This article about Mount St. Helens Camping is brought you by Gravel Travel. Their outdoor travel gear makes packing for camping a breeze.


Mount St. Helens camping is a hotbed of history, gorgeous vistas, and incredible geological structures like the Ape Caves. Wherever you stay on this volcano, you will be astounded by the many natural attractions at these seven picturesque camping spots.

Whether you tow a trailer, camp in an RV, or bring your horse with you, these campgrounds will provide every amenity you need, all with the gorgeous profile of Mount St. Helens in view.

The Best Mount St. Helens Camping Sites

map of campgrounds near Mount St. Helens





1. Lower Falls Campground

Photo through the hammock under a rainfly looking out at a tent in the forest at Mt. St. Helens.

Image from The Dyrt camper Liam

Tucked into a copse of pine trees, right on the Lewis River, Lower Falls Campground is a basic campground that can accommodate RVs up to 60’ with no hookups, vault toilets, and potable water.

Part of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Lower Falls offers visitors access to horse trails, ATV trails, hiking trails, and the waters of Lewis River teem with rainbow cutthroat, and bull trout.

Pristinely clean, this campground is primarily first-come, first-serve, except for the summer months when you should make a reservation.

“The falls are stunning – pictures really don’t do it justice.”Blaine B.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $15-35
  • Number of sites: 42
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

2. Beaver Bay Campground

forest and river

Image from The Dyrt camper Steve S.

Located adjacent to Yale Lake, Beaver Bay Campground is a local favorite for camping and day recreation use, mainly because of the clear emerald waters of this pristinely beautiful lake.

Fifteen minutes away are the Ape Caves, the volcanic tunnels left behind by the Mt. St. Helens eruption. If you’d like to learn more about the volcanic eruption, visit the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

On the lake, wakeboarding and waterskiing are widespread; showers, a boat ramp, and a swimming area around the amenities.

“This campground is a hidden gem.”Ashley B.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $25
  • Number of sites: 63
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

3. Swift Forest Camp

Dock over a lake outside of Mt. St. Helen National Forest.

Image from The Dyrt camper Stephanie Z.

Ideally situated on Swift Reservoir, Swift Forest Camp is a great base camp for visiting Mount St. Helens’ Ape Caves and Lava Canyon. You need tight maneuvering in this campsite, so it’s not suited to RVs over 30’.

You have easy access to Gifford Pinchot National Forest, but if you choose to stay at the campground, you can amuse yourself with many water recreational options or just watch the eagles and osprey fish.

“This campground is an amazing dry campground, extremely clean, great clean bathrooms, easy access to the reservoir to swim.”Cherie C.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $22
  • Number of sites: 93
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

4. Iron Creek Campground

empty campsite in washington rainforest

Image from The Dyrt camper Kathleen D.

The Windy Ridge Viewpoint on Mount St. Helens is only 20 miles away from Iron Creek Campground, but there’s plenty to do if you stay close to home. This campground is on the more remote side of Mt. St. Helens, where the Cispus River and Iron Creek meet, so you can escape some of the crowds and enjoy the old-growth forest of Douglas firs, hemlock, and cedar.

There are no sewer hookups, but electrical and water hookups are plentiful, and there is ample space between sites so you can kick back and relax in private.

“It feels like stepping back to prehistoric times. Serene and breathtaking.”Kathleen D.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $22-40
  • Number of sites: 99
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

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5. Kalama Horse Camp Campground

White capped Mt. St. Helens peaking out from above an evergreen forest.

Image from The Dyrt camper Ashley E.

Conveniently close to Mount St. Helens trail, and there are lots of trails for both horses and hikers at Kalama Horse Camp Campground. Even if you don’t travel with a horse, you will still appreciate the beautiful surroundings. Pack in and pack out all your garbage and bring your water with you. There’s water for horses on-site.

“Absolutely lovely campground!”Ashley E.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $15-85
  • Number of sites: 26
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

6. Merrill Lake Campground

lake and blue skies

Image from The Dyrt camper Jess G.

This gorgeous, secluded campground only has nine sites, and most are walk-in; those that you can drive to don’t accommodate large trailers or RVs. Most pads are crushed rock, so you may want to pack an extra tarp when you visit Merrill Lake Campground. Fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets are the only amenities, and some sites have built-in barbeques.

“Short and beautiful nature trail through the Cedars.”Dan M.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $25-35
  • Number of sites: 9
  • RV sites: No
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

7. Cougar RV Park and Campground

trailer being unloaded at campsite in shaded forest

Image from The Dyrt camper Celina M.

The perfect spot to drop your RV and head up the mountain, Cougar RV Park and Campground has hot showers, RV hookups, and there’s a mini-mart only a few minutes away. You can explore all that Mount St. Helens camping has to offer when you stay at this RV Park and Campground.

“Will come back next summer for sure, two mini-marts/gas stations close by too.”Noelle

Campground Details:

  • Price: $22
  • Number of sites: 23
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Camping on Mount St. Helens will astonish you at every turn. Whether you like to hike in and find a spot on your own or prefer the many amenities of a larger campground, you’ll find something to enjoy on The Dyrt’s full list of Mt. St. Helens camping spots.

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