As Gifford Pinchot National Forest campgrounds around Mount St. Helens open for the season, one location will be taking reservations for most sites this year.
Sunset Falls Campground on the East Fork Lewis River, south of Mount St. Helens, is changing from first come, first served to a reservation system for most of its sites. However, nearby Canyon Creek campground still offers first-come, first-served camping.
“Advance camping reservations help to maximize your leisure time and avoid waiting in line, or the disappointment of being turned away at the campground,” forest recreation planner Michael Downs said in a prepared statement.
There are 18 sites at Sunset Falls Campground, which is expected to open shortly. Two sites – numbers 17 and 18 – will be available without reservations. These campsites will cost $12 per night.
All sites are available when not reserved. Reservation status will be posted at each campsite. If you have questions, contact the camp host.
Reservations can be made online at recreation.gov or by calling toll free 877-444-6777.
Here is the status of other area campgrounds:
Canyon Creek Campground: The campground south of the volcano is open and has nine first-come, first-served campsites. The cost is $5 per night.
Lewis River Horse Camp: The campground in the center of the national forest is open and will continue to be a first-come, first-served campground. The vandalized fee-tube at Lewis River Horse Camp has been replaced and it again will be $5 to camp.
“Collecting fees again will allow us to better maintain and improve the campground, providing a better experience for campers,” said Downs said in the statement.
Lower Falls Campground: The campground east of the volcano will open when hazardous trees are removed and water tests are completed. Lower Falls offers 42 first-come, first-served campsites. The cost is $15 for a family site, $30 for a double site and $35 for the group site.