If you want to experience the wide variety of cultures and environments present between the Deep South and the West Coast, then you might want to take a Birmingham to Portland road trip. On this lengthy drive, you’ll get to check out some awesome national and state parks full of mountains, lakes, rivers, caves, and more. You’ll also go through some major cities that are full of excellent tourist attractions that can make your trip both educational and entertaining.
Mammoth Cave National Park
You can visit the world’s longest discovered cave system on your road trip from Birmingham to Portland by driving an hour and 15 minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee, to Mammoth Cave National Park. Large chambers, flowstone formations, and a tunnel full of signatures from 19th-century visitors await you here. The main attraction may be underground, but the lovely rolling hills above-ground give you plenty of great places to explore as well. You can walk, bike, or ride on multiple trails; several lakes and rivers are available for fishing and boating.
Gateway Arch National Park
Gateway Arch National Park is only five minutes off of your route as it crosses the Mississippi River into St. Louis, Missouri, and it’s a must-see on your Birmingham to Portland RV road trip because the 630-foot arch was dubbed the “Gateway to the West.” The 91 acres of the park contain the arch and its surrounding grounds as well as some historic buildings and museums. If your timing is right, then you might even be able to catch a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi.
Rocky Mountain National Park
The stunning alpine scenery and wildlife of the Rockies are ripe for exploration at awesome Rocky Mountain National Park. Whether you want to ascend to the heights of a peak or to stand at the base of a towering waterfall, you can do so and more at this gorgeous national park that’s an hour and 40 minutes from Cheyenne, Wyoming. This park is particularly stunning in the fall when the trees change and in the spring when the wildflowers bloom; no matter when you visit, though, you’ll be able to explore this park on more than 300 miles of hiking trails.
Yellowstone National Park
You can reach one of Yellowstone National Park’s entrances by driving three hours and 15 minutes northeast of Declo, Idaho. There are plenty of incredible places to visit here in the land of hot springs, geysers, and the Rocky Mountains. Numerous trails take you past geothermal features, waterfalls, forests, and more. If you want to see more stunning mountain vistas and alpine lakes, you can drive 10 minutes south of Yellowstone to explore Grand Teton National Park.
Mount Rainier National Park
Just because you’re on the last leg of your road trip from Birmingham to Portland doesn’t mean that you can’t take a detour into Washington to visit iconic Mount Rainier National Park. If you travel three hours and 15 minutes from The Dalles, Oregon, then you’ll be able to visit this majestic mountain and its surrounding areas. You can climb to the summit with a permit and a guide, but you can explore the wonders of this mountain’s base with just your own two feet.
Monte Sano State Park
If you want to add a place known for its peace and tranquility to your road trip itinerary from Birmingham to Portland, then you should drop by serene Monte Sano State Park. This location once housed a sanitarium, but now, it’s a state park that welcomes all in need of rest and relaxation. Hiking, bird-watching, and picnicking are all popular activities at this park that’s half an hour east of Huntsville, Alabama.
David Crockett State Park
At historic David Crockett State Park, you can walk in the footsteps of the King of the Wild Frontier. At this park 35 minutes from Pulaski, Tennessee, you’ll be able to explore a replica grist mill similar to the one Crockett operated and tour a museum that gives further details about his life. There are eight miles of trails ideal for hiking plus an additional paved trail suited for biking. Lindsey Lake is a great place for boating and fishing while the Olympic-sized pool is the perfect place to take a dip.
Washington County State Recreation Area
Just a dozen minutes south of Nashville, Illinois is the entrance to Washington County State Recreation Area. Washington County Lake is nearly 250 acres, so it’s a great place for boating and fishing. If you want to do some hunting, you can head over to the hunting area; there’s also an archery range to practice your shooting skills.
Seminoe State Park
About 35 minutes north of Sinclair, Wyoming, is Seminoe State Park. People enjoy coming here to go fishing, boating, and swimming on the 19,000-acre Seminoe Reservoir and to take a look at the Seminoe Dam. There are some nice trails in the park for hiking, horseback riding, and biking; you might see some bobcats, elk, moose, bald eagles, and more on your trek.
Deschutes River State Park
The first state park contained within the stunning Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is Deschutes River State Park. The Deschutes River empties into the Columbia River here, so there are plenty of awesome places to boat, fish, kayak, tube, and whitewater raft. Mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding are also possible at this park that’s 10 minutes from The Dalles, Oregon.
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is aptly named since it’s sandwiched between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. This peninsula is over 170,000 acres large, so there’s tons of space for hiking, hunting, camping, and more. The two lakes are ideal for fishing and boating at this park four minutes from Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Park attractions include the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm and Living History Museum, Golden Pond Planetarium, and more.
Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum
After visiting the Gateway Arch but before leaving the St. Louis area, you should explore the Lewis & Clark Boat House and Museum, which is four minutes from St. Charles, Missouri. This facility features life-sized replicas of the boats that were used on the Lewis & Clark Expedition as well as more information about that famous exploration trip.
Kansas City Power & Light District
If you want to visit a bustling part of Kansas City that’s full of great restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues and only three minutes off your route, then you should make time for exploring the Kansas City Power & Light District on your road trip from Birmingham to Portland. You can eat at places like Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint and Howl at the Moon; you can grab a drink at The Dubliner or PBR Big Sky.
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is a beautiful recreation area that somehow manages to fly under the radar in spite of its stellar fishing opportunities and gorgeous gorge. Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a great place for a wide variety of water sports, swimming, and, of course, fishing. The gorge is named for its lovely red walls, so you’ll get to take in amazing scenery while you’re enjoying this park that’s only 15 minutes south of Green River, Wyoming.
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
Roughly 20 minutes southwest of Nampa, Idaho, is Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge. Numerous species of birds and mammals migrate and live here, so it’s an excellent place for wildlife viewing and photography. You can also go fishing, boating, and swimming on Lake Lowell; hiking is possible as well on the six trails in the park.
When exploring Music City, be sure to drop by Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum and Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. Multiple nice dump stations and campgrounds are nearby.
Saint Louis, Missouri
City Museum, Grant’s Farm, and more await you in this bustling city on the Mississippi River. Plenty of great dump stations and campgrounds are also in the area.
Kansas City, Missouri
Great locations like the Arabia Steamboat Museum and the Kansas City Zoo are ready for exploration in Kansas City. There are plenty of quality dump stations and campgrounds close by.
Ogden is home to interesting places like the Hill Aerospace Museum and the Utah State Railroad Museum. You’ll be able to find many excellent dump stations and campgrounds locally as Utah is popular with RVers.
The Idaho History Museum and the Old Idaho Penitentiary are two fascinating attractions to explore in Idaho’s capital. There are many top-notch dump stations and campgrounds that you can use here.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Birmingham to Portland, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Birmingham or Portland.