Mt St Helen & Mt Rainier

Old Jun 1st, 2005, 01:15 PM
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Mt St Helen & Mt Rainier

We are in WA state for a week and want to start with Mt St Helens & MT Rainier for a day or 2. What would be the best place to use a base to see both. I see names such as Kelso, etc that appear to be convenient for the highway but looking for more knowledge regarding where we would best in looking for lodging most easily used to see both sites.
Thanks for you help.
kingmaryland is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Kelso is just a spot in the road with just regular motels- nothing special.
I have stayed at the National Park Inn
close to Mr Ranier which was very nice -
I believe they are open all year-
sunbum1944 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2005, 01:46 PM
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St. Helens is 40 miles north of Portland, and Rainier is about the same distance southeast of Seattle. Kelso might appear convenient as a base, but you might not like the narrow choice of accommodations there. I would stick with Seattle, and take separate daytrips to each. St. Helens would be a long (3 hour) drive, but since you probably won't spend too much time there (Visitor Center(s) & Johnson Ridge Observatory), it can be done in a day.

In my opinion, the best alternative would be to start the trip in Portland and visit St. Helens on the way up to Seattle.
beachbum is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 10:13 PM
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I think that it would be a waste of time to use Seattle for a base to visit St. Helens and Rainier. You should at least do it as an overnight, staying somewhere between the two. No, there are few fine hotels anywhere in the vicinity, but there are plenty of decent clean accommodations. Kelso is certainly a nondescript location, but it will work. Toledo or Castle Rock are closer to the west entrance to St. Helens Natnl Monument.

As noted above, it is not much further to visit Portland from St. Helens, if you are so inclined. One thought would be to visit Portland after the mountains, then traveling up the Columbia Gorge to Route 97; then travel north to either Interstate 90 or State Rte 2 for the drive back over the Cascades to Seattle.
ALF is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 10:26 PM
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Avoid Packwood at all costs! If I were doing it again, I would try to book Paradise Lodge.

I am having the same dilemma myself for this summer. I am going to try Silver Lake Lodge. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Does anyone know anything about this establishment?

I am traveling with my ten year old granddaughter and thought she might like the motel over the lake. I am not looking for fine lodging at this point. We are coming down from Quinault Lodge. I just dont think there will be time for Mt. Rainer and Mt. St. Helen's so I am going for the dramatic with her. I want her to see how brutal Mother Nature can be.
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