Which city do you think is the worst place to live in Washington? 🏙️

Living in Washington state is relatively peaceful and serene. Depending on where you live in the state, you have access to beaches, mountains, volcanoes, numerous outdoor activities, great food, and laidback and chill cultural vibes.

It’s a shame that this list says Kelso is the worst place to live in Washington. I mean, look at the stunning beauty of this place! How is that the worst Washington has to offer?

Kelso WA is the worst city to live in WA
Brookhollow RV Park via Google Maps

The Coweeman River runs through it (and so does the Cowlitz River). There are abundant spaces for hiking trails. People of all ages love to visit (and bring along their pets, too).

Kelso is not too far from I-5, and next door neighbors to the city of Longview, so it’s convenient to get to Kelso.

I’m beginning to wonder what crawled up someone’s britches when they chose Kelso as the worst town around. Perhaps they are referring to the high poverty rate (21%) and lack of diversity as the worst reason to live here? If that is the case, then I’ll allow it. Otherwise, Kelso seems like a cool town.

This home in Kelso, WA is worth $790K!
Kelso, WA Home for sale: Polly Miller via Realtor.com


Kelso was founded in 1884 after landgrabs from the Cowlitz tribe in Washington.

A Scotsman named Paul Crawford made the first land claim and he named the new place after his hometown in Scotland. It became a hot spot for brothels where timber loggers could find some “companionship” and taverns for locals to kick back after working hard at the mill all day.

Lumberjacks working in Cowlitz WA in the 1900s
The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Fishing became the new major export industry after the brothels and gambling taverns got shut down in the 1960s.

Kelso is currently a city of around 12,000 people.

Major landslides, volcanic eruptions (looking at you, Mount St. Helens), and other natural disasters made the topography of Kelso less than desirable for most to live and raise a family.

Here are 4 Fun Things to Do in Kelso, WA

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby

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