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Craters, Cascades, & Volcanoes – Washington & Oregon

North Cascades – Olympic – Mount Rainier – Mt. St. Helens – Lewis & Clark Monument – Columbia River Gorge – Crater Lake
Trip Length
8-14 days
Route Distance
1114 mi
Stops
7
Overview

The rugged and scenic Pacific Northwest is large and diverse with great outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery. Rocky shores, icy glaciers, lush forests, volcanic lakes – the Pacific Northwest has it all. Dramatic landscapes are accentuated all year, with Fall and Spring offering some of the most picturesque views. While the Pacific Northwest is a large region, this trip focuses on several national parks and two national monuments and scenic areas in Washington and Oregon. Explore the breathtaking turquoise lakes at North Cascades National Park. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier offer the chance to get up close to two active volcanoes. Dive into Olympic National Park's rich history. Columbia River Gorge National Park is a wonderland for water lovers. Lewis & Clark National Historical Park offers insight into the ground-breaking history of the exploration of the U.S. The trip concludes with a visit to Crater Lake National Park, one of the most dramatic and scenic parks in the region. These seven Pacific Northwest national treasures are a perfect RV road trip. Let AdventureGenie help you plan the perfect camping trip to the national parks of the Pacific Northwest! Note: This is a long trip with many stops. Pick the stops you have time for and let AdventureGenie do the rest!

This Trip Is Great For
Everyone – this trip has s a large array of things to do geared to the more and less active. Scenic drives, easier hikes, and scenic overlooks are great for those wanting a little less activity.
North Cascades National Park, Washington
1-3 day stay
Description

Alpine trees, snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and stunning turquoise lakes dominate North Cascades National Park. This 505,000-acre park is beautiful throughout the year, offering landscapes ranging from mountain peaks to thick forests. Situated three hours from Seattle, North Cascades National Park is a remote, beautiful and tranquil stop and, with under 50,000 visitors a year, a hidden gem.

Highlights
Here are some of the most popular things to see and do at North Cascades:

North Cascades Highway Scenic Drive – this scenic drive offers views of the different landscapes found in the park, from cascading waterfalls to mountain peaks and old-growth forests. The drive takes about an hour, though it can be longer depending on how many stops you make along the route. Possible stops include North Cascades Visitor Center, Gorge Creek Falls, and Diablo Lake Overlook.

Hidden Lake Trail – a more challenging 4.5-mile trek leading to an old fire lookout.

Pyramid Lake Trail – features diverse plants and wildlife, ending at a small mountain lake after a 2.1-mile hike.

Rainbow Loop Trail – a moderate 4.4-mile hike in the Stehekin Valley with views of the valley and mountains.

Ross Lake Overlook – provides a beautiful view of the North Cascades and showcases blue Ross Lake.

Where To Stay

North Cascades National Park offers multiple campgrounds, including Goodell Creek, Gorge Lake, and Colonial Creek North. Additional options for boat-in camping and overnight backpacking are also available in the park. The campgrounds are only open seasonally, from mid-May to early September. Reservations are advised for campgrounds during peak season. Private RV campgrounds can be found right outside the park in Rockport and Marblemount, about 3-15 miles from North Cascades. Let AdventureGenie help you find a great RV park to explore North Cascades National Park!

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling - Rafting - Biking - Boating - Photography - Wildlife Viewing
Olympic National Park - Washington
1-3 day stay
Description

Situated on nearly 1,000,000 acres, Olympic National Park spans multiple ecosystems, offering a unique and diverse landscape to explore. It also features 1000+ years of human history spread over its vast wilderness area. Mt. Olympus, the tallest mountain in the park, provides excellent climbing, mountaineering, and hiking opportunities. AdventureGenie also has a 5-day GenieTrip (to be released soon) that takes a deeper dive into the Olympic Peninsula.

Highlights
There are so many great things to see and do at Olympic National Park. Here are a few of the most popular:

Olympic National Park Visitor Center – this visitor center provides information on the natural and cultural history of Olympic National Park. Stop here to plan your visit.

Hurricane Ridge Road – this scenic drive is open each summer, offering visitors easy access to the mountain area. Drive this route when the weather is clear for excellent park views.

Hoh Rainforest Trails – Mini Trail, Hall of Moses Trail, and Spruce Nature Trail are shorter hikes worth doing to experience a temperate rainforest environment. These trails take you through the lush Hoh Forest, named after the Hoh River, which runs through it.

High Divide Loop – this trail offers views of Mt. Olympus and other nearby peaks.

Boulder Creek Trail – an easy 2.5-mile hike that leads to more than seven hot springs.

Obstruction Point to Deer Park – this is the highest trail in the park, providing views of alpine meadows and lush subalpine forests.

Where To Stay

There are many public and private campground options to explore the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic National Park has many onsite campgrounds, including group sites, cabins, and RV-friendly campgrounds. Fairholme Campground opened in 2022 inside the park. Other in-park campgrounds include Kalaloch, Mora, and Hoh Rainforest – the only park-operated options that accept reservations during the summertime. AdventureGenie can help you find a fantastic campground to explore the Olympic Peninsula!

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Biking - Fishing - Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling - Boating - Beaches - Tide Pools - Stargazing - Photography
Mount Rainier National Park - Washington
1-3 day stay
Description

One of Washington's most popular national parks, Mt. Rainier National Park treats visitors to an active volcano with a peak elevation of 14,410 feet and the famed Mount Rainier, the most glaciated peak in the U.S. Travel through blooming wildflower meadows, thick ancient forests, and the snowy volcano. GenieTrips is building a trip guide focused solely on the Olympic Peninsula – coming soon.

Highlights
Mt. Rainier has so many fun things to see and do. Here are a few of the most popular:

Longmire Museum & Wilderness Information Center – the original park headquarters, it now houses the Longmire Museum and Wilderness Information Center. This is great for planning your visit, learning about local history, and getting any wilderness permits.

Visitor Centers – several visitor centers are located throughout the park. These include the Henry M Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise, Ohanapecosh Visitor Center, and Sunrise Visitor Center. The Mt. Rainier National Park visitor centers are only open seasonally in warmer months.

Mt. Rainier Roadtrip – the best way to see the whole park is by driving. Multiple scenic byways allow you to explore Mt. Rainier National Park, including White Pass Scenic Byway and Chinook Scenic Byway. This main road trip takes about 4-8 hours to complete, depending on how many stops you make.

Climbing Mt. Rainier – serious and fit climbers can take 20 different routes to the top of Mt. Rainier (with a vertical elevation gain of 9,000 feet!). Disappointment Cleaver-Ingraham Direct, Emmons-Winthrop, Kautz Glacier, and Liberty Ridge are the most popular routes. Route briefs are available for these popular climbs, which should be read before an excursion. Climbers should be well-informed, in excellent shape, and have technical glacier-travel rope skills for these climbs.

Moderate to Easy Hikes – Myrtle Falls, the Silver Falls Loop, the Naches Peak Loop, and the Sourdough Ridge Trail are popular hikes.

Reflection Lakes – a popular destination in the park that is famous for reflecting inspiring views of Mt. Rainier. You can reach this lake area via the Lakes Trail, a 3-mile loop that begins at the parking lot next to the lakes.

Carbon Glacier Trail – a 17-mile hike that allows you to see a glacier up-close under Mt. Rainier’s north face. This route is ideal for experienced hikers who want a more challenging trail.

Skyline Trail – this challenging trail begins adjacent to Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise and joins with High Skyline Trail and Golden Gate Trail for alternative hiking routes.

Where To Stay

Mount Rainier National Park has three RV-friendly campgrounds, which are open generally from late spring through early fall: Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, and White River. Additional RV-friendly campgrounds are available outside the park, about 30 minutes away in Randle and Ashford. Let AdventureGenie help you find a great RV park to explore Mount Rainier!

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Biking - Climbing - Fishing - Boating - Stargazing - Winter Sports - Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling - Horseback Riding
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument - Washington
1-2 day stay
Description

Founded by President Reagan in 1982, Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument includes the area surrounding Mount St. Helens. Mount St. Helens, an active volcano, makes up the "ring of fire" in the northwest, along with Mount Rainier. Mt. St Helens is divided into three primary areas: the West Side, East Side, and South Side. This 172-square-mile monument is an ideal location for those wanting to hike, climb, and camp.

Highlights
There are so many things to explore at Mt. St. Helens, but here are a few of the best:

Windy Ridge Viewpoint – also known as Windy Ridge Interpretive Site, this location provides a perspective on how the landscape was affected by the famous1980 eruption.

Harmony Trail – a one-mile challenging hike that leads to Spirit Lake, a once-popular vacation spot that was destroyed by the collapse of the north side of Mt. St. Helens after the 1980 eruption.

Johnston Ridge Observatory – offers insight into the history of the volcano and includes an incredible view of Mt. St. Helens.

Mt. St. Helens Forest Learning Center – offers informative exhibits and even helicopter tours that visitors can book.

Ape Cave – one of the most popular lava tubes to explore and the third longest in the U.S. Reservations are required during its May through October season.

Where To Stay

There are two RV-friendly campgrounds inside Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument: Sunset Falls Campground and Horse Camp: Kalama (horses allowed but not required). These campgrounds have no potable water or hookups. There are also several private RV campgrounds about 30-60 minutes away. Let AdventureGenie help you find a great campground to explore Mount St. Helens!

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Biking - Climbing - Fishing - Boating - Stargazing - Winter Sports - Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling - Horseback Riding
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area - Oregon
1-3 day stay
Description

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is in the Cascades mountains, with views of dramatic spires, cliffs, ridges, and cascading waterfalls, and brimming with outdoor recreational opportunities. The canyon leads through the Cascades, producing a natural barrier between Oregon and Washington. This park offers wonderful hiking trails, with multiple public transport options. Water activities, from white water rafting to kayaking, windsurfing, and kiteboarding, make this an ideal location for water lovers and adventurous travelers.

Highlights
Columbia River Gorge is a nature lover's paradise! Here are some of the top activities:

Kiteboarding and Windsurfing – some great activities abound for visitors looking for water activities. Multiple companies along the Columbia River offer equipment rentals.

Boating, Kayaking, and Rafting – for those wanting to enjoy the water at a slower pace, there are plenty of options. Guided river trips are on option. Equipment rentals are available. Don’t forget a life jacket!

Gorge Trail #400 – this trail is accessible directly from the Wyeth Campground and offers access to many other trails in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Eagle Creek Trail – this cliffside hike provides views of the Punch Bowl Falls, the High Bridge, and Eagle Creek.

Historic Columbia River Highway – this 75-mile scenic highway is chock full of wonderful views of waterfalls, lush forests, and talus slopes.

Bonneville Dam – learn about the historic landmark that helped the Pacific Northwest economy grow. Explore the past and present of hydroelectric systems – the dam continues to provide electricity to the regions. Tours are available at the Washington Shore Visitor Center Complex.

Where To Stay

There are plenty of public and private campground options in the Columbia River Gorge area. There is only one RV-friendly campground in the park: Eagle Creek Campground and Wyeth Campground with no hookups but with bathroom facilities. Use AdventureGenie to help you find a great RV park to explore the Columbia River Gorge!

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Kayaking, Canoeing & Paddling - Tubing - Windsurfing & Kiteboarding - Boating - Fishing - Museum Tours - Biking - Stargazing - Wine Tasting
Lewis & Clark National Historic Park - Oregon
1-2 day stay
Description

Stretching along the Columbia River and Pacific Coast, the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park commemorates the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the end of their remarkable 4,132-mile journey across the U.S. in 1805. There is a replica of Fort Clatsop at the same spot as the original fort, which sheltered Lewis, Clark and their expedition team during the winter of 1805-1806. This park allows you to dive into the stories of the expedition, historical demonstrations, and learn about the local native tribes.

Highlights
This National Historical Park is a wonderful way to learn about the famed Lewis & Clark Expedition. Here are some of our favorite things to see and do in the area:

Fort Clatsop Replica – this fort was once the winter base for the Lewis & Clark Expedition. In peak season, historic demonstrations are offered to showcase the survival skills required of the party.

Historic Canoe Landing – this area (accessed by several hiking trails) is where Lewis and Clark, along with the Nez Perce people, once carved canoes.

Lewis & Clark National Historical Park Visitor Center – includes a variety of educational information on the expedition.

South Slough Trail – this easy hiking trail takes about 1-3 hours to complete. It has great views of wetlands and temperate rainforests.

Kwis Kwis Trail – this moderately challenging 3-mile trail winds through the Sitka Spruce Temperate Rainforest.

Where To Stay

There are no campgrounds inside the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park, but there are several private campgrounds nearby as well as two state parks with campgrounds: Fort Stevens State Park and Washington's Cape Disappointment State Park. Let AdventureGenie help you find a campground to explore Lewis & Clark National Historical Park.

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Boating - Fishing - Wildlife Viewing - Kayaking, Canoeing, & Paddling - Photography - Museums - Art Galleries
Crater Lake National Park - Oregon
1-3 day stay
Description

Prepare for jaw-dropping views of this robin-egg blue lake! Crater Lake National Park – spanning 183,000 acres – is set in the Cascades in southern Oregon. This park is named for the crater that formed after Mount Mazama's collapse – which has become America’s deepest lake and one of its prettiest. Perhaps the most scenic park on this trip, it’s surprising that only about 500,000 – 750,000 people visit Crater Lake National Park each year.

Highlights
Here are some of the best things to see and do while visiting Crater Lake National Park:

Steel Visitor Center – found at the park's headquarters, profits from this visitor center go toward various park programs. You can learn about the creation of Crater Lake through a video at the Visitor Center. The Steel Visitor Center, the Mazama Visitor Center, and the Rim Visitor Center are all within the park, each offering different media for information on the park, including exhibits and maps.

Scenic Rim Drive – travel along this scenic route for lake, forest, and meadow views. This scenic drive stretches 33 miles and includes 30 stops with beautiful overlooks.

Boat Tours – while no private boats (including kayaks and canoes) are permitted (due to concerns about invasive species), there are wonderful boat tours and shuttles to enjoy the lake and see Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. The hike to the dock is quite steep and requires some level of fitness

Cleetwood Clove Trail– this challenging 1.1-mile trail is the only legal access to the edge of Crater Lake. It’s steep with multiple switchbacks, so it’s best for more experienced hikers. The trail is only open seasonally, from mid-June to October each year.

Watchman Peak, Plaikni Falls, Discovery Point, & Annie Creek Canyon Trails – these trails – of varying lengths and difficulty – are some of the most popular in the park for the views they offer.

Swimming & Fishing – are great options at Cleetwood Cove.

Where To Stay

Crater Lake has public and private campground options. Inside the park are three areas for camping and glamping: Crater Lake Lodge, Mazama Campground, and The Cabins at Mazama Village. These accommodations typically book up months in advance, so it's best to plan well ahead. Let AdventureGenie help you find a great RV park to explore Crater Lake!

Nearby Activities
Hiking - Swimming - Boat Tours - Trolley Tours - Biking - Bird Watching - Fishing - Photography - Ziplining - Guided Snowshoe Tours
Craters, Cascades, & Volcanoes – Washington & Oregon  header photo with North Cascades – Olympic – Mount Rainier – Mt. St. Helens – Lewis & Clark Monument – Columbia River Gorge – Crater Lake

Craters, Cascades, & Volcanoes – Washington & Oregon

North Cascades – Olympic – Mount Rainier – Mt. St. Helens – Lewis & Clark Monument – Columbia River Gorge – Crater Lake
Craters, Cascades, & Volcanoes – Washington & Oregon  map photo with North Cascades – Olympic – Mount Rainier – Mt. St. Helens – Lewis & Clark Monument – Columbia River Gorge – Crater Lake
Length
8-14 days
Distance
1114 mi
Stops
7

Overview

The rugged and scenic Pacific Northwest is large and diverse with great outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery. Rocky shores, icy glaciers, lush forests, volcanic lakes – the Pacific Northwest has it all. Dramatic landscapes are accentuated all year, with Fall and Spring offering some of the most picturesque views. While the Pacific Northwest is a large region, this trip focuses on several national parks and two national monuments and scenic areas in Washington and Oregon. Explore the breathtaking turquoise lakes at North Cascades National Park. Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier offer the chance to get up close to two active volcanoes. Dive into Olympic National Park's rich history. Columbia River Gorge National Park is a wonderland for water lovers. Lewis & Clark National Historical Park offers insight into the ground-breaking history of the exploration of the U.S. The trip concludes with a visit to Crater Lake National Park, one of the most dramatic and scenic parks in the region. These seven Pacific Northwest national treasures are a perfect RV road trip. Let AdventureGenie help you plan the perfect camping trip to the national parks of the Pacific Northwest! Note: This is a long trip with many stops. Pick the stops you have time for and let AdventureGenie do the rest!

This Trip Is Great For

Everyone – this trip has s a large array of things to do geared to the more and less active. Scenic drives, easier hikes, and scenic overlooks are great for those wanting a little less activity.
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