Welcome to the Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center - Kelso/Longview
Kelso Washington is tucked away in the southwest corner of Washington state. Kelso's charming and friendly small town atmosphere has long been a timber, fishing and recreation center. The fiery eruption of Mount St. Helens in May 1980 shook area residents to their core and dealt a heavy blow to many area property and business owners. The eruption also, however, dealt a new hand to the communities surrounding the mountain as tourists flocked to the area to gape at the incredible aftermath. The volcano spawned a new industry for the area and continues to draw international attention as the mountain and surrounding forest heal and evolve.
Situated at the confluence of the Columbia, Cowlitz and Coweeman Rivers in the midst of forests and mountains, Kelso offers plenty of recreational opportunities. The many lakes and rivers around Kelso offer abundant fishing, from salmon and sturgeon on the Columbia River to steelhead, rainbow trout, and cutthroat on local lakes. The Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers also feature smelt most years, and during the annual late-winter "smelt run" dozens of people line the riverbanks with nets and buckets to scoop up these silvery fish.
You don't even need to leave town to enjoy yourself. Kelso, dating from the mid-1800s, is steeped in history and remains a vital waterfront town with many interesting sights. Longview was built as a planned community in the 1920s and offers many attractions in its scenic, walkable downtown. Walk or bicycle along the banks of scenic Lake Sacajawea, take a walking tour of historic buildings or enjoy a show at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.