A Los Angeles to Boise road trip is the perfect wilderness escape. As you enter California’s Sierra region, you may feel the stress of daily life melt away as you visit terrific national and state parks. Once you cross the state line into Nevada's western region, you will want to consider visiting Carson City and Reno. Cut across the southeast corner of Utah to reach Idaho, where you will find outstanding opportunities to hike and to play on the water.
Sequoia National Park
Mount Whitney at Sequoia National Park near Visalia, California, is the highest point in the contiguous United States. Experienced hikers can hike to the top of this mountain in about seven hours. You may need mountaineering skills to get there because snow and ice usually cover the peak, except from July until September. The 1,000-foot vertical west wall of Moro Rock is a popular place to go rock climbing. The federal government has protected Sequoia since 1890, and this park contains the largest tree in the world.
Kings Canyon National Park
You will also want to visit Kings Canyon National Park, which shares a border with Sequoia National Park. It contains the General Grant Tree, which is the second-largest tree by volume in the world. Hike along the Mark Twain Trail to see the stumps of many large sequoia trees that have been cut down. Lumber companies stopped this practice because it turns out that once cut, sequoia wood is extremely weak. Climb the ladder, and you can walk across the Mark Twain tree stump. There are other tree stumps that you can climb through. The Zumwalt Meadow is a terrific place for a picnic while being surrounded by enormous rock formations.
Death Valley National Park
There are many things to see at Death Valley National Park. Time your visit so that you can visit the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes near sunrise or sunset to capture unique images. You can hike on the dunes, but there are no trails as the sand is continuously shifting. Consider starting your visit by seeing the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns, used in the late 1800s for processing silver and lead ore. Drive along the Badwater Basin Road to see the unique rock formations at the Devil’s Golf Course. Badwater Basin is a vast salt flatland, and it is the lowest point in North America. Do not miss the windy Artist Palette Drive to see the deep reds, pinks, purples, blues, and greens in the volcanic rocks. Follow the trail into Ubehebe Crater, or hike the relatively flat trail around its rim.
Yosemite National Park
There are so many breathtaking sights to see at Yosemite National Park near Mariposa, California, that you will want to include this stop on your Los Angeles to Boise RV road trip for sure. Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the U.S. Stop at Tunnel View, where you can see Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Fall, Half Dome, and El Capitan from the same spot. Consider stretching your legs on a hike to Half Dome or Bridalveil Fall. The meadows at this national park offer incredible scenic views. If you are a climber, then you will want to try one of the famous El Capitan routes.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
You may believe that you took a wrong turn on your road trip from Los Angeles to Boise when you stop at Red Rock Canyon State Park near Mojave, California. The red rocks at this park look very similar to those found in the Zion, Utah, area. The visitors center is a great place to learn more about this park’s geology, and the hike starting near the center offers informative signage. If you are looking for a longer option, head out on the Hagen Trail to see the unique rock formations, wildlife, and desert plants.
Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
Once the working ranch of millionaire Howard Hughes, you will want to stop at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park near Blue Diamond, Nevada. This park is home to several historic buildings, including an 1860s blacksmith shop. Costumed actors present the stories of many of Las Vegas’ earliest settlers during spring and summer living history programs at this park. Catch the theatrical performances that occur nightly from May through September. The outdoor pavilion has been home to these family-friendly performances for more than 45 years.
Washoe Lake State Park
Another wonderful Nevada state park, Washoe Lake State Park has two lakes where you can fish for catfish, bass, and perch. Watch overhead to see American white pelicans and Canada geese coming in for their catch of the day. This park’s mixed-use trails offer stunning views of the Sierra Nevada, Carson, and Virginia mountain ranges. Seasonally, you can go hunting in this park.
Eagle Island State Park
Idaho has its own breathtaking state parks, including Eagle Island State Park which is hemmed in on the north and south by the Boise River. In the summer, you will want to play on the waterslide at this park about 12 miles west of Boise, Idaho. Rent a paddleboard to head out on the lake. You can also go boating and canoeing or try the ziplines. If there’s snow on the ground, you will not want to miss the opportunity to go sledding here.
Sequoia National Forest
Sequoia National Forest covers more than 1.1 million acres near Porterville, California, where you can go hiking, climbing, fishing and hunting. There are eight scenic drives in this park. Take the tour at Boyden Cavern.
Project Survival Cat Haven
Stroll along the paths on a guided tour at Project Survival Cat Haven near Dunlap, California, to see big cats from around the world. In addition to the cats, the scenery is stunning.
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Follow the Methuselah Grove Trail at Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains in Inyo County, California, to see the oldest known living non-clonal organism in the world. Many of the trees in this forest are about 4,900 years old.
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center
Stop at the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center in Nixon, Nevada, to learn more about this Native American tribe and the lake that they consider sacred. This museum is also a fantastic place to learn about this region’s unique geological history.
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge
Stop at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge to see the pronghorns. Be sure to include this stop on your road trip itinerary from Los Angeles to Boise to learn about how opals are mined. Depending on the season, this is a popular spot for migratory birds to stop.
It is easy to go about 60 miles west at Mojave, California, to explore Bakersfield. You will find terrific attractions like the California Area Living Museum, Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, and the Buena Vista Museum of Natural History to explore. Bakersfield campground options include Bakersfield River Run RV Park, A Country RV Park, and Rosedale Village RV Park. You can find RV dump stations in Bakersfield at Bear Mountain RV Resort & Campground, Bakersfield RV Travel Park, and Auxiliary Dam Recreation Area.
Carson City, Nevada
Once you get to Fallon Springs, Nevada, consider heading about 69 miles west to explore Carson City, Nevada. This capital city has many great attractions, including the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Nevada State Museum, and Bowers Mansion Regional Park. Find campgrounds in Carson City at Comstock Country RV Resort, Camp-N-Town, or Washoe Lake State Park. There are many RV dump stations in Carson City, including Camp-N-Town, Grizzly’s RV Storage, and Maverick.
Follow Interstate 80 west about 70 miles to reach Reno. This city offers many great places to explore, including the National Automobile Museum, Truckee River Walk, and the Animal Ark. Options for campgrounds in Reno include River Rest Resort, Sparks Marina RV Park, and Shamrock RV Park. RV dump stations in Reno are available at Zephyr Cove Resort and Marina, Bordertown Casino RV Resort, and Rivers Edge RV Park.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Los Angeles to Boise, 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 Los Angeles or Boise.