Got a week to travel around the northwest in an RV? Lucky you! It’s going to be an unforgettable vacation. If you need some help figuring out what to see during that time, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a sample week-long itinerary for an RV trip around this stunning area of the US.
Note: We’ll use Portland as the origin and terminus for our example itinerary for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s smack-dab in the middle of some of the northwest’s most stunning sights. Secondly, it’s a convenient city to fly in and out of if you’re coming from another state.
Day 1-2: Portland & Mount St. Helens
We’d recommend keeping things pretty simple on your first few days in the northwest. Whether you’re flying into Portland to pick up your RV or you’re driving from the city, you might not get on the road until late morning or afternoon. From Portland, you can drive straight to the Silver Cove RV Resort which is located just a short drive from the entrance of Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Monument.
If you have time after checking in, you might be able to get in a short hike on your first day or watch the sunset in the park. The Johnston Ridge Observatory is an excellent place to watch the sun dip below the horizon as the light touches off Mount St. Helens. Plus, it’s easily accessible from the road. You can easily head back to Silver Cove RV Resort for your first night.
On the second day, we’d recommend waking up early to make the most of the park on your second day. Even if you got a chance to head into the park on your first day, there’s so much more to see. If you’re up for a challenging hike and leave early enough, you can summit the volcano for some unforgettable views. If that doesn’t pique your interest, there are plenty of hikes around the park and even one through a lava tube called Ape Cave. Pretty cool, huh? When you’re done, simply head back to the RV resort to unwind.
Day 3-4: Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area
On the third morning of the trip, you can head back towards Portland on Highway 5 and stop at the Ninety 9 RV Park for a few nights. This conveniently located RV resort is just a few minutes off the highway and is the perfect place to stay when visiting exploring the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. All you have to do is hop on Highway 205 south until it connects with state road 14 which takes you all the way to the park’s entrance.
If you leave early enough, you’ll have more than enough time to spend some time at Columbia River Gorge on the third day of your trip. We’d recommend spending the first day simply driving through the park. The main road will take provide you with stunning views of the park with a bunch of observatories and lookouts along the way. You can make a mental note of things you’d like to see the next day or even get out for a short hike. After finding a place to watch the sunset, you can head back to Ninety 9 RV Park for a comfortable night.
Your fourth day is left completely open to do whatever you want in Columbia River Gorge. We highly recommend hiking to the iconic double waterfall of Multnomah Falls. This is a favorite of the park and definitely a must-see. Latourell Falls is located nearby and arguably just as stunning. There are some beautiful hikes throughout the park that are all worth the time. At the end of your fourth day, you can drive straight from Columbia River Gorge down State Road 35 to the next stop on your trip: Mt. Hood National Forest.
Day 5-7: Mt. Hood National Forest
If you’re hoping to spend at least one night inside a national park on your RV trip, now’s your perfect chance! Mt. Hood National Forest is just a short drive south of Columbia River Gorge, making it the perfect transition once you’re done with the latter. We’d advise taking it easy on your first day in the park by driving around to the many lakes in the area for a relaxing dip or heading out on some moderate hikes in the forest.
On your second day, we’d highly recommend taking one of the many hikes around Mt. Hood. If you’re up for the challenge, summiting this peak is a must. It’s tough to forget the view from this breathtaking vantage point. In fact, you can even make out Portland on a clear day. However, there are still plenty of amazing trails if you don’t have the time or energy to make this longer hike.
Bonus: Willapa & Cannon Beach
If you have a few extra days on your RV road trip, we’d highly recommend a stop along the Oregon coast. It’s just a few hours from Portland and has become an iconic part of a northwest RV vacation. The Wallicut River Resort is one of the most beautiful RV resorts in the area within walking distance to both the Wallicut River and the Pacific Ocean. We’d recommend at least two days in the area. The Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is within spitting distance from the Wallicut River Resort making it a perfect day trip.
You can see some of the area’s impressive flora and fauna diversity. On the second day, we’d recommend dipping back into Oregon to visit Cannon Beach. Get some pictures of Haystack Rock, watch the tufted puffins, and enjoy the stunning wade pools. You can tack this extra stop to the end or beginning of the itinerary.
Ready to go on an exciting RV road trip but aren’t sure where to begin? Visit RV Inn Style Resorts today for a list of some of the area’s best RV resorts. These conveniently located and fully accessible resorts give you an excellent starting point for planning your vacation.