- The list below includes 13 free or cheap things to do in or near Castle Rock, Washington, including 39 different types of inexpensive activities like Visitor Centers, Observatories & Planetariums, Scenic Drives and Parks.
- From Johnston Ridge Observatory to Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Castle Rock and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Longview and Amboy.
The debris from the famous 1980 volcano explosion of Mount St. Helens is just below the overlook cliff where the Johnston Ridge Observatory is poised. Several films, ranger talks, maps, a small food cart, and souvenir shop are available on site.
Open seven days a week during the summer, the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Seaquest/Silver Lake is the original center built in 1993. The displays focus mostly on the history of the mountain and area.
Located just inside the blast zones of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, The Forest Learning Center has displays focused on telling the story behind the eruption and return of the forest. There are other resources which cover forestry practices and how trees grow.
Open to the general public on weekends, the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater offers information about the surrounding area, educational programs, and an on-site bookstore. There are also two trails near the main building for walking and exploration.
Round up some friends for a few games at Triangle Bowl. Leagues, open play and birthday parties are offered. Stop in on the weekend for special events like Moonlight Bowl and Monte Carlo. Foods and beverages are available. Open seven days a week.
There is a 3.5 mile traffic free biking and hiking trail around the lake, 3 playgrounds, Japanese gardens and fishing areas. Picnic anyway around the lake, and then rent a kayak or canoe that can be launched from one of several docks. In the summer there are live music events.