A road trip from Seattle to Mount Hood National Forest offers travelers the perfect way to experience the beauty and unique culture of the Pacific Northwest. As you make your way south, you will enjoy outdoor adventures at two majestic national parks where activities such as tidepooling, camping, hiking, and fishing abound at Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park. Exploration of fantastic cities along the way treats you to glassblowing workshops in Tacoma and some of the coast's finest delicacies at a few of Olympia's best eateries. You will also visit the iconic Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument and many of Portland's most cherished hotspots.
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park has a ton of amazing areas for you to see and explore as you trek popular Sunrise trails, ascend mountains on relaxing gondolas, and enjoy historical train rides on the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. Head up Crystal Mountain for Sunday brunch, and then, check out the exhibits at the Sunrise Visitor Center. For one-of-kind experiences, walk through the temperate rainforest near Carbon River, and hike or climb the volcanic terrain of Mount Rainier. More places to visit while you are here are the Chinook Scenic Byway, Myrtle Falls, Mowich Lake, and Comet Falls.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is an outdoor lover's paradise that is just one hour and 10 minutes away from Olympia. In the park, you will have 73 miles of coastal wilderness to explore by investigating tidepools, hiking, and boating in two pristine areas at Shi-Shi Beach and Ruby Beach. Further exploration takes you inland where you will find the Hoh Rain Forest and Visitor Center along with the Hall of Mosses, a popular hiking area located within the rainforest. Epic fresh and saltwater fishing excursions have you reeling for shellfish, wild salmon, and trout on long stretches of scenic coastline and 4,000 miles of rivers. In the evening, relax from the comfort of your RV campsite as you view billions of twinkling stars under Olympic's naturally dark skies.
Flaming Geyser State Park
Flaming Geyser State Park is a Washington state park that is famous for a fascinating geological feature that used to have a continually burning cluster of active methane that gave the park its unique name. Now, hikers can learn about the flame's history on a series of interpretive panels located throughout the 503-acre park. Some of the outdoor activities that you can enjoy at this day-use park are whitewater kayaking, fishing, swimming, and wildlife viewing.
Rainbow Falls State Park
Rainbow Falls State Park is an excellent place to spend the day fishing and swimming on the shores of the Chehalis River before settling in for a night of stargazing and marshmallow roasting. Hiking trails, spacious RV campsites, and several picnic areas are also available in addition to the Willapa Hills Trail, which takes you through various types of terrain and scenery to another nearby park.
Milo McIver State Park
Milo McIver State Park lies just south of Portland along the beautiful Clackamas River. This lovely park allows you to explore the area by foot, watercraft, or horseback. If you're into fishing, then Estacada Lake is the perfect place to cast a line. Camping and paved bike trails are also available.
Seattle Great Wheel
Before you leave Seattle, head to Pier 57 for a spin on the Seattle Great Wheel, a brightly lit Ferris wheel that offers private dining for four and fantastic views of the downtown skyline and Puget Sound. If you are here on the weekend, stay for one of the Great Wheel's incredible LED light shows followed by a walkabout through the shops at Miner's Landing.
Puget Sound Estuarium
The Puget Sound Estuarium is an educational must-see on your way through Olympia. Here, you will view interesting hands-on exhibits and aquariums that include intertidal and subtidal specimens and live creatures native to Puget Sound as well as rotating and permanent exhibits about various ecological topics. An extensive collection of seashells and slides highlighting the tiniest inhabitants of Puget Sound are also on display.
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
No Seattle to Mount Hood National Forest road trip would be complete without a visit to the Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. At this iconic location, you will delve into the historic geological events that led to the massive 1980s eruption and see how the surrounding areas have since begun to flourish. Inside the Visitor Center, you can explore displays that include a step-in model of the volcano, the history, and the geology of the area, and live feeds of Mount Saint Helens' current seismicity. Educational films are offered in the theater, and there's a walking trail with great views of the volcano's western slope outside.
Tacoma invites you to experience the wonders of nature as you take a leisurely stroll through one of its most popular areas at Point Defiance Park, which includes the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Rose Garden, the Rhododendron Garden, miles of beaches and hiking trails, and access to Washington State Ferries. Time spent at the Museum of Glass allows you to work on your glassblowing skills in the Hot Shop, and peruse over 200 mesmerizing pieces of glasswork. Switch gears, and go on a fun barhopping excursion down 6th Avenue before catching a movie at Tacoma's oldest and cheapest movie theater, The Grand Cinema. You will also want to check out Dorky's Bar Arcade, the Ruston Waterfront, Wright Park, and the LeMay Car Museum while you are here.
Located in the nearby town of Puyallup, South Sound RV Park offers campers a quiet woodland escape on a well-manicured property that features roomy campsites and gated access. Dogs are welcome, and clean dump stations are available near the park.
In Olympia, you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore unique and peculiar places such as Thornewood Castle, a bed and breakfast that was the site of Stephen King's horror film "Rose Red," and the Evergreen Lavender Farm, which grows 11 fragrant varieties of lavender and produces essential oils and aromatherapy items. Be sure to stop by The Bread Peddler, Fish Tale Brew Pub, and La Petite Maison for some culinary delights, and check out the mysterious Mima Mounds, State Capitol Building, Wolf Haven International, and Turnwater Falls Park before hitting the road.
Alderbrook Estates RV Park is nestled in a lovely, wooded area south of Olympia. Here, you'll enjoy complimentary showers, a laundromat, free cable TV and Wi-Fi, and a pet area. There is also a dump station on the premises for your convenience.
A stop in Portland is a must on your Seattle to Mount Hood National Forest RV road trip. In this eclectic city, you will see why Portlandians work so hard to "Keep Portland Weird" with visits to a few odd places like the Portland Troll Bridge, the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, and the Voodoo Doughnut & Wedding Chapel, where you can munch on a Cap'n Crunch doughnut while getting hitched. Check out the Portland Art Museum for a bit of culture, and then, head to Powell's City of Books, a massive bookstore that covers an entire city block. On the weekend, the Portland Saturday Market is a great place to pick up some locally made arts and crafts while enjoying fresh coffee and good vibes. Don't forget to visit the Portland International Rose Test Garden, Pittock Mansion, and the Lan Su Chinese Garden.
Roamer's Rest RV Park is only minutes away from South Portland's Wine Country and features convenient amenities that include laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, propane delivery, private bathrooms, and a dump station.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Seattle to Mount Hood National Forest, 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 Seattle or Mount Hood National Forest.