If you want to drive from the West Coast to the Rocky Mountains, then a Portland to Aspen road trip may be on your bucket list. Mountains, geysers, red rocks, black rocks, and more await you at some of America's finest national parks. You'll get to tour some awesome state parks as well that are home to waterfalls, dunes, lakes, and even the Great Salt Lake. When you're planning your fabulous road trip itinerary from Portland to Aspen, you'll be able to add some fun tourist attractions and interesting cities to your list.
Mount Rainier National Park
Before you leave Portland, you should travel two hours and 55 minutes north to visit Mount Rainier National Park. Glaciers, old-growth forests, and, of course, Mount Rainier, are on stunning display at this 236,000-acre park close to the Seattle/Tacoma area. You can climb all 14,410 feet of Mount Rainier, but you can also explore hundreds of miles of pathways in the park that will take you to glaciers, waterfalls, valleys, and more.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is three hours and 20 minutes northeast of Declo, Idaho, but the wonders of this popular national park are worth a bit of extra traveling on your road trip from Portland to Aspen. Whether you're looking forward to seeing sights like Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful for the first time or to greeting them as old friends, you won't run out of amazing places to visit at Yellowstone. The Rocky Mountains, thundering herds of bison, and stunning waterfalls also call this park home.
Arches National Park
You can reach Arches National Park by driving a mere 25 miles south of Crescent Junction, Utah. As its name suggests, this park is famous for the more than 2,000 graceful sandstone arches that make it so popular. This 100-square-mile park is a fabulous location for photography, canyoneering, and rock climbing. There are plenty of great trails that will take you to some of the park's most famous arches and other red rock formations.
Canyonlands National Park
The entrance to Canyonlands National Park is 40 minutes south of Crescent Junction and 30 minutes from Arches. Outside of the Grand Canyon itself, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better place to see this type of majestic red rock canyon environment. In addition to the stunning canyonlands that give the park its name, you can also view plenty of peaks, spires, colorful desert vistas, and crevasses by hiking on numerous paths throughout the park. If you want to go boating or rafting, you can spend some time on the Colorado and Green Rivers as they intersect in the park.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park can be found an hour and 22 minutes from Grand Junction, Colorado. The rugged basalt rocks here are some of North America's oldest exposed rock; they serve to create a rugged hiking and rock-climbing environment. The Gunnison River is a great place for kayaking, fishing, and rafting. Night sky viewing is also popular here since the remoteness of the park makes its skies perfect for stargazing.
Ainsworth State Park
You could spend weeks on end exploring the wonders of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area; one great place to stay while you do so is Ainsworth State Park. The park itself is RV friendly and right off of your route as it goes through Cascade Locks, Oregon, so you can experience the beauties of nature with the comfort of a full hookup. You can see lovely Horsetail Falls in this park; not too far from the park are famous sites like Multnomah Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Hiking and biking are popular here, too, thanks to the park's gorgeous trails.
Columbia Hills State Park
Before you leave the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in your rearview mirror, you should cross the river and travel 10 minutes from The Dalles, Oregon, to Columbia Hills State Park. Horsethief Lake and Horsethief Butte are favorite attractions here. Boating, kayaking, swimming, and water sports are popular on the lake as well as the Columbia River. Horsethief Butte is a great place to go rock climbing and adventuring.
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Bruneau Dunes State Park is located 20 minutes west of Hammett, Idaho. This park is home to North America's biggest single-structure sand dune, so it's worth visiting on your Portland to Aspen RV road trip. Hiking and horseback riding are both popular ways to experience the dunes and so is dune-sledding. There are actually a few lakes in the park, so you can go fishing here.
Antelope Island State Park
You can't take a road trip from Portland to Aspen without stopping by the Great Salt Lake, so you should drop by Antelope Island State Park, which is half an hour west of Layton, Utah. The island is located within the lake itself, so you'll be able to see the many wonders of this unique area up close. Many trails in the park take you through mountains, plains, beaches, and more. Bison, bobcats, deer, and, of course, plenty of waterfowl all call this state park home.
Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Falls State Park is only 20 minutes north of Rifle, Colorado. The three 70-foot waterfalls that make up Rifle Falls are the celebrities here; visitors enjoy looking at and photographing these lovely waterfalls. If you're up for a bit of an adventure, you can explore the limestone caves under the falls. Multiple trails provide great places for mountain biking, hiking, and running.
Bridal Veil Falls
Since Bridal Veil Falls is only two minutes from your route as it goes through Bridal Veil, Oregon, you should definitely take the chance to see this famous attraction on your Portland to Aspen RV road trip. A couple of trails near Bridal Veil Falls give you excellent views of the falls as well as the Columbia River.
Roaring Springs Water Park
If you want to add a great place to have fun in the sun to your road trip itinerary from Portland to Aspen, then you should visit Roaring Springs Water Park. Fabulous water rides like Snake River Run, Corkscrew Cavern, and Thunder Falls are in this park that's located just two minutes from Meridian, Idaho.
Lagoon Amusement Park
About five minutes from Interstate 15 as it passes through Farmington, Utah, is Lagoon Amusement Park. At Lagoon, you can ride thrilling attractions like Cannibal, Colossus, Bat, and Wicked. You can also chill at Lagoon A Beach, which is full of water slides, waterfalls, and a lazy river. Another great place to visit is Pioneer Village, which is a reconstructed Wild West town modeled after a late-1800s frontier community.
Colorado National Monument
Stunning Colorado National Monument is just five minutes south of Fruita, Colorado, so you should explore this park on your road trip from Portland to Aspen. Plateaus, monoliths, canyons, and more await you in this western part of Colorado. Even if you do nothing else here, be sure to bike or drive through Rim Rock Drive in order to see spectacular scenery.
Glenwood Hot Springs Resort
Before you head southeast to Aspen, you should stop in Glenwood Springs and spend some quality time in the biggest hot springs in the world. In addition to this large hot springs pool, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is also home to a water park area called Sopris Splash Zone and an athletic club. For a truly luxurious poolside experience, be sure to rent a cabana for the day.
Twin Falls, Idaho
Salt Lake City, Utah
When not exploring the wonders of the Great Salt Lake, you can stop by interesting places like the City Creek Center and the Tracy Aviary. There are plenty of great dump stations and campgrounds in Utah’s capital.
Grand Junction, Colorado
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Portland to Aspen, 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 Portland or Aspen.