A road trip from Portland to Sandpoint is a snapshot of the stunning Pacific Northwest. You will be making much of the trip along the picturesque Columbia River. Enjoy the spectacular scenic beauty as you pass through three different states. There are plenty of fishing, camping, and other opportunities to explore along the way.
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park may be a few hours' detour off our chosen route, but this park is worth a visit. The mountain is a stunning icon of northern Washington at over 14,000 feet tall. It is an active volcano surrounded by subalpine wildflower meadows. Be sure to check out Carbon River that is accessible by a trail open to bicyclists and pedestrians. There is also the Rain Forest Nature Trail that is a unique environment this far from the coast.
North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is another national park in northern Washington. It is a great place to explore over 300 glaciers. The beautiful forests are full of cascading waters. The hiking and camping in fresh mountain air are highlighted by beautiful wildflowers and glimpses of wildlife like squirrels, gray wolves, bears, and over 200 different bird species. Visit Ross Lake and the city of Stehekin at the tip of Lake Chelan.
Memaloose State Park
Memaloose State Park is located in Mosier, Oregon, at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge. This area has nice mild temperatures year-round. The gorgeous landscape is a great area to camp overnight or even just stop for a picnic. The campsites look over the Columbia River and Memaloose Island. During the day, you can enjoy the shade of a willow, maple, or cottonwood tree. At night, lay in the meadow and enjoy a sea of stars overhead.
Wygant State Park
Wygant State Park is located 6 miles west of Hood River in Oregon. This is a great spot to get out and stretch your legs after driving for a while on your Portland to Sandpoint road trip. There is a trail through a beautiful, wooded area, the first mile of which is paved. It used to be the old Oregon Trail and later the Historic Columbia River Highway. Enjoy an energetic walk in the fresh air alongside a charming gurgling creek.
Round Lake State Park
Round Lake State Park is located just outside Sagle, Idaho, a perfect example of the beauty that is northern Idaho. The highlight is Round Lake, a 58-acre lake densely surrounded by pine, hemlock, and larch trees. It is a wonderful area to play in the water and catch glimpses of a variety of birds and wildlife. This is a fun place for swimming or fishing and does have campsites available if you want to spend the night.
Bateman Island is a picturesque island on the Columbia River near Kennewick, Washington. The island is about 1 mile long, a lushly forested area known for the wide variety of birds in the area. This is a bird watcher's paradise, so be sure to bring your binoculars. You will also spot a variety of wildlife as you are hiking the trail around the island. There are parks on the island as well where you can enjoy a picnic or let the kids play on the playground. Be sure to visit the REACH Museum to learn about the history of the area.
Spokane Falls is a dam and waterfall on the Spokane River near downtown. The view is a refreshing taste of nature in the middle of city life. You can take a stroll around Riverfront Park to get the best view. You will also find a spectacular view of Huntington Park. The Sky Ride gondolas will give you a 20-minute ride over the falls for excellent photography opportunities. These were built in preparation for Expo ’74 and will provide an entertaining pitstop during your trip.
Coeur d’Alene Lake
Coeur d’Alene Lake is 26 miles long just across the border in northern Idaho. Along the 135 miles of shoreline, you will find beaches, trails, and campgrounds. There are parks to check out like Heyburn State Park. Be sure to visit Beauty Bay as well. Depending on what time of year you visit, you will have a chance to spot migrating bald eagles, swans, geese, ducks, and ospreys. The lake is known for its chinook salmon fishing, but you can also catch trout or bass in these waters.
Sandpoint City Beach Park
Idaho may not be close to an ocean, but you can enjoy a sandy beach at the Sandpoint City Beach Park. This area covers 22 acres and is a popular spot, especially in the summer. There are designated areas to swim where you will find floating docks and manned lifeguard stations. The park also includes tennis and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a basketball court, and a playground for the kids. There are some picnic areas with food concessions as well as a marina and boat launch.
Kennewick, Washington, is known for its mild winters and plentiful spring crops. Apples, cherries, and grapes are grown in this area. Be sure to check out the Gesa Carousel of Dreams, a restored hand-carved wooden carousel that is about 108 years old. The city also highlights their 9/11 World Trade Center that is a 30-foot-tall steel column that was recovered from the Twin Towers. Stretch your legs on the Sacagawea Heritage Trail, an easy trail in a stunning area.
If you get to Kennewick and need to use a dump station, you can go to the Tri-Cities RV Park on West Bonnie Avenue. It is open all year and is free for registered guests camping there. It costs $7 to use if you are a visitor only. If you would like to camp overnight, consider staying at the Columbia Sun RV Resort. They offer 145 full hookup sites with free Wi-Fi and DirecTV. They are also pet-friendly.
Spokane is in eastern Washington right on the Spokane River. While you are there, you may want to take some time to explore. This is the home of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture where you can learn about the area’s culture and Native American heritage. You will also see the Tudor-style Campbell House that was built in the early 1900s. Of course, you will also want to visit Spokane Falls.
If you need a dump station on your Portland to Sandpoint RV road trip, Spokane is a good pitstop. The North Spokane RV Campground has a dump station that is open all year and provides rinse water as well. The cost is $20 for visitors. If you want to spend the night in the area, this is a nice park, or you can check out the Trailer Inns of Spokane. It has full hookups, pull-through sites, and showers.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful city in northwest Idaho. This place is known for the water sports on Coeur d’Alene Lake as well as hiking trails in the Canfield Mountain Natural Area. There is a national forest nearby. This city is rich in exciting attractions like lake cruises or the Silverwood Theme Park or just a quiet getaway in the city park. Coeur d’Alene is called the playground of the Pacific Northwest. If you enjoy wildlife, check out the Cougar Bay Preserve. This area is teeming with nesting and migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds. You will also see beaver, moose, otter, and deer.
If you need a dump station while passing through Coeur d’Alene, there is a convenient one located at the Black Rock Marina just south of the city. Since there is so much to do in Coeur d’Alene, you may wish to camp for the night. Check out the River Walk RV Park on West Mill Avenue. They have full hookups, a swimming pool and hot tub, and showers.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Portland to Sandpoint, 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 Sandpoint.