The Best National Parks in the Pacific Northwest To Visit When RVing
Posted by Tom Westley on
The Pacific Northwest is one of the true wonders of the world—and nothing showcases these qualities better than the array of National Parks the region as to offer—which is what makes our location here at Salish the perfect spot for RV holidays.
From here you can easily reach any number of amazing National Parks, and we’ve highlighted three of our favourites: Pacific Rim, Olympic, and Garibaldi.
The Pacific Rim is one of the most astounding areas of natural beauty in all of the Pacific Northwest—offering an idyllic representation of the area, situated amid a backdrop of rugged coastline and verdant temperate rainforests. From your RV base in Salish, you have the opportunity to drive through the area in its entirety—taking in the magnificent sights and making the most of your stay.
The Pacific Rim national park is comprised of three separate regions:
The Broken Group Islands
The West Coast Trail
When you first step foot on this stretch of untouched natural coastline it can seem like it goes on forever—something we’ll put down to the magic of the green rainforest and looming mountains.
Long Beach is defined by its preservation of the natural world— as a core protected area of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO World Biosphere reserve, this enclave of nature and natural beauty is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations—proving a hit amongst hikers, sightseers, and surfers alike.
Broken Group Islands
Situated off the west coast of British Columbia, the Broken Group Islands are an unforgettable collection of over a hundred small islands and inlets that offer a unique and enthralling experience. The best way to enjoy the islands is undoubtedly by kayak, allowing you to float through the sparkling clear blue water and leave the chaos of the modern world behind you.
West Coast Trail
This 75km long trail is one of Britsh Columbia’s most celebrated hiking routes—however, it certainly presents a challenge that may prove daunting for inexperienced hikers. For those up to the challenge, the rewards are more than worth it. The trail itself winds it’s way along the magnificent pacific rim shoreline, taking in everything from shipwrecks to secluded forest clearings.
Olympic National Park
If you want to experience the full bounty of a pacific northwest RV trip—you could always head south from Salish and wind your way down towards the sprawling wonderland of the Olympic National Park in Washington. At just 3 hours of driving time from Victoria (plus a ferry with gorgeous views), you can afford to make your way down there at a pace that suits you.
When you do arrive, you’ll be greeted by the open expanse of a national park that holds official World Heritage Status. With nearly 1 million acres of land—95% of which is designated as wilderness—there is no shortage of sights on offer.
The Olympic National Park topography ranges from luscious temperate rainforest to towering alpine highlands, and serene shorelines. The best way to experience all of this is through the Olympic Loop Drive. This 332-mile loop takes you across the diverse ecosystems that span the park. If you’re looking for a shorter stay, here are recommendations for where to begin.
Explore New Heights
For keen hikers, the literal highlight of any trip to Olympic Park will be scaling the summits of Hurricane Ridge and Hill— so named due to the strong winds that can sometimes buffet the area. These peaks offer stunning panoramic mountain views. The Hurricane Hill Trail is a 3.2-mile roundtrip that at its peak reaches 700 feet in elevation. For the more experienced climbers, there’s the option of traversing Hurricane Ridge—which at its peak offers views of the towering Olympic Mountains from an elevation of 5,242 feet.
Get In Touch With Nature
Those wanting to stay a little more grounded, and get away from it all by taking in the sights and sounds of nature at its purest—would be well served by venturing into one of Olympic Park’s temperate rainforest areas, such as the Hoh Rain Forest, or the Quinalt Rain Forest, which is home to a number of towering trees, including five of the ten largest Douglas Fir species.
At 194,650 hectares, Garibaldi Provincial Park is the largest park of its type in Squamish, with no shortage of breathtaking sights and exciting activities, beginning with the peak from which it takes its name—Mount Garibaldi.
There a number of great hiking trails that can be found traversing Mount Garibaldi, including a winding path through sun-dappled meadows that will take you to the heavenly shorelines of the Elfin Lakes.
From Sea To Sky
The stretch of road most commonly known as the ‘Sea To Sky Highway’ is one of the most famous road trip journeys in all of North America—connecting Vancouver to Pemberton, it takes its name from the way in which it starts at the west coast shoreline and climbs all the way upwards to BC’s famous mountain ranges. Offering a stunning panoramic backdrop on all sides, there are also a number of worthy stops you can make along the way, such as:
Cypress Mountain Lookout
Having risen to prominence in the wake of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Ski resort and nearby town of Whistler make for a charming, beautiful, and elegant stop on any RV holiday. Whether you want to hit the slopes, explore the area, or simply kick back and relax, you’ll be able to find something that’s your speed in Whistler.
As you can see—the Pacific Northwest has so much to offer when it comes to holiday destinations. That’s why nothing can beat an RV holiday, one that gives you the freedom to explore and the time to take everything in at your own pace—and every good RV holiday needs the right rest stops along the way.
Here at Salish, we give you the perfect base to park up and explore all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.