13 Amazing Places in the Pacific Northwest that a ROAMERICA Campervan Can Take You
The Pacific Northwest is full of natural wonders; you could spend a lifetime exploring and still not discover all that this magical place has to offer. From impossibly high peaks to dramatic coastline, from lush temperate rainforests to high desert plains, the Pacific Northwest is truly a treasure trove of incredible landscapes. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite PNW destinations that one of our 4WD ROAMERICA campervans can take you to help you plan your next Pacific Northwest escape.
1. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
The Columbia River that runs through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is the second largest river in North America. It begins in Northern Idaho/Southern British Columbia, Canada and travels over 1,200 miles to the ocean. Expect to find unbelievable waterfalls, stunning vistas, fields of wildflowers, and plenty of year-round outdoor recreation.
2. Mount Hood National Forest
Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon encompasses more than 1 million acres of protected land. The crown jewel of the national forest is Mount Hood, an 11,235-foot volcanic peak, on which you can hike in the summer and ski and snowboard in the winter. The national forest is hub for outdoor recreation. You’ll find campers, boaters, and anglers in the summer, and snowmobilers and Nordic skiers in the winter.
3. Oregon Coast
Highway 101 runs along the coastline of the state of Oregon, providing access to some of the most stunning coastal cities and landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon Coast runs approximately 362 miles from the Columbia River in the north to the border of California to the south. Expect to find quaint towns, beautiful beaches, and unique geologic formations.
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4. Crater Lake National Park
7,700 years ago, a violent volcanic eruption resulted in the collapse of a mountain. What’s left is a crystalline lake said to be the deepest (1,943 feet deep) and most pure in the United States. Today, visitors to Crater Lake National Park can enjoy the lake in all seasons and the old growth forests that encompass the rest of the park.
5. Deschutes National Forest
Situated along the Cascade Mountains near Bend, Oregon, Deschutes National Forest is a paradise to those who seek outdoor recreation and adventure. More than 8 million people per year venture to the protected land to hike, bike, fish, camp, and ski. It’s one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Pacific Northwest, and even a short visit will have you coming back for more year after year.
6. Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
Also known as the “Marble Halls of Oregon”, the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve was formed by acidic rainwater that ate away at the marble rock below the surface. Today, you can explore the caves via a moderately strenuous tour, which will have you winding through tight passages and under low ceilings. This experience is one of the most unique outdoor adventures in the state of Oregon.
7. Smith Rock State Park
Climbers flock to Smith Rock State Park to ascend many of the thousand bolted routes throughout the park. Scenic views and deep river canyons are also mainstays of this incredible destination in Terrebonne, Oregon. You can also expect to find golden eagles, falcons, mule deer, otters, and beavers that also call this land home.
8. Oregon Badlands Wilderness
The 29,180 acres of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness was designated as protected land in 2009. Among the interesting landforms and geologic features in the wilderness area is the Badlands volcano which features inflated lava. You can also find volcanic pressure ridges, timuli, and traces of human history dating back thousands of years. You can explore this unique destination on almost 50 miles of trails that run through the wilderness.
9. San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago of 172 islands and reefs between Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, Canada. Four of the islands can be accessed by ferry: Orcas Island, San Juan Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. A true San Juan Island experience will include whale-watching, farm-to-table cuisine, and a good dose of outdoor recreation.
10. Olympic National Park
With nearly a million acres of diverse landscape, thousands of years of human history, and a variety of distinctive ecosystems, Olympic National Park is truly a Pacific Northwest treasure. In the park, you’ll find snow-capped peaks, old growth rainforests, stunning coastline, ice cold rivers, and alpine lakes. Visit the park in all seasons to experience each of the ecosystems in all their glory.
11. Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park surrounds and encompasses Mt. Rainier, a 14,410-foot volcanic peak. Rainier is one of those bucket list destinations for mountaineers and backpackers alike. Its stunning views and formidable, glacier-strewn slopes call to those in search of alpine adventure. Along its slopes, you’ll find wildflower meadows in summer along with ancient forests and wildlife.Take the Family on the Adventure of a Lifetime - Contact Us Today!
12. Mount St. Helens National Monument
Mount St. Helens exploded with style in May of 1980 and continued to erupt until 1986, quietly building a lava dome. The land surrounding the volcano was forever changed, and the US Geologic Survey continues to monitor the volcano’s activity. Today you can explore the area by car or on foot. A permit, however, is required to climb to the crater rim above 4,800 feet.
13. Sea-to-Sky Highway
The Sea-to-Sky Highway route takes visitors from the heart of Vancouver up along the coast and into the mountains to the ski town of Whistler. The route takes about two hours to drive, and you can expect to find waterfalls, dramatic coastline, stunning vistas, and jaw-dropping spots for photos.Read About More Pacific Northwest Adventures