Cowlitz County Gateway to Mount St. Helens
Cowlitz County is home to approximately 101,996 residents, roughly 56 percent of whom live in the incorporated cities of Castle Rock, Kelso, Longview, Kalama, and Woodland. The remaining 44 percent live in rural, unincorporated communities such as Ryderwood, Toutle, Yale, Silver Lake, Lexington, Ariel and Cougar.
The county covers 1,144 square miles within the southwestern region of Washington. Once known as the “Timber Capital of the World,” Cowlitz County is home to Douglas fir, hemlock and western cedar trees that cover much of its rugged terrain.
Adjacent transportation corridors – including Interstate 5, the Columbia River and a major rail line – have allowed area businesses to access markets throughout the world. Following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, tourism expanded rapidly and is now a major industry in Cowlitz County.