews)
Home away from 🏡

"What a wonderful, peaceful and beautiful representation of the Pac NW! I will return."…"

Reviewed on Oct 24, 2020

Spacious Private new Suite Perched on the Bluff, Overlooking the Columbia River
New! Charming Kelso Home Close to Cowlitz River!
New! Charming Kelso Home Close to Cowlitz River!
Kelso, WA

Situated on a river, this vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Cowlitz County Historical Museum, Three Rivers Mall, and Tam O'Shanter Park. Lake Sacajawea ...

New! Charming Kelso Home Close to Cowlitz River!
Silver Cove RV Resort
Silver Cove RV Resort
2 out of 5
351 Hall Road, Silver Lake, WA
The price is $95 per night from Nov 29 to Nov 30

Offering direct access to the beach, this Silver Lake campground is 4.3 mi (6.9 km) from Mount St. Helens Forest Learning Center.

4.6/5Exceptional! (120 reviews)

"Cozy little cottage with the best pillows I’ve ever had at a hotel/overnight away from home experience. Charming little property with beautiful views to boot."…"

Reviewed on Oct 29, 2020

Silver Cove RV Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Kelso

Reviews of Kelso

3.7

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
38
5 - Excellent 16.10169491525424%
4 - Good
109
4 - Good 46.186440677966104%
3 - Okay
75
3 - Okay 31.779661016949152%
2 - Disappointing
10
2 - Disappointing 4.237288135593221%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 1.694915254237288%

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Feb 19, 2020

Small town.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 11, 2020

Neat little town off of I-5

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 26, 2020

Surprised by the abundance of great restaurants in the Kelso-Longview area!

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 6, 2020

Nice community!

4/5 - Good

JanWilke

Nov 25, 2019

Stayed just for the night.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Oct 21, 2019

Needs better food options, everything was a little dated and small.

Cities near Kelso