Cities and Towns of Southwest Washington
Salkum, Washington is a small town on Highway 12, the southern gateway to Mount Rainier National Park. An easy drive from U.S. Highway 5, the town is situated approximately 12 miles southeast of Chehalis.
Salkum's main attraction is its spectacular natural surroundings. It lies amidst the last remaining old growth forest in the state, just north of Mount St. Helen's National Volcanic Monument. The Cowlitz River feeds into nearby lakes, providing ideal settings for lazy river or lakeside picnics and scenic bike rides.
This is river-rafting country. The Cowlitz River is known for its varying class ratings, which range from a gentle class I-II close to Salkum to a class V-VI closer to its source at Mount Rainier. River rafting guides can provide up-to-date river readings and advise you of the best time and section of river to schedule your rafting trip.
Kayaking is also a popular sport on the Cowlitz; however experienced kayakers should study the river carefully before launching, as there are a number of narrow sections with swift and steep rapids.
State parks include the Lewis and Clark State Park and Ike Kinswa State Park, both on Highway 12. Lewis and Clark, located west of Salkum, has interpretive markers and historical buildings, and is attractively canopied with Douglas fir and red cedar. Ike Kinswa, east of the town, has boating, fishing and swimming facilities on the shores of Mayfield Lake. Both parks are equipped with camping facilities.
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