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Welcome to Kelso ...

The city of Kelso is located on the Oregon border (on the Columbia River).

Kelso is located in Cowlitz County<1> and is the County Seat for Cowlitz County.

The community of Kelso was established in 1884.

From the  Census Estimates for 2019, Kelso has a population of 12,393 people<2> (see below for details).

Kelso is near sea level<3>.

Time Zone: Kelso lies in the Pacific Time Zone (PST/PDT) and observes daylight saving time

Kelso is within the boundaries of the (360) area code.

The ZIP code for Kelso: 98626<4>

Websites for Kelso ...

Official Website:

Population Details ...

Taken from the 2019 Census Estimates, Kelso had an population of 12,393 people. This is an increase of 3.92% since the 2010 Census (or an increase of 4.19% since the 2000 Census).

At the time of the 2010 Census, Kelso had a population of 11,925 people (which is 11.64% of the total population of Cowlitz County). This makes Kelso the county's 2nd most populous community.

The population of Kelso represents 0.18% of the population of Washington (which has 6,724,540 people), making it the state's 68th most populous community.

With a 2010 count of 11,925 people, the population of Kelso has remained roughly the same as the 2000 Census (which had a count of 11,895 people).

More information can be found on the Census Page for Kelso.

Communities Also Named Kelso ...

Using our Gazetteer, we found that there are 21 communities that are also named Kelso - they are located in Arkansas, California (2), Idaho (2), Indiana (2), Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska (2), North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ontario (2), Oregon, Saskatchewan, Tennessee and Texas.

For more information, see our Tidbits & Trivia Page for Kelso.

Communities near Kelso ...

We have created a list of 10 communities that are near Kelso.

  • Woodland
    (18 miles [29 km] to the southeast)
  • Kalama
    (9 miles [14.5 km] to the south)
  • Castle Rock
    (8 miles [12.9 km] to the north)
  • Columbia City
    (17 miles [27.4 km] to the south)
  • Clatskanie
    (14 miles [22.5 km] to the west)
  • Vader
    (17 miles [27.4 km] to the north)
  • Prescott
    (6 miles [9.7 km] to the south)
    • Note: The GPS coordinates that we are using for Prescott have been provided by the GNIS.<6> The coordinates still need to be verified.
    • Jump to our Gazetteer entry for Prescott
    • Prescott is located in Columbia County (OR)
    • Population from the 2020 Census: 63 people
  • Rainier
    (4 miles [6.4 km] to the southwest)
    • Note: The GPS coordinates that we are using for Rainier have been provided by the GNIS.<6> The coordinates still need to be verified.
    • Jump to our Gazetteer entry for Rainier
    • Rainier is located in Columbia County (OR)
    • Population from the 2020 Census: 2,021 people
    • Jump to TripAdvisor's Tourism page for Rainier <5>
  • West Longview
    (4 miles [6.4 km] to the west)
    • Note: The GPS coordinates that we are using for West Longview have been provided by the GNIS.<6> The coordinates still need to be verified.
    • Jump to our Gazetteer entry for West Longview
    • West Longview is located in Cowlitz County
  • Carrolls
    (5 miles [8 km] to the southeast)

To Help With Your Genealogy Research ...

We have a couple of sections for those tracing their genealogy.

We created a list of cemeteries that are in the area around Kelso. Our list includes the location of those cemeteries and we provide an overhead view. See our Cemetery List for Kelso.

Using the information from an 1895 Atlas, we've created a list of communities that were in the area of Kelso. Our list includes information such as whether the 1895 community had a post office or railroad service. See our List of 1890's Communities around Kelso.

We also have a detailed list of newspapers that have been published in the area around Kelso. Our list includes 20 papers. See our Newspapers Page for Kelso.

TripAdvisor Tourism Pages for Kelso ...

Looking for more information about Kelso? A wonderful source is the TripAdvisor website. We always start with the TripAdvisor Tourism page, where you can read an overview with links that will help you find lodging, restaurants and attractions.

In addition to the Tourism page for Kelso, there are neighboring communities that also have Tourism pages. More information about those communities can be found on our TripAdvisor Page for Kelso.

Adding Kelso to Our Gazetteer ...

We originally found mention of Kelso in both the FIPS-55 and the GNIS. For more information, see the FIPS and GNIS Codes sections on our Miscellaneous Page.

From our notes, the earliest published mention we've found for Kelso was in the document titled List of Post Offices from Cameron Blevins and Richard Helbock.<7>

From that list, the Kelso post office opened in 1886.

We also found Kelso in the book titled Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide (1895).

For more details, see References and Mentions for Kelso.

The official website for Kelso:

The official website for Cowlitz County:

The official website for State of Washington:

Footnotes ...

<1>If you're interested in how the shape of Washington's counties, including Cowlitz, have changed over time, we recommend the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.
<2>Population counts have been provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. For more detail, please visit our Census Page for Kelso.
<3>The elevation is an estimate for the area around Kelso - it will be higher in some places and lower in others.
<4>ZIP Codes have been created by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a way of grouping addresses to make delivery more efficient. The boundaries of the ZIP Code can be changed, re-assigned, eliminated or overlapped with other ZIP Codes. So keep in mind that any given ZIP Code is only 'loosely' associated with a city (such as Kelso). When looking for a ZIP Code, whether Kelso or elsewhere, it's always best to check the website of the United States Postal Service (USPS).
<5>While we're fans and frequent users of TripAdvisor, you should know that we're also members of the TripAdvisor affiliate program.
<6>The location has been supplied by the Geographic Names Information System - which is maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). While these values should be definitive, we found that accuracy can vary and you should double-check the location if accuracy is required.
<7>A copy of their list with background information can be found at:


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This page was last modified/updated: 07 Apr 2024