You’ve seen the American Southwest’s sunny deserts and the Northeast’s shining skyscrapers. You’ve even experienced the rich history of the Southeast, so what else is there to see? Why, the Pacific Northwest (PNW), of course! If your vacation plans could use a recharge this next time around, consider a Pacific Northwest road trip as your next great adventure.
By going on a PNW road trip and seeing the rich diversity of beautiful landscapes, you can see why the Northwest has achieved the amazing reputation it has. Let’s get started!
11 Pacific Northwest Road Trip Destinations
A Northwest road trip can be as busy or relaxing as you want it to be. Here are 11 different destinations you may want to add to your Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary. From waterfalls to volcanic craters, the Northwest United States has everything you need for an unforgettable trip.
1. Columbia River Gorge
If waterfalls, hiking, overlooks, and beautiful forests are your thing, then the fabulous Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is surely your ideal destination during your PNW road trip. This is not a trip you will want to rush through. No, you’ll want to spend several days here! Don’t pass up the opportunity to do a Columbia River Gorge drive on both sides of the river (in Washington state and Oregon).
RV campgrounds near Columbia River Gorge:
Get started with your journey to the Columbia River Gorge with an RV rental from Cruise America!
2. Hood River Fruit Loop Trail
The Hood River Fruit Loop Trail is a 35-mile drive through the Hood River Valley. “Fruit Loop” is a reference not to the famous cereal, but rather to the trip you can take through Oregon’s largest fruit-growing region. From Panorama Point you can view the many farms, orchards, country markets, wineries, and forests you’ll soon drive past — many of which you’ll want to stop at along the way!
RV campgrounds near Hood River Fruit Loop Trail:
There are many ways to see the sights along the Hood River Fruit Loop, but grabbing yourself an RV rental from Cruise America will be the most comfortable!
3. Cannon Beach
Oregon’s rocky coastline is on display for visitors to the small town of Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is 90 minutes west of Portland, and four hours southwest of Seattle. From downtown, you’ll find a four-mile stretch of beach with Haystack Rock at its midpoint where you can see tufted puffins and tide pools. From Cannon Beach, it’s a short trek to Ecola State Park with trails offering stunning ocean views.
RV campgrounds near Cannon Beach:
See the Oregon coast at Cannon Beach with the help of Cruise America!
4. Crater Lake National Park
Named for the deepest lake in America (second deepest in North America and ninth deepest in the world!), Crater Lake National Park is a wonder to behold, especially while RV camping nearby. Sitting in an ancient volcanic crater, the 1,946-foot deep lake is home to trout and salmon — perfect for anglers. On Wizard Island, hiking trails wind up a volcanic cone. You can’t miss the sunrises and sunsets! This is a must-visit destination for any Northwest road trip.
RV campgrounds near Crater Lake National Park:
There’s no need to fish for deals to go fishing at Crater Lake. Get in touch with Cruise America to secure your RV rental and get going!
5. Olympic National Park
With over 600 miles of hiking trails, 49 mountain peaks over 6,500 feet, and larger than the state of Rhode Island, Olympic National Park is a destination worthy of placement on anyone’s bucket list (and PNW road trip!). Hundreds of glaciers can be seen at Olympic National Park, and no visit would be complete without a visit to America’s own Mount Olympus before heading back to your RV rental.
RV campgrounds near Olympic National Park:
Before booking your trip to Olympic National Park, book an RV from Cruise America to go there in style!
6. Cascade Loop
Billed as the state of Washington’s ultimate road trip, the Cascade Loop offers visitors (and, of course, drivers) the chance to hike, rock climb, fish, and raft to their heart’s content. At a length of 440 miles, it’ll take you a few days to get to everything you want to see… and with the variety of landscapes, valleys, coastlines, and environments available, there’s a lot to get in!
RV campgrounds near Cascade Loop:
Go on Washington’s Ultimate Road Trip with the help of Cruise America’s ultimate selection of RVs!
7. North Cascades National Park
Scenic drives and overlooks along the North Cascades Highway of your PNW road trip can give you a sense of the rugged beauty of the North Cascades. But to really get to know this national park, you’ll want to hike the area and RV camp nearby. There are over 300 glaciers and 300 lakes to see — some with unusual colors, thanks to melting glaciers — along with elk, moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, and otters.
RV campgrounds near North Cascades National Park:
Start your journey to North Cascades National Park by getting in touch with Cruise America today!
8. Port Townsend
A visit to Port Townsend, Washington, is kind of like taking a trip to the past — especially if you’re staying in the downtown area. With a population of fewer than 10,000 people, Port Townsend has more than 300 Victorian-style homes to see. Experience the legacy of a time when people thought the town would be the busiest port in Washington state due to where it sat in Puget Sound.
RV campgrounds near Port Townsend:
Your Victorian-style getaway to Port Townsend should start with a call to Cruise America to rent the best RV for the trip!
9. San Juan Islands
There are 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County, Washington, with the three most popular islands — San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez — hosting the majority of the area’s B&Bs, hotels, and dining options. The air quality throughout the San Juan Islands is remarkably good thanks to the combination of different weather systems, affording you the opportunity to kick back and relax. Recharge yourself on island time during your PNW road trip.
RV campgrounds near the San Juan Islands:
The San Juan Islands are waiting for you, and so is a Cruise America RV!
10. Snoqualmie Falls
One of Washington state’s most popular attractions (with 1.5 million visitors each year), Snoqualmie Falls is a 268-foot waterfall famous for appearing in the cult TV series “Twin Peaks.” The Falls can be seen in a day, though the strength of the waterfall depends on whether or not there’s been rain recently. If you’re a fan of forested trails, you’ll be right in your element at Snoqualmie Falls.
RV campgrounds near Snoqualmie Falls:
If you’re itching to see Snoqualmie Falls, scratch that itch by first contacting Cruise America to set up an RV rental!
11. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
There’s nothing “hellish” about the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, located at the northeastern-Oregon-western-Idaho border. Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America — actually, 2,000 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon! If you’re a hiker, there are plenty of trails to traverse. If you’re into water sports, there’s kayaking and rafting to take part in. The outdoorsy possibilities are endless at Hells Canyon National Recreation Area!
RV campgrounds near Hells Canyon National Recreation Area:
A trip to Hells Canyon National Recreation Area would be heavenly with an RV rental from Cruise America!
Pacific Northwest Road Trip Itinerary
What’s a road trip without an itinerary?! Before you hit the road, check out our Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary to ensure you hit every must-see destination. Close your eyes and envision yourself on this 10-day plan along the coast, then book your next trip. We’ve even included a map for this 10-day itinerary through the PNW.
Kick off your Pacific Northwest road trip at the tip of Washington state — North Cascades National Park. With over 300 lakes to see, you may even need more than one day to truly take in this gorgeous location.
From the top of Washington, you’ll want to make your way over to Port Townsend. You can take your time wandering the historic streets and enjoying a blast from the past among the Victorian-style homes that litter the streets.
Let’s not forget the fun that awaits the whole family at Olympic National Park. Hike some of the 600 miles of trails that cover more than a fair share of this beautiful U.S. gem. Try boating, fishing, backpacking, wildlife viewing, ranger-led programs, and more at this national park.
No PNW road trip is complete without a quick day trip to Seattle. Visit the famous Space Needle and carve out some time for a short ferry trip to experience the city views at their finest. Don’t forget to pop into the Museum of Pop Culture or Woodland Park Zoo while you’re at it!
On your last day of the Washington half of your PNW road trip, Mount Rainier is the place to be. At its highest peak, Mount Rainier offers panoramic views of the largest volcanoes in Washington. Along the forest paths, you can find ancient trees and become a part of history.
Take your PNW road trip to Oregon with a night (or two!) at Columbia River Gorge. Here, you can experience the finest natural sites Oregon has to offer. Hike the scenic route through the area, grab a burger at nearby Astoria, and end your stay swapping stories around the campfire.
After packing up camp, it’s time to spend the day traversing through the magical city of Portland. Knock a Portland food tour off your bucket list or experience the stunning waterfalls that are just a short hike away.
If you leave Portland early enough, you may just catch a breathtaking sunrise at Cannon Beach. Take the day to dip your feet in the water or make the short hike over to Ecola State Park to watch the ocean waves crash along the shore.
You can’t visit Oregon without a visit to Crater Lake National Park. The deepest lake in the U.S. is calling your name and just begging for you to spend the day under the sun, fishing rod in the water. Looking for something a little more adventurous? Hike the volcanic trail to catch a sunrise over the Oregon coast.
Before you end your PNW road trip, there’s just one more place you’ll want to add to your list — Umpqua National Forest. Take in the waterfalls, relax in the Umpqua hot springs, or spend your last day out on the water, paddling through the calm waters of Diamond Lake.
What To Pack for Your Pacific Northwest Road Trip
Now that you have an itinerary ready, it’s time to get packing! So, what should you pack for a 10-day Northwest road trip? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of some necessities for your trip!
Clothing & Accessories
- Comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing
- Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
- Rain Jacket
- Sunglasses or a baseball cap
Road Trip Entertainment
- Travel puzzles or games
- Electronics chargers
- Non-perishable food
- Bug repellent
- Reusable water bottle
- Emergency roadside kit
- Small backpack
- Camping chairs
Tips for Planning a Northwest Road Trip
- Choose the right time of year. What’s the best time to visit the Pacific Northwest? Well, it truly depends on what you’re looking to see. Climate can vary on a Northwest road trip, but generally, the rainy season is from October through March.
- Check the weather. You won’t want to go on a road trip when rain is expected 90% of the time, right? So be sure to check the weather in advance to plan your trip at the best time and pack accordingly.
- Get an America the Beautiful National Park Pass. If you plan to visit multiple National Parks in the Northwest United States, you may consider purchasing a National Park Pass. The annual pass is $80 per person and is valid for over 2,000 federal recreation sites, including Olympic National Park!
- Get an RV rental. Road trips are made comfortable and convenient with an RV rental from Cruise America! Check out our selection of rental RVs and abundance of rental locations.
Cruise Along the Pacific Northwest
There are a number of places to see on a Pacific Northwest road trip, but how you get there is just as important as where you choose to visit. That’s why you should cruise along the Pacific Northwest in an RV rental from Cruise America.
Cruise America’s incredible selection of RVs can help you see all you want to see in the Pacific Northwest, or wherever else the roads may lead you, in a top-of-the-line vehicle. See what we have to offer at Cruise America and get your PNW road trip started today!