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Old 03-01-2019, 04:27 PM   #1
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Idaho-Oregon-Washington Recommendations

We are planning a trip for some time late April to early June depending on schedule and weather conditions. We have 3-4 weeks to spend. We are looking for recommendations of places to stay and things to do. Generally we like to see the scenic areas and go hiking, often with our dog. We would like to hit some of the top spots and national parks but clearly can't get to all of them. Right now, our trip looks roughly like the list below and the attached map. We would welcome any other suggestions of places to visit and campgrounds. (I have already reviewed a bunch of threads on here and already picked up some suggestions - thanks!)

We have a 25' Class C motorhome towing a Honda CR-V. We prefer pull-throughs while traveling so we don't disconnect for one night but otherwise back-ins are fine. Going without hookups is ok, but usually having at least electricity is good when traveling especially because of cold nights and recharging overnight (although we have a generator for whenever needed). Thanks!!

Livingston, MT (Osen's RV or Livingston KOA)
[Not sure about visiting Yellowstone yet, love to]
Craters of the Moon Nat'l Monument (Craters of the Moon KOA or the NM Lava Flow Campground]
Boise (Meridian KOA)
Crater Lake Nat'l Park (Mazama Village Campground)
Oregon coast (Jesse M. Honeyman Mem. St Park)
(Possibly Guaranty RV Park, Junction City OR)
Cape Lookout St Park
Visit Portland?
Columbia Riverfront RV Park, near Tillamook
Fort Stevens St Park
Olympic NP, Log Cabin RV & Campground
French Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island
Visit Seattle
Seattle/Tacoma KOA
Blackwell Island RV Park, Coeur d'Alene
Great Falls, MT (family or Great Falls KOA)
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:41 PM   #2
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I'm a native Montanan. Don't stay in Livingston. It's an okay town, but not very scenic, and the wind blows all the dang time.

I would suggest drive another hour on I-90 and either stopping in Bozeman. Or if you want to be more out-of-the-way, got to Three Forks. Much prettier and the rivers are amazing.

If you haven't been to Yellowstone, you need to go. BUT Glacier NP is much better.

I've been by the Seattle/Tacoma KOA... it's okay. You should definitely looking into booking some sites at a Washington State Park. They are MUCH better than that particular KOA. The closest would be Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, WA (A suburb of Seattle)
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:38 PM   #3
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We stayed at the Seattle/Tacoma KOA and had no complaints. Movies every night and cheap Ice Cream every evening.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:49 PM   #4
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Glacier is nice but can’t touch Yellowstone sightseeing. Only problem with Yellowstone, traffic within. We stayed in West Yellowstone at the KOA years ago.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:06 PM   #5
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I'm interested to see what you end up doing. We have a similar trip already planned out for mid-late May. I would definitely do Yellowstone if at all possible. Glacier would be good but chances are that Going to The Sun Road won't be fully open until late June or later. Still, there could be lots of good things to see and do first from the east side and then from the west. Other than that, I can't offer any advice.

Our plan is to head west from Omaha to first see family outside of Ogden Utah. Then towards Lassen Volcanic Park and up to Crater Lake, over to the Oregon coast and then time with friends in Portland. Then we'll explore the Columbia River Gorge before heading into Washington with a time to visit Mt. Saint Helens and Mr. Rainier before heading toward Olympic National Park. Then some time in Seattle and hopefully thru North Cascades NP, both the southern, and, if open, the northern routes. We intend to stay in Three Forks MN and Wall SD on the way back home and be home by Memorial Day.

This trip wouldn't normally worry me but with the way this winter has been I am fully expecting limited availability to some of the more mountainous attractions.

Good luck on what you decide to do.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:24 PM   #6
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Generally we like to see the scenic areas and go hiking, often with our dog.
Almost too many places to see in the time you've got available.

I think Theodore National Park is on your route and the northern section is a good camping area.
We were pretty impressed with Mt. St. Helens if you can get there.
Crater Lake is a do not miss and take the ranger led trolley to get a good overall view.

I'm sure that you're aware that hiking with a dog is prohibited on many trails in National Parks.

Looks like you've got a great trip planned.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:59 PM   #7
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Regarding your French Beach stay in BC Canada. You will need to research ferry options; (BC or Wash State, or the Black Ball ). We always get a BC Ferry reservation (we go up there 3 times each year) so that we can load on the main deck. I would plan a day each way. Also, you need to research the requirements to take a dog into Canada.


We live near Bow WA (north of Burlington) and there is a nice KOA very near us. This would be a good stop for going into Canada. Plan on 2.3 hours time to get across the border and then to the ferry from that KOA location.


Going east from the Seattle area is via I-90 or highway 2. There will be lots of snow at each pass.



I hope this helps.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:08 PM   #8
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Rebellee,
The North Cascades NP and highway 20 over the pass may most likely be still closed by mid May. The snow this year has been good.
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Old 03-02-2019, 01:21 AM   #9
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Rebellee,
The North Cascades NP and highway 20 over the pass may most likely be still closed by mid May. The snow this year has been good.
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:00 AM   #10
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debit and Bikendan - I hopeful but not optimistic. Probably a good thing we're flexible.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:07 PM   #11
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debit and Bikendan - I hopeful but not optimistic. Probably a good thing we're flexible.

The US 20 pass through the Cascades can often be closed WELL into May and sometimes doesn't open until just before Memorial Day.

Snow gets extremely deep in that part of the mountains and because it's not plowed from November on it takes crews a ton of time to get it open again.

I-90 and US-2 are rarely closed for more than a few days during nasty storms but no "seasonal closures" like US-20.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the great suggestions! We have been to Yellowstone before so given the time constraints that probably won't be possible on this trip. That's a big park and needs a lot of time to explore. You have definitely given us a lot to look into here!
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:16 PM   #13
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You mentioned Tillamook - a good place to visit. For something a little different, the Harborview Inn and RV park in Garibaldi (ten mi. north of Tillamook) is on the bay along the docks. Fishing, crabbing, commercial, charter, and private boats and markets near. The Tillamook cheese factory is ten miles south, and the WW II blimp hangers and air museum a few miles south of Tillamook (as well as the Port of Tillamook RV park.) North of Garibaldi is the mouth of the bay, Barview, and Rockaway Beach.
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Old 03-02-2019, 09:59 PM   #14
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I would do the harbor view inn suggestion in Tillamook, or see if you can get into cape lookout State Park or one of the local RV parks in Netarts. You're much closer to the ocean and hiking and it's a quick drive into Tillamook. If you're planning to stay or visit Portland I'll suggest LL Stub Stewart State Park, it is great and has wonderful hiking trails right from the park, 30 minutes to dt Portland. Safe travels!
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:11 PM   #15
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Thanks Dirt Sifter and Rigpdx!
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:21 AM   #16
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After seeing Crater Lake, I’d head up to Bend and spend a day or two then head over to Idaho. Bend area is nice with lots to see and do such as lava flows, petrified forest, lava caves, etc.
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Old 03-05-2019, 12:15 AM   #17
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Thanks Keithe!
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:01 PM   #18
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So to follow-up, here is our final trip plan. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Day 1: leave MN, stay somewhere W. of Fargo ND, either Casselton or Jamestown

Day 2-4: Stay at Red Trail Campground, Medora ND, visit Theodore Roosevelt NP for 2 days.

Day 5-6: Miles City, MT visiting friends

Day 7-9: Gardiner, MT staying at Rocky Mountain RV Park, visit Yellowstone NP, Mammoth Springs area for 2 days.

Days 10-11: Craters of the Moon/Arco KOA, Arco ID, visit Craters of the Moon 1 day.

Days 12: Stay a day's trip west of Acro, perhaps Juntura ID.

Days 13-14: Crater Lake Resort, Fort Klamath, ID, visit Crater Lake NP 1 day (if roads are open!)

Days 15-17: South Beach State Park, Newport OR, explore the beach and coast area for 2 days.

Day 18: Stop at Cascade Head trail area near Otis, OR if we can get our rig in there. It looks from the map like we can get in and park at Knight County Park and hit the trail head. Stop at Tillamook Creamery along the way.

Days 18-19: Fort Stevens State Park, Hammond, OR, explore the area for 1 day, watch ships coming out the Columbia River hit the ocean waves.

Days 20-22: Olympic Peninsula/Port Angeles KOA, visit Olympic NP and area for 2 days. We decided on the KOA after reading reviews of the park and concessionaire campgrounds which sounded pretty dismal ("gravel parking lot" for one).

Days 23-25: Newhalem Campground, North Cascades National Park, explore for 2 days. This campground sounds pretty good. No hookups so we'll be on battery and generator for a few nights. Hoping the snow is down and roads are open by then - should be fine, it's going to be 69 there today!

Days 26-28: Seattle/Tacoma KOA, get back into civilization and visit Seattle for 2 days.

Days 29-31: Liberty Lake Regional Park Campground, Liberty Lake, WA - we found this nice little local park on a lake with some good hiking trails. It looks much better than the campgrounds at Coeur d'Alene which seem quite packed in and mostly oriented to people going boating and fishing. We'll be close enough to visit and explore the area for 2 days though.

Day 32: Ulm, MT visiting relatives.

Day 33: Glendive, MT, perhaps staying at Makoshika State Park.

Day 34: Jamestown, ND, perhaps staying at Jamestown Campground.

Day 35: MN again.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:19 PM   #19
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Going north (north of Seattle about 60 miles) on I-5, take exit 232 east, to connect to Highway 20.

Day 23-25: Newhalem - you will enjoy this camp, and like you wrote, you will need your generator.

Good news: the pass opened on the 18th so this is a "must" trip over the pass. You will really enjoy the views and snow (views).
We go over the pass several times a year, and the grade down does look scary. We drop down two gears (fourth) and not touch the breaks, for the steep part of the downgrade to play it safe. (coming back, we use the 5th gear all the way up at 50 mph)

Then you can continue over to Liberty Lake. It will be a long day, however, so you might make another stop.
Enjoy Washington State!
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:26 PM   #20
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p.s. You would take the ferry at Port Townsend and continue on highway 20 to I-5.
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