Get ready to explore the natural beauty of the Northwest on your Seattle to Boise road trip. Some of the places you'll want to include on your travels are Mount Saint Helens, Puget Sound, and the Snake River on the border of Oregon and Idaho. Stops in Tacoma, Portland, and Nampa offer opportunities to experience the excitement of city life as it commingles with the tranquility of nature. With so much to see and explore, your road trip itinerary can turn this nine-hour drive into a trip that lasts a week or more.
No road trip is complete without exploring at least one of America's beautiful national parks. Washington is home to some of the most breathtaking and rugged wilderness in the entire U.S.
Mount Rainier National Park
Enjoy the subalpine meadows in Paradise and breathtaking views at Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park. This massive park has more than 260 miles of trails to hike, and it surrounds one of the most active volcanoes in the country. While you're here, take a walk to Ohanapecosh and feel the cool spray from rocky waterfalls as you wander through an old-growth forest. Be sure to visit Longmire to learn about Mount Rainier's long history. If you want to see some of the sights from your RV, check out Christine Falls and Glacier Bridge. Not to be forgotten is the Carbon River and the rainforests that encompass it. Camping at three different grounds is available as well as fishing at Mowich Lake, the largest in the park.
The northwest part of the country is known not only for its luscious forests but also for its many state parks. Consider stopping at a few on your road trip from Seattle to Boise.
Saltwater State Park
Stop at Saltwater State Park on your way out of Seattle. This park is located on 137 acres edging onto Puget Sound with plenty of tide pools to explore. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can head to McSorley Creek to watch the salmon spawn. Fishing, hiking, and swimming are available with numerous picnic areas to enjoy.
Ainsworth State Park
Ainsworth State Park is surrounded by the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. The park's main feature are the numerous high waterfalls that stretch through the area from Ainsworth to Crown Point—the highest concentration of these types of waterfalls in the world. Multnomah Falls is a must-see, located only a few miles off the USFS Trail 400 near the campground. You should also check out St. Peter's Dome, a prominent rock formation in the park. Flush with hiking trails, waterfalls, and places to camp, this outdoor oasis is perfect for an overnight stay.
Deschutes River State Recreation Area
Deschutes River State Recreation Area is a park you'll want to include on your road trip itinerary from Seattle to Boise. Located where the Deschutes and Columbia rivers converge in Oregon, this park has a variety of trails to hike with loads of water activities, such as salmon fishing, kayaking, and exciting whitewater adventures that come with your own river guide. Bird-watching is a favorite pastime here as well. Look for orioles as they build their nests in the white alder trees throughout the park.
Before getting too far along on your Seattle to Boise RV road trip, explore the wonders of Puget Sound. It's comprised of tiny islands, and you can take ferries to many of them and enjoy their quaint boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries. Vashon Island, known as "Heart of the Sound," has ferry connections in both Seattle and Tacoma. Here, you'll want to climb the Point Robinson Lighthouse for incredible views of Mount Rainier and bike the country trails of this island's farming community. Other islands to see while there include Orcas Island, Camano Island, and Whidbey Island, the largest island and only one accessible by car.
Mount Saint Helens
You simply can't leave Washington without taking a slight detour to see Mount Saint Helens. You can experience the site of the most powerful volcanic eruption in U.S. history when you stop by the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Climbing the volcano requires a permit and has a 100-person-a-day limit. Hiking trails start at Coldwater Lake where fishing is also available. If you want to catch aerial views of the mountain, you can take a helicopter tour of the valley. On your way out town, taste the flavors of Mount Saint Helens Cellars Winery.
The Snake River
The Snake River can be seen from I-84 past the city of Lime on the last part of your Seattle to Boise RV road trip. Hop off the freeway and head to Farewell Bend State Recreation Area, located on the border of Oregon and Idaho. The area is rich with the history of traveling pioneers during the 1800s who stopped for one last time at this bend in the river before continuing their journey into Oregon. Since then, the 206-mile river has become a haven for water sports in two states. You can water ski and swim during the summer months, but hiking and camping are available throughout most of the year.
Tacoma is a great place to experience Puget Sound and take in some of the best museums in Washington. Begin your art journey at the Museum of Glass. Colorful works of handcrafted and blown glass decorate the elaborate 75,000-square-foot space. The LeMay Collections at Marymount offer four tour options, including one that delves into the history of the estate and an extensive vintage car collection. The Odd Otter Brewing Company in downtown Tacoma is a great place to slake your thirst and feast on some local grub. Before you go, learn about the city's maritime history at Foss Waterway Seaport and check out these other hot spots: Tacoma Dome, Chihuly Bridge of Glass, and the Job Carr Cabin Museum. Since you'll want to spend at least two days exploring this city, stay at a nearby campground to make your time here a memorable one with dump stations also nearby.
Portland is Oregon's largest city and home to more breweries than any other U.S. city. For the best brews, take a sip at Von Ebert Brewing Pearl, known for its wild farmhouse ales and Hair of the Dog where barley wines and IPAs will make your day. In the afternoon, you can wander through the enchanting Portland Japanese Garden, an expansive 5.5-acre sanctuary with waterfalls, mountain views, and an authentic teahouse. Take a tour of the historic Pittock Mansion, built in 1914, that tells the story of Portland's transition from a small pioneer town to a modernized city. You can also enjoy lunch outside on the steps of Pioneer Courthouse Square, also known as "Portland's Living Room," a large open area located in the middle of downtown. More fun places to explore include Lan Su Chinese Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, and Washington Park. The park connects to several attractions, including the Pittock Mansion. Beautiful campgrounds close to the city offer relaxing accommodations, so you can take your time as you explore the city.
Nampa, Idaho, is a great big little city, and it's the last you'll drive through on your road trip from Seattle to Boise. The location of Nampa is in the Sunnyslope region of the town's wine country, and it has over 15 wineries where you can taste the best wines from local vineyards year-round. Downtown Nampa is known for its blocks of antique stores and for being an excellent place to shop. At the center of the city, you can take a peek at the town's locomotive history at the Nampa Train Depot. If you're in town during the Snake River Stampede and Rodeo, you're in for a treat. Cowboys and cowgirls from all over the country come to win bull riding, bareback bronc riding, and barrel racing competitions for huge cash prizes. Campgrounds in the area are perfect for short or extended stays, allowing you to spend more time here. There are also a few options in Nampa if you're in need of a dump station to take care of your RV's sanitation needs during your Seattle to Boise road trip
Whether you're on the road for a few days or a few weeks, traveling in a recreational vehicle is a great way to experience everything the road has to offer on your Seattle to Boise road trip. RV rentals from RVshare make travel comfortable and fun, freeing you to relax and enjoy every minute of the ride.