5 Must-Experience RV Road Trips in the Pacific Northwest
5 Must-Experience RV Road Trips in the Pacific Northwest

5 Must-Experience RV Road Trips in the Pacific Northwest

Explore the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest on these epic RV adventures.

If you’re yearning for a road trip filled with breathtaking landscapes, outdoor adventures, and a touch of rugged charm, look no further than the Pacific Northwest of America. This region, encompassing Oregon, Washington, and parts of Idaho and British Columbia, is a treasure trove of natural beauty and outdoor activities. And what better way to immerse yourself in this stunning environment than with an RV road trip? In this guide, we’ll take you through five must-experience RV road trips in the Pacific Northwest, detailing key stops, route details, and camper-friendly accommodations to make your journey memorable.

1. The Coastal Wonderland: Oregon Coast Highway (US 101)

Embark on a breathtaking journey along the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) and discover rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and charming coastal towns.

The Oregon Coast Highway, also known as US 101, is an iconic road trip route that stretches for over 350 miles along the rugged and picturesque coastline of Oregon. This RV adventure is a perfect blend of scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural exploration.

Key Stops:

  • Astoria: Begin your journey in Astoria, a historic town known for its Victorian architecture and the iconic Astoria Column, offering panoramic views of the Columbia River.
  • Cannon Beach: Explore the stunning Haystack Rock and take in the artsy atmosphere of this charming coastal town.
  • Tillamook: Visit the Tillamook Cheese Factory for some delicious cheese samples and tour the Tillamook Air Museum.
  • Newport: Discover the Oregon Coast Aquarium and stroll along the historic Newport Bayfront.
  • Florence: Enjoy sand dune adventures at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
  • Bandon: Play a round of golf at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and marvel at the unique rock formations on the beach.
  • Gold Beach: Experience jet boat tours on the Rogue River for an adrenaline rush.

Route Details:

Start your journey in Astoria and head south along US 101. The route will take you through charming coastal towns, offering opportunities for hiking, beachcombing, and enjoying fresh seafood. The road is RV-friendly, with numerous pullouts and campgrounds along the way.

Places to Stay with a Camper Van:

  • Fort Stevens State Park: Located near Astoria, this park offers RV-friendly campgrounds with full hookups and easy access to the beach.
  • Tillamook RV Park: A convenient base for exploring the central coast, offering full hookups and proximity to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.
  • Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park: Nestled in the Oregon Dunes, this park has RV sites with electric hookups and access to freshwater lakes.
  • Bullards Beach State Park: Located near Bandon, this park provides RV sites with full hookups and a serene setting.

2. The Alpine Adventure: Cascade Loop Scenic Highway

Embark on the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway and journey through the majestic Cascade Mountains, pristine lakes, and charming mountain towns.

The Cascade Loop Scenic Highway is a road trip that will take you through some of the most breathtaking alpine landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. This adventure is perfect for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and anyone seeking solace in the mountains.

Key Stops:

  • Everett: Begin your journey in Everett, Washington, and explore the Naval Station Everett and the Imagine Children’s Museum.
  • Leavenworth: Experience a touch of Bavaria in this charming mountain town, known for its festivals and outdoor activities.
  • Lake Chelan: Relax by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Chelan and explore the surrounding vineyards.
  • Winthrop: Discover the Old West charm of Winthrop, complete with wooden boardwalks and cowboy culture.
  • North Cascades National Park: Hike among jagged peaks and pristine lakes in this rugged wilderness.
  • Whidbey Island: Take a ferry ride to Whidbey Island and explore its quaint towns and stunning coastal scenery.
  • Anacortes: End your journey in Anacortes, a gateway to the San Juan Islands.

Route Details:

Start your adventure in Everett, Washington, and follow Highway 2 east through the lush forests of the Cascade Mountains. The route will take you through charming mountain towns, alpine lakes, and the rugged terrain of North Cascades National Park.

Places to Stay with a Camper Van:

  • Lake Chelan State Park: Offers RV sites with hookups and stunning views of Lake Chelan.
  • Pine Near RV Park: Located in Winthrop, this park provides full hookups and a convenient location for exploring the town.
  • Colonial Creek Campground: Nestled in North Cascades National Park, this campground offers a rustic camping experience for RVs.
  • Deception Pass State Park: Near Anacortes, this park provides RV sites with water and electric hookups and easy access to hiking trails.

3. The Rainforest Odyssey: Olympic Peninsula Loop

An enchanting journey around the Olympic Peninsula Loop, where you’ll encounter lush rainforests, pristine coastlines, and abundant wildlife.

The Olympic Peninsula Loop is a captivating RV road trip that allows you to explore the diverse ecosystems of the Olympic Peninsula, including lush rainforests, rugged coastlines, and towering mountains.

Key Stops:

  • Port Townsend: Begin your journey in this Victorian seaport town, known for its historic charm.
  • Olympic National Park: Explore the Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, and the enchanting Sol Duc Falls.
  • Rialto Beach: Stroll along the rocky shores and witness dramatic sea stacks.
  • Forks: Visit the town that became famous as the setting for the “Twilight” series.
  • Lake Quinault: Discover the serene Lake Quinault and the Quinault Rainforest.
  • Ocean Shores: Enjoy beach activities and birdwatching in this coastal town.

Route Details:

Start your journey in Port Townsend and head west towards Olympic National Park. The loop takes you through the heart of the park, allowing ample opportunities for hiking and wildlife watching. Continue along the coast, exploring the rugged beaches and lush rainforests.

Places to Stay with a Camper Van:

  • Fort Worden State Park: Offers RV-friendly campsites with full hookups and views of Puget Sound.
  • Kalaloch Campground: Located in Olympic National Park, this campground provides RV sites near the coast.
  • Log Cabin Resort: Nestled on the shores of Lake Quinault, this resort offers RV sites with full hookups and lake views.
  • Ocean City State Park: Located near Ocean Shores, this park provides RV sites with beach access and hookups.

4. The Volcanic Expedition: Cascade Volcano Circuit

A thrilling journey around the Cascade Volcano Circuit, where you’ll encounter towering volcanoes, hot springs, and outdoor adventures.

The Cascade Volcano Circuit is an RV road trip for adventure seekers and volcano enthusiasts. This route takes you through a landscape shaped by volcanic activity, offering unique geological wonders and outdoor thrills.

Key Stops:

  • Mount St. Helens: Witness the awe-inspiring effects of the 1980 eruption at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center.
  • Mount Rainier National Park: Explore the pristine wilderness, glaciers, and meadows of Mount Rainier.
  • Mount Adams: Hike the trails and camp in the shadow of this massive volcano.
  • Mount Hood: Enjoy skiing, hiking, and hot springs around Mount Hood.
  • Newberry National Volcanic Monument: Explore lava tubes and volcanic landscapes in this central Oregon gem.

Route Details:

Begin your volcanic expedition at Mount St. Helens and head south to Mount Rainier National Park. Continue through the Cascade Range, visiting volcanoes such as Mount Adams and Mount Hood. The journey offers a mix of outdoor activities and geological exploration.

Places to Stay with a Camper Van:

  • Seaquest State Park: Located near Mount St. Helens, this park offers RV sites with hookups and proximity to hiking trails.
  • Ohanapecosh Campground: In Mount Rainier National Park, this campground provides RV sites amidst lush forest.
  • Takhlakh Lake Campground: Offers a rustic camping experience near Mount Adams.
  • Trillium Lake Campground: Nestled near Mount Hood, this campground has RV sites with stunning lake views.
  • Newberry RV Park: Located near Newberry National Volcanic Monument, this park provides full hookups and access to volcanic attractions.

5. The Island Getaway: Vancouver Island Expedition

An island-hopping adventure with the Vancouver Island Expedition, where you’ll explore lush forests, pristine beaches, and charming island communities.

The Vancouver Island Expedition is a unique RV road trip that takes you from the mainland of British Columbia to the enchanting Vancouver Island. This journey includes ferry rides, coastal exploration, and island-hopping adventures.

Key Stops:

  • Victoria: Explore the capital city of British Columbia, known for its historic architecture and beautiful gardens.
  • Cowichan Valley: Discover vineyards, artisanal food, and Indigenous culture in this fertile valley.
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: Hike through rainforests, visit Long Beach, and explore the coastal trails.
  • Tofino: Experience the surf culture, hot springs, and whale watching in this coastal town.
  • Campbell River: Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” it’s perfect for fishing and wildlife tours.

Route Details:

Begin your journey in Vancouver, British Columbia, and take a ferry to Vancouver Island. Explore the southern part of the island, including Victoria and the Cowichan Valley. Then, head west to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and continue north to Tofino and Campbell River.

Places to Stay with a Camper Van:

  • Fort Victoria RV Park: Offers full hookups and a convenient location for exploring Victoria.
  • Cowichan Bay Marina & RV Park: Located on the waterfront, this park provides RV sites with stunning views.
  • Green Point Campground: Within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, this campground offers RV sites near the beach.
  • Crystal Cove Beach Resort: Near Tofino, this resort provides RV sites and easy beach access.
  • Thunderbird RV Park & Resort: Located in Campbell River, this park offers full hookups and outdoor amenities.

The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest offers a plethora of RV road trip adventures, each showcasing the region’s unique natural beauty and cultural charm. Whether you choose to explore the rugged Oregon coastline, journey through the majestic Cascade Mountains, immerse yourself in the enchanting Olympic Peninsula, discover the volcanic wonders of the Cascade Range, or embark on an island-hopping expedition to Vancouver Island, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, hit the open road, and let the Pacific Northwest’s wonders be your guide.