A road trip along the West Coast offers a wealth of recreational and entertainment activities to choose from. Terrain and climate will vary widely on your Seattle to Los Angeles road trip and can take you through the depths of the redwood forests, the arid landscape around Mount Shasta, and the agricultural hubs around Sacramento and Fresno. Several majestic national parks can add just an hour or two to the overall drive time. By bypassing Sacramento with a trip to San Francisco, you only add a few minutes to the overall trip, but you gain all the cultural and culinary treasures of the City by the Bay as well as get dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S., and Crater Lake National Park is Oregon's only national park. You can easily include a trip to Crater Lake on your Seattle to Los Angeles RV road trip. The drive along the rim offers a spectacular view of the incredibly blue water. During the warmer months, you can make the steep hike down to the water or enjoy many miles of hiking and biking trails. Winter offers several cross-country skiing trails as well as opportunities for snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
Redwood National Park
There's a reason why parts of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," and other movies were filmed in the redwoods. When you enter the old-growth areas of Redwood National Park, the temperature drops dramatically, and the light dims as it filters through the tallest trees in the world. In this ancient ecosystem, you can hike, bike, ride horses, watch for wildlife, and attend cultural programs by the Tolowa and Yurok tribes.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Yellowstone is not the only place where you'll find bubbling mud pools and geysers. During your Seattle to Los Angeles road trip, you can visit Lassen Volcanic National Park, which is located in Northern California, near the border with Oregon. Within the park, all four types of volcano are present: shield, composite, cinder cone, and plug dome. In the summer, kids can take advantage of the park's Junior Ranger activities, and winter offers ranger-led snowshoeing adventures. The park offers 150 hiking trails where you may encounter all manner of wildlife, big and small. Other activities include boating, horseback riding, fishing, bird-watching, and stargazing.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular parks in the U.S. It is known for its world-class climbing, pristine backcountry, and common sightings of bears. You can enjoy a range of activities throughout the year, including auto touring, hiking and backpacking, biking, horseback riding, birding, rock climbing, boating, fishing, and winter sports. There are also a number of ranger-led activities for all ages.
Sequoia National Park
While redwoods are the tallest trees, the giant sequoia is the largest. The varied terrain in Sequoia National Park offers stunning views of the various peaks and valleys of the Sierra Nevada range. The giant sequoia only grows on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California. The primary activity is strolling among these ancient trees, which can be over 36 feet in diameter. It takes a whole lot of people to hug these trees.
Silver Falls State Park
If you've always wanted to walk behind a waterfall, Silver Falls State Park is the place to do it. The state park is located just east of Salem, OR, making it an easy addition to your Seattle to Los Angeles road trip itinerary. You'll find South Falls as you hike along the Trail of Ten Falls, and there, you can check out the view from behind this 177-foot curtain of water. You can hike, bike, or ride a horse through the many miles of trails.
Castle Crags State Park
Hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and swimming await at Castle Crags State Park in California. In addition to outdoor recreation, this park offers cultural programs from the Okwanuchu Shasta and Wintu tribes.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park near Santa Rosa, CA, makes for a serene stop along your Seattle to Los Angeles road trip. In addition to hiking amid redwood trees and giant ferns, you can take advantage of the astronomy education and interpretation programs at the Robert Ferguson Observatory that is located within the park.
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park honors the more than 300 families who settled here in the early 1900s to escape Southern sharecropping. The park near Earlimart, CA, hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year. Stop at the visitor center to learn about the daily life of the settlers or to get information about a cellphone self-guided tour.
Point Mugu State Park
While only about an hour from Los Angeles, Point Mugu State Park is a world apart. With its more than 70 miles of hiking trails, you can stroll along the beach, hike through a shady river canyon, or traverse valleys in the Santa Monica Mountains.
International Rose Test Garden
Located within Washington Park in Portland, OR, the garden has over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. The garden is free to visit and can be a pleasant and fragrant stop along your Seattle to Los Angeles RV road trip.
Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve
The natural marble halls deep within the Siskiyou Mountains are a perfect reprieve from a hot summer day. The park near Cave Junction, OR, offers several different types of cave tours, ranging from kid-friendly to full-on off-trail spelunking. If you prefer to stay out of the caves, you'll also find hiking trails through the surrounding forest. If you get hungry, Oregon Caves has a historic lodge with dining facilities.
The Oregon Vortex
This quaint stop is home to the House of Mystery and has been welcoming visitors since the 1930s. It's located near the small town of Gold Hill, which is just north of Medford, OR. Perception is skewed in this sphere of energy. When measured, who is short and who is tall reverses. There are no truly level surfaces, and what appears to go uphill is actually downhill, and vice versa. Just minutes off I-5, the Oregon Vortex can add an element of wonder to your road trip from Seattle to Los Angeles.
Folsom Prison Museum
Another unique option for your Seattle to Los Angeles road trip, the Folsom Prison Museum is located just to the east of Sacramento. Among the artifacts, you can browse memorabilia from Johnny Cash's famous concerts inside the prison walls as well as contraband and other weapons crafted by inmates, walk into cells, and check out photos and other fascinating historical documents.
The motto here is "Keep Portland Weird." While you're on your Seattle to Los Angeles RV road trip, you'll find plenty of RV parks and dump stations. One dump station is at Jantzen Beach RV Resort, which is right at the border of Washington and Oregon. Some of the RV parks feature unusual amenities, such as the on-site gym at Portland Fairview RV Park.
Grants Pass, OR, sits on the Rogue River, a popular waterway for fishing and rafting. It's the gateway to outdoor recreation in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Umpqua National Forest. You'll find plenty of private and county RV campgrounds, such as Schroeder Park.
Known for hippies, cable cars, and Alcatraz, San Francisco has something for everyone. You'll also find a host of RV parks, such as San Francisco RV Resort, that offer full hookups for all sizes of RV.
You might want to make this Gold Rush town part of your road trip itinerary from Seattle to Los Angeles. You'll find loads of RV campgrounds to relax at. Campgrounds such as SacWest RV Park & Campground can be a whole vacation unto themselves.
If you're looking for budget-friendly RV campgrounds on your Seattle to Los Angeles RV road trip, plan to make a stop in Fresno. Many of the RV parks in and around Fresno offer excellent amenities at affordable prices, such as Three Palms Mobile Home & RV Park of Fresno. While you're there, you'll find plenty of sunshine in this city, which sits in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley.
The West Coast offers endless options for road trips in an RV whether you want to spend a day, a week, a month, or longer. Traveling in an RV allows you to set your own timeline and itinerary. If you don't own an RV, there are plenty of rentals available from RVshare in Seattle, Los Angeles, and many points in between.