Snoqualmie Falls in Washington State

7 of the Best Views in the Pacific Northwest (and How to Get There)

Aside from maybe Alaska, the Pacific Northwest has some of the most diverse and best views in the country. And you don’t have to be an extreme hiker or climber to reach them (although if you are, it definitely opens up your possibilities!). From waterfalls to glacier-capped peaks and city skylines, these are some of our favorite views in the Pacific Northwest that you can experience yourself in your ROAMERICA campervan.

1. Palouse Falls, Washington

This 198-foot tall waterfall lies on the Palouse River, just four miles upstream from where it converges with the Snake River. Palouse Falls is located in a State Park of the same namesake, and can be seen from a vantage point just a short walk from the parking area.  To reach the park, Follow I-84 east to I-82 west and US-395 N to WA-260 east. You will see Palouse Falls Road on the right.

2. Yachats, Oregon

Yachats, Oregon is a small village nestled between Oregon’s coast and the Siuslaw National Forest. Just south of the village is Thor’s Well — a collapsed sea cave that offers great photo opportunities, especially during high tide. From Portland, head south on the I-5 to route 20 west, and then take the 101 south. The village is on route 101, and you’ll reach Thor’s Well by continuing just a few minutes past the village.

3. Heliotrope Ridge

A hike along the Heliotrope Ridge is the best way to get close-up views of Coleman Glacier and Mount Baker without too much effort. While there aren’t any technical skills necessary to complete this hike, there is a serious stream crossing, so it is recommended you have some sort of hiking experience before attempting to access the ridge. To reach the trailhead, head north on I-5 to exit 236 for Prairie Road. Follow Prairie Road to route 9 north and then route 542 east. Make a right onto Forest Road 39 (Glacier Creek Road). After eight miles, turn left at a junction and continue less than half a mile to the trailhead.

Rialto Beach at sunset - Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park. Photo Credit: SignorDeFazio (Flickr)

4. Rialto Beach, Olympic National Park, Washington

Rialto Beach, located in Olympic National Park, offers views of offshore islands, or ‘seastacks’ from rocky beaches that are spotted with smooth driftwood. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a spectacular sunset from the beach. Rialto Beach is accessible by Mora Road, off of La Push Road. To get to Mora Road, take I-5 north to route 12 west to the Devonshire Road exit. Follow Wynoochee Valley Road to the 101 north. Take a left on route 110 (La Push Road) and follow that to Mora Road.


5. Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

This 270-foot waterfall is one of Washington’s most popular destinations, and rightfully so. Visitors view and photograph Snoqualmie Falls from an observation deck located in the two-acre park. To get here, follow I-5 north to the Snoqualmie Parkway (route 18), and follow that to the destination.

6. Cape Perpetua, Oregon

At 800-feet above sea level, the Cape Perpetua Headland is the highest point accessible by car on the Oregon coast. On a clear day, the vista offers views up and down 70 miles of coastline, and 37 miles out to sea. From I-5 south, take the Corvallis-Newport Highway to route 101. Follow the 101 south to Cape Perpetua.

7. Pittock Mansion, Portland, Oregon

Located 1,000 feet above the city, the grounds of the Pittock Mansion actually offer some of the best views of Portland. On a clear day, you will also be able to see the summits of Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount St. Helen’s, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. Pittock Mansion is located on the west side of the city, on the south side of Forest Park. If using public transit, take the #20 bus and then a courtesy shuttle from the bus stop on Burnside and NW Barnes. The shuttle runs from 10 AM to 4:45 PM.

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