Happy Birthday, Thousand Trails

Wow 45 years is something to be proud of. From the seed of an idea that was tossed out during a family outing to the spectacular camping network that it is today, Thousand Trails has had quite a journey since its initial inception in 1969.

For those of you unfamiliar with the origins, back in 1969, founder Milt Kuolt and his wife Lois, purchased a large parcel of land in Washington that they would eventually turn into the flagship campground of the network: Chehalis. While the idea took root in 1969, it would be three years before Chehalis would welcome its first members. The initial sales brochure was directed at "fun-seeking, outdoors-loving families."

Well, they certainly were on to something. From that single campground to the more than 80 in the network today, we are glad to be celebrating such a long history of making camping memories.

The Kuolts had a vision when they started this whole thing. While developing Chehalis, they wanted it to represent several things. In addition to providing "a well-placed, easily accessible campground" that was equipped with all the comforts of home, plus plenty of amenities and outdoor activity opportunities, they also wanted to create a sense of community somewhere people felt they belonged.

And while Thousand Trails has certainly proven a success, the Kuolts' goal to create a sense of belonging was achieved, as well. For years, the camping experience offered by Thousand Trails has provided families with memories, engendered lifelong friendships and sparked a love of camping in some who may have never considered themselves a camper.

We are a unique niche in the world of outdoor lifestyle. We offer variety from locations to camping styles, from membership options to amenities; we offer a place to reconnect and disconnect. We offer an affordable opportunity to Get Out and Camp. In short, we offer the best camping experience out there.

Also, speaking of birthdays, our very own TrailBlazer turns 35 this year!

Throughout the year, we will be highlighting our history in a variety of ways, including member profiles, contests, trivia, events and more. It's going to be an exciting year, so come celebrate with us!

Marguerite Nader
President & CEO

Do you know how the Kuolts came up with the name Thousand Trails? Or what famous cowboy was a spokesperson for us? Visit us at for answers and more trivia!

P.S. We're also continuing with our Road Trip series.