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Cathlamet, WASHINGTON

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Most Recent Cathlamet Camping Reviews
Traditional Camping Option Within Short Drive Of Mount St Helens area

When venturing to Mount St Helens area I wanted to find a campground relatively close by to stay before visiting the next day. I found Lewis and Clark State Park along the way and opted to give it a shot for an overnight. The site looked comfortable and quiet and was well shaded and welcoming. 

Pulling into the campground I noticed several areas to enjoy recreationally alongside camping including public park areas with covered outdoor kitchen zones perfect for those enjoying the area for day use. Additionally there were several areas with play equipment and outdoor activities for singles or the family to enjoy. 

Pulling into the camping loop area sites were well spaced and shaded by large vibrant trees. Soft mosses lined walkways and created a feeling of being deep into the forest without being far removed from actual civilization and it was a nice departure from many of the more commercial looking camps of the area which lacked the forest feel. 

The camp site I chose was equipped with the standard amenities of a picnic table and fire ring and the pull in section was just large enough for my smaller car. Throughout camp I did notice some sites were designed specifically for tent campers while others would cater better to larger units. Something unique about this location was it offered bike in campers sites as well with much smaller pull in areas but just as much space to spread out and set up their tents. 

The bath house was very nice as it was heated and had hot water, though when I was there I did encounter a slight concern with using this bathhouse because there was a current e coli water warning which was displayed throughout camp on all water spigots. This left me more than a little leary about using the water in the bathroom turning what could have been a warm amazing shower into a bit of a concerning experience. 

Because of this concern I noticed they had hand sanitizer placed in the restrooms, which was a great concession considering the issue at hand. 

While this was a campsite I did enjoy, I feel as though with the water concerns I could not fully embrace all the features of camp which did hinder me slightly from fully being able to embrace all of the options. Should I return to this area I would check in advance to see if the water was a concern before staying another night. 

The campground, like many in the area, advocate recycling.  Not only will you find trash cans and dumpsters throughout camp but you will also find recycling barrels scattered throughout camp.    I truly enjoyed this feature of the park as it is making a difference in the bigger picture and you can commonly find items created from recycled items such as benches and tables located throughout various state parks as continued improvements occur.

All in all, for someone just wanting to enjoy a night at a quiet campground this would be a great one to check out in the area. While it lacks some of the amenities of other campgrounds in the area which are more destination style camps it has a lot of charm for those wanting to enjoy fun with family or friends in a more traditional camping style. 

TIPS:

  • Check in advance for water related issues not only at this campground but others in the area. 
  • Make a stop just before the entrance of the park at the Jackson House Historic Site. This site is a major portion of the area’s rich history and with several unique signs which walk you through the significance of the area you will be enriched by this short stop.
  • Make sure you have a Discover Pass!! Any stay in Washington you will want to make sure you have this pass.
A Night on the Creek

We spent only one night here (approx. 45°41'49.5"N 125°44'18.1"W) in a lovely clearing featuring a metal fire ring. Sites are designated, but free for use up to 14 days. Lots of fishing accessible along Cook Creek. Road is dirt/gravel and currently ends about 3.5 miles in due to "flooding damage" which takes the form of several very large boulders blocking the way. Our intention was to go for another 1.5 miles or so, but we were very happy with the site we found. We will definitely return!

Campers beware

Not a very nice place, ok for 1-2 nights other than that, steer clear. 1.5 years experience, reason for leaving, I broke up with my ex, she gave me a 24 hour eviction notice, but actually gave me 6 hours to vacate. Then when leaving she 86'd me, because I broke up with one of her favorites, children. Talk about sketchy, I am thankful that I cannot return, that was the best things anyone could of done, and I yet to see what kind of resort that place is? No free WiFi, unlike advertised, bathrooms are locked most of the time. It was like living in a cult, we were told that if we needed police assistance, we needed to contact the office prior, why, not everything in that park is the managers business, oh and be careful what you say in or out of the trailers, because random people listen I outside of the park. I'm being very honest, when I moved here, I thought, this has gotta be what most people call the trashiest trailer park this side of the Mississippi River. Sorry I seldom had any good experiences in this park.

Favorite winter spot

We returned to this park after 4 years of missing it. It’s even better than before!!! Winter camping here is so tranquil! The multiple free shower houses are so clean. Park host are constantly sweeping and blowing debris to keep this gem gleaming! The surf and driftwood and incredible! Plus the hiking was amazing! Got to experience Clarke’s view of the pacific and was also “rewarded with a handsome view”!!!

Calm tranquil lakeshore

This state park is gem. We winter camped here in February and were pleasantly surprised! The sunset over the mountains was amazing and the dogs loved swimming and fetching sticks. Nice level paved spots, some drive thru even. Clean bathrooms hot showers! Only draw back is that they are token showers. You can get tokens by the adorable lakefront cabins or main entrance. We like it so much we’re staying a second night.

Nice little State Park

Keeping in mind that we went during a rainy season (fall), this wasn’t a terrible place.

On the way to Mt St Helens, it is a nice base camp for exploring the area a bit, though we didn’t do much of that. I would certainly expect that we would the next trip here.

The good: Fairly Quiet. And that’s staying in the full service trailer area, which is more of a parking lot than a camp ground.

The bad: the loops are not clear on the direction of travel in this spot, and we had a fellow drag his trailer across the front bumper of my Jeep soon after I was backed in and settling the details of my placement. I’m not certain if he was traveling the correct way, but he didn’t have enough room to accomplish his mission and he definitely was traveling the opposite direction that I used to correctly back my trailer in.

Now he has a hole in his trailer which didn’t seem bother him as much as the twisted bracket on my bumper bothered me.

My brother and his wife tent camped on our site, and ended up swimming in rainwater overnight (the slope of the land didn’t help, but they have since also purchased an RV after this final tent experience).

This section also had no tree cover and was widely exposed to the elements.

I would definitely try this campground out again, but for now it was slightly disappointing.

Nice Getaway for the day .

Been coming here since I was a child and I have always loved this place !!

Coming back

Beautiful, lots of amazing places to take pictures, good spots for camping.

SPECTACULAR wildlife all around

[ PROS ]

  • We came during offseason (November) and camped at this State Park for 3 nights. Man, it was so amazing. It was super quiet and empty so we felt like we had the entire park to ourselves.

  • A family of deer visited us every single morning/night during our stay. We definitely didn't try to interact with them, but they were comfortable to roam right around our site which was a really magical experience

  • Nehalem Bay is such a beautiful area and the State Park is nestled in lots of beautiful, lush greenery. There are lots of birds, plants, and other wildlife to observe. We loved hearing coyotes yapping in evenings from the campground.

  • It's very peaceful and serene here. It's right by the beach and an easy walk to the coast. We also got to visit Manzanita for a little day trip and had lunch out there. Such a cute little coastal town worth checking out.

  • Free hot showers and really nice restrooms. I'm starting to realize that Oregon State Parks are SOOO much superior to California State Parks. The amenities at all the Oregon campgrounds I've visited are wonderful. We definitely got spoiled by camping in Oregon that it will be hard going back home to California

  • Very close to stores, restaurants, and gas stations if you need to pick up supplies.

[ CONS ]

  • While it was a beautiful campground, the sites are rather small and close together. We obviously didn't experience this campground when it's crowded, but I can imagine how packed it would feel.
Stumbled upon a yurt

We didn’t have a reservation for the campground the afternoon we decided to stop in July. To reserve a yurt typically requires a minimum of two nights. We were fortunate to get a yurt (number 7) for one night in July as a walk in. The ranger was shocked as they are usually sold out months in advance. There is a fire pit and picnic table outside each yurt. The flaps on the windows can be rolled up and down to adjust the airflow. The bathhouse is within walking distance but showed full quickly in the morning. This was a nice park with several things to see and do. Would stay here again if in the area.