A San Francisco to Missoula road trip is an exciting journey through lots of different environments. Starting with the coastal breezes of San Francisco, you travel through the mountainous region and into the desert area of Nevada. Then you head north through Nevada, the corner of Oregon, Idaho, and finally into Montana. You will find plenty to see and do on your road trip from San Francisco to Missoula, including everything from historical areas to fun outdoor activities.
Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is in eastern Nevada near Utah and showcases a diverse environment. Wheeler Peak is over 13,000 feet tall and surrounded by sage-covered foothills. You can enjoy the quiet wilderness, walk through the ancient bristlecone pines, bask under the starry night skies, or go exploring the caves. The Lehman Caves is a limestone cave decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, and other awe-inspiring formations.
Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a wilderness area located in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. This park has over 700 miles worth of hiking trails as well as a route to Hidden Lake. This park is a great place for camping, cycling, or backpacking. You can step into history through chalets, lodges, and the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This is a hiker's paradise.
Yellowstone National Park
While you are in the general area, you may want to take a slight detour to Yellowstone National Park. This park is full of geologic and hydrothermal wonders waiting to be experienced. There are trails and boardwalks leading to mud pots, hot springs, fumaroles, and geysers. Choose from over 1,000 miles of trails. If you own binoculars or a telephoto lens, be sure to bring it because there is a wide array of wildlife you can watch from a safe distance.
Fort Churchill State Historic Park
Fort Churchill State Historic Park is in the small town of Silver Springs, Nevada. The park was set up to preserve the old U.S. Army fort, a waystation of the Pony Express, and Central Overland Routes that have been around since the 1860s. This is a great area to stretch your legs while you follow the trails and study the ruins. Check out the Buckland Station used in the 1800s by pioneer travelers.
Eagle Island State Park
Eagle Island State Park is a recreation area on the outskirts of Eagle, Idaho. The park covers 545 acres on the banks of the Boise River. This is a fun spot to take a break, offering a picnic area, swimming areas, and a water slide. You will also find over five miles of trails to hike. If you want to get some good exercise, give the 19-hole course a try. In the wintertime, the snow provides some great hills for tubing.
Winchester State Park
Winchester State Park covers 418 acres at the edge of Idaho, almost into Montana. It surrounds Winchester Lake at the base of the Craig Mountain Range. This place is known for excellent fishing so if you stop, be sure to grab your pole. In the summer, you can enjoy hiking or biking or hit the water and do some paddling. In the winter, there is skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is right on the route of your San Francisco to Missoula RV road trip and is a fun spot to take a break from driving. This park is a combination of zoo and theme park. They offer a variety of rollercoasters as well as lots of other amusement rides, including family rides, rides for the kids, and thrill rides. When you are done with the rides, be sure to visit the animal exhibits as well. They have everything from alligators to butterflies. You can visit the big cats at Cain's Lion Cub Island and Cougar Rocks, as well as an exhibit of ocean animals.
Warhawk Air Museum
The Warhawk Air Museum is an aviation museum located in Nampa, Idaho. It offers displays of planes and flying memorabilia. The Curtiss P-40N Warhawk was in service when World War II started and was used in Pearl Harbor. There are around a dozen different aircraft at the museum, as well memorabilia of World War I and II and the Cold War. The fascinating exhibits take you back in time with photographs, flags, and flight jackets.
Fort Missoula Museum
The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula is in Missoula, Montana, so you can visit it at the end of your journey. The museum tells the story of the fort in 1877 when the fort was bustling during the Indian Wars. The 32 acres of park-like conditions will put you in touch with the rich culture and history of western Montana. They also have restored buildings on the site.
Auburn was a bustling town during the California Gold Rush. This city is registered as a California Historical Landmark. The Placer High School located in Auburn is one of the oldest high schools in the state, and many films were also shot in this area. Auburn is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is a beautiful little community where you can explore some of the state's history. Check out the Placer County Historical Museum. If you want to enjoy some outdoor activities, visit Lake Clementine.
If you need to use a dump station by the time you get to this area, the facilities at the Auburn Gold Country RV Park are easy to find. They only charge $20 to dump unless you are a registered guest, then it is free. With lots nearby to explore and enjoy, you may want to camp for the night. The Loomis RV Park, just south of Auburn, is a quiet and clean choice. They have full hookups, showers, and cell reception.
Reno is the biggest city in the northern part of the state. Reno is famous for its casinos and shows, but there is more to the area. You can visit museums like the National Automobile Museum, the Wilbur D. May Center, and the Lake Mansion. You can check out the Reno Riverwalk District and the Reno Arch. There is also an abundance of wedding chapels. Reno is also known for outdoor activities like hot air balloon rides and car shows.
If you need to use a dump station in the area, you will find easy access at Cabela's, where you can do a little shopping for supplies while you are at it. If you want to camp overnight to take in some of the local attractions, check out the River Rest Resort. This park is located just far enough outside town to give you some peace and quiet right next to the beautiful Truckee River.
Homedale is a city on the western edge of Idaho, part of the Boise metropolitan area. Homedale is a friendly little community with plenty of amenities. Riverside Park houses the community swimming pool. There is also Homedale City Park that has five tennis courts and a playground for the kids. There is a huge lawn perfect for picnics with a barbecue facility and tables as well. Sundance Park has baseball and soccer fields where they have tournaments during the season. If you enjoy golf, there are two courses available to play. The River Bend Golf Course is home to the famous Silo hole and sits right on the river. The Timber Stone Golf Course is a championship course surrounded by scenic views.
If you are looking for a dump station in the area, you may need to take a slight detour into nearby Caldwell and go to Country Corners RV Park. They keep a dump station and water available for travelers. This is a pleasant area to spend the night, so if you want to camp, check out the Snake River RV Resort. This park is close to the fun of golf courses and wineries. They offer full hookups, and laundry facilities are available.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from San Francisco to Missoula, 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 San Francisco or Missoula.