What comes to mind when you imagine camping in Washington? Do your thoughts veer to verdant forests thick with moss and ferns? Are you picturing quiet, glassy lakes perfect for a day of fishing or a quiet stroll and a bit of stone skipping? Want a place to take your canoe for a pleasant paddle? Crave wide open vistas with majestic mountains rising in the distance? If you said yes to any of these we’ve got your top camping spot — Ike Kinswa State Park!
Ike Kinswa is an icon of the idyllic Northwestern forest camping park. Nestled among the evergreens and alders on a spit of land where the Cowlitz and Tilton rivers spill into placid Mayfield Lake, the park is an ideal destination for your family vacation. The campground, which includes nine cozy cabins, is thickly forested, lending a feeling of peace and privacy to every site. Come explore all this popular lakeside gem has to offer!
Fishing and boating
Ike Kinswa is a big draw for water sports enthusiasts of every ilk. More than 8 miles of shoreline border the park. There’s plenty of room for boating, swimming and fishing. Don't forget the camera! Wide, glassy and rimmed with evergreens, Mayfield Lake reflects the sky and surrounding landscape with mirror-like precision.
Mount St. Helens looms in the distance creating postcard-perfect vistas — or just a great view to enjoy while paddling your canoe or kayak up the Tilton. Enjoy stand-up paddleboarding? Mayfield Lake’s placid and pristine waters were practically custom-made for this up-and-coming, all-ages sport!
Stocked annually with hatchery trout and home to the elusive tiger muskie, Mayfield also is a big draw for fisherfolk. Cast your line and find your own favorite fishing hole on the banks of the Cowlitz. Boater? Bob on the peaceful lake waters while you hook something for dinner back at camp.
There are two boat launches and a dock, so putting in and stocking up for a long afternoon of angling is simple no matter what the size of your craft! Don’t forget your fishing license. Remember, Ike Kinswa is a popular destination for the water and jet skiing crowds. Be prepared to share the lake!
Prefer to just spectate? The grassy lawn, picnic tables and swimming beach are a great place to enjoy laying out and lunching. You can relax and drink in the view while the kids splash or work off steam on the playground equipment.
Binoculars and camera equipment are a must for the wildlife enthusiast visiting Ike Kinswa. Wake early to the music of the birds. Wander by the lakeshore and watch killdeer feign broken wings to protect their nests. You might surprise a deer and fawns munching on the dense undergrowth or catch eagles taunting ducks among the lily pads. Kids will enjoy exploring the beach and watching small fish swim past their feet in the shallows. Since the park is close by the “blast zone” from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, it is a great place to witness the miracle of forest regeneration. Take a day trip over to nearby Mount St. Helens Visitor’s Center and learn about the blast, the destruction and the progress the forest has made in 35 years.
Aside from the lake, camping is Ike Kinswa’s biggest draw. The 101 campsites, which include both RV and tent sites, are ample. Tall trees and dense undergrowth separate the campsites, giving each a cozy and semi-secluded feel even when the park is busy. And this park does get busy! It's a popular place to camp even in the off seasons, say park staff. Try a mid-week visit or just plan well in advance. Reservations are accepted up to nine months ahead of your stay.
For a simple and fun way to stay the night at Ike Kinswa, why not try renting one of the park’s nine cabins? Within walking distance of the lake, each cabin features a 6-foot covered front porch, picnic table, electric heat, lights and locking doors. Furnished with bunk beds that sleep three and a full-size bed, these cabins make a great base for your family fishing or canoeing trip. Outside is a fire grill, utility hookup, and a deck. Set up your chair, enjoy a barbecue (after the current burn ban is lifted) and hang out with your loved ones after a long day on the lake. Then enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep indoors. Reserve these cabins well in advance — they’re popular!!
Park Hours: Summer: 6:30 a.m. to dusk Winter: 8 a.m. to dusk
Stay the night: The park has 31 standard sites, 41 full hookup sites, 31 with water and electric, five cabins with an adjacent vault toilet (four without), an RV dump station, three restrooms, and 10 showers. Maximum site length is 60-feet (limited availability). Campsites 42 – 73 and cabins 1 – 9 are available for reservation year-round. Campsites 1 – 41 and 74 – 101 are closed from October 1 – May 1. The RV dump closes in the winter season.
Discover Pass: The Discover Pass must be displayed on your vehicle when visiting the park for day use. Parking is included in fees for campers.
Location: 873 Highway 122, Silver Creek, WA 98585
Maps: Want a handy map? Download one from the State Parks website.