Drive to the far northeastern corner of Washington, and you'll come across the majestic Colville National Forest. This remote landscape doesn't get the attention of the Cascades or the Olympic National Forest, which is good news for adventurers — the small crowds make it easy to take in the wild beauty of the trails, peaks, and lakes. Snack on huckleberries as you hike to a mountain summit, or scan the shoreline for grizzly bears and caribou as you paddle across one of the forest's exceptionally clean lakes. No matter where you go, panoramic mountain views await.
The Colville National Forest sits near the northern edge of Washington in an area that stays cool for much of the year. Whether you're braving the winter snows or enjoying the summer sunshine, an RV is a fantastic way to camp in the wilderness without sacrificing your favorite comforts and amenities. With RVshare, it's a breeze to rent the perfect RV for your crew — that way, you can go all-in on the adventure.
Camp on the banks of the Pend Oreille River at the Edgewater Campground. Each site is tucked into the tall evergreens, so you always have shade and privacy. Explore the forest to find delicious thimbleberries, or walk down to the river to fish for trout and bass. Sites are basic, but you'll find drinking water, vault toilets, and trash collection. Plus, there's a boat ramp in the campground for easy river access. Rates are $24 per night, and RVs of all sizes are welcome. The campground is open from mid-May to early September.
Tucked deep in the forest, the Gillette Campground offers beautiful views of the trees and the water. There are just 29 sites, ensuring a relaxing experience for tent and RV campers. You won't find hookups, but the campground offers drinking water, vault toilets, and paved roads. With a quick walk from your RV, you can hike on the nearby trails, boat in Gillette Lake, swim from the beach, or bike along the forest roads. Every site comes with a picnic table and a fire pit. Each site is $24 per night during the campground's open season from mid-may to early September.
Located in the heart of Colville National Forest, Cedar RV Park offers easy access to everything that the region has to offer. Here, you'll find a wealth of amenities, including full hookups, a laundry room, hot showers, cable TV, and high-speed Wi-Fi. An RV wash and dump station make it easy to care for your rig, and the store offers all of the parts and supplies you need for a comfortable trip. Many sites are nestled under a grove of cedar trees, and you'll find a large green space for kids to run free. The campground is open year-round; rates start at $30 per night for two people.
If you're looking to get away from it all, the Flume Creek Trail makes a great day hike. Located in the Abercrombie-Hooknose Roadless Area, this trail takes you up into the hills, offering spectacular views of the Selkirk Mountains as you climb. Want to summit a mountain? Get off on the Abercrombie Mountain Trail for a fun side trip. Make sure to pack layers and a rain jacket as the weather can change quickly in this part of the forest.
Length: 8 miles round-trip
Intensity: Moderate to Strenuous
For an easy, fast hike, visit the Pioneer Park Heritage Trail. This kid-friendly route is flat and easy, so it's a great option for families. Along the way, check out 12 interpretive signs that tell the story of the Kalispel Tribe. Leave plenty of time to take in the views over the Pend Oreille River.
Length: 0.3 miles
Looking for views? It's hard to beat the panoramic vistas from the Shedroof Divide Trail. Running deep into the Salmo-Priest Wilderness Area, this route offers some of the best scenery in the park. It's popular with backpackers, but you can create an out-and-back day-hike route to suit your preferences. This trail is only open in the summer when the snow melts at elevation.
Length: 21.8 miles
Bring plenty of snacks for a hike on the Red Bluff Trail — you'll need the energy to tackle the steep inclines and challenging terrain. The well-maintained path takes you up through dense, beautiful forests; near the middle of summer, keep an eye out for the delicious wild berries that grow near the path. Known for its exceptional wildlife-watching opportunities, this trail is a great place to see bald eagles, bighorn sheep, and the elusive caribou. Bears and mountain lions live in the area, so make sure to take precautions as you hike.
Length: 10.4 miles round-trip
Get the high-elevation views without the intense climbing on the Grassy Top Trail. It features a steady but manageable uphill grade, but since it's an out-and-back route, the return trip is a breeze. This trail passes through wide-open meadows, making it a fantastic spot to see wildflowers throughout the spring and summer. Look out for the tasty huckleberries on your way up.
Length: 7.8 miles
At just 5 miles total, the Hoodoo Canyon Trail is one of the best half-day hikes in the Colville National Forest. Along the route, you'll see beautiful views over the Hoodoo Canyon and the Kettle Range. If you're looking for an extra challenge, take the steep side path down to Emerald Lake.
Length: 5 miles round-trip
Looking for a kid-friendly hike? The Lake Shore Trail takes you around the eastern side of Sullivan Lake, offering gently rolling terrain and stunning views of the water. At the end of your hike, cool off with a swim in the lake.
Length: 4.25 miles
The Colville National Forest covers more than 1 million acres; whether you want to relax or get active, there's plenty to do. Challenge yourself on the forest's excellent mountain-bike trails, or break out your road bike for a strenuous ride. Horseback riding is possible in many parts of the park. No matter how you get out into the wilderness, watch for the fantastic animals that live among the trees. Black bear, grizzly bear, moose, caribou, and bighorn sheep are just a few.
If you're in the mood for a relaxing day, try fishing one of the many lakes and ponds in the forest. Bead Lake, Browns Lake, Mystic Lake, Empire Lakes, and Sullivan Lake are just a few great spots. Many rivers and streams, including the San Poil River, Sullivan Creek, Sherman Creek, and Chewelah Creek, are also open to fishing.
If you're interested in viewing flora, the trails near Mill Pond, Noisy Creek, and Hall Mountain offer a variety of trees, plants, and flowers. Geocaching is allowed in many parts of the forest with the exception of designated Wilderness Areas, national scenic areas, and historic trails.
In the winter, Bead Lake and Sullivan Lake are popular spots for ice fishing. Metal detecting and rock-hounding are two popular, laid-back activities. When the weather is cold or rainy, enjoy the wilderness on the scenic drives near Mill Pond, Noisy Creek, and Sullivan Lake.
After dark, take time to look up from your seat around the campfire; the lack of light pollution in the forest makes for exceptional stargazing.
Address: 765 South Main Street, Colville, WA 99114
Fee: Entry fee $0
Serene and beautiful, the Colville National Forest is the perfect place to get off the grid. Whether you're seeking the solitude of hiking and fishing or the community of the many lakeside campgrounds, the forest has activities for the whole family. An RV is a fantastic way to get out in nature while enjoying a warm, cozy bed and the comforts of modern life.