PNW & Northern California campsite recommendations?

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  • This time next year my family and I will be relocating from England to New Zealand and I have managed to persuade the wife to stop off for a few weeks in BC, the PNW and Northern California on the way. We will most likely fly into Vancouver and out of San Francisco. We will spend some time in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco but will also rent a campervan/RV to get around and check out the area.

    We will probably spend about a month (sometime between late September-mid November - plans will be made once the NFL releases next season's schedule) and, would like to see some of the coastline, mountains and parks in the region.

    If you are able to recommend any 'areas of natural beauty' and/or camping spots near them along that route (or relatively close to it) I'd be extremely grateful for any suggestions.
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    Hawkspur
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  • You must visit Crater Lake in southern Oregon... There is a campground on the road leading to the south entrance to the National Park that is nice (and has showers that cost a few quarters!). The scenic beauty of Crater Lake and the rim drive is why I say it's where God goes for vacations.
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  • GeekHawk wrote:You must visit Crater Lake in southern Oregon... There is a campground on the road leading to the south entrance to the National Park that is nice (and has showers that cost a few quarters!). The scenic beauty of Crater Lake and the rim drive is why I say it's where God goes for vacations.


    Awesome. Thanks!
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    Hawkspur
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  • The Redwoods, Mt. Shasta, Coeur d'Alene, Baker Lake, Whidbey Island, San Juan's, all good areas.
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  • When you leave Portland, and are heading to Cali. I'd take highway 101 down the Oregon & N. California coast, just beautiful. Love that drive.
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  • That is a nice drive Twisted. If you can keep going on it out of Monterey south it remains awesome all the way to Morrow Bay. Hearst Castle is a must see.
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  • twisted_steel2 wrote:When you leave Portland, and are heading to Cali. I'd take highway 101 down the Oregon & N. California coast, just beautiful. Love that drive.


    Been a while for me, but isn't it Grant's Pass where you head west if you were on the Oregon/Cali border?
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  • Not the best time of year for in the PNW my friend. The San Juan Islands are fantastic, try to start your adventure their after first experiencing BC. From the SJ Islands take a float plane to South Lake Union ( Kenmore Air). However you get to the Seattle area, I would suggest making your way to Whidbey Island and camp here - http://www.parks.wa.gov/507/Fort-Ebey . Not sure when the park closes for the winter but it's my families favorite local spot for camping. While on Whidbey be sure to check out this -
    http://www.parks.wa.gov/505/Fort-Casey . Sitting on the anti aircraft gun rescued from the Philippines and seeing the huge holes blown through the 1" + thick steel plate that protected the gunner as well as the divits in the barrel will make the hair on your neck stand up. The massive guns at the wall are really cool also. Click this for photos.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=fort+ca ... d=0CB0QsAQ

    MT ST Helens would also be a cool place to visit, weather could be an issue though. There is a great visitors center their sponsored by Weyerhaeuser, another great PNW company. Speaking of great PNW companies, you have to check out Boeing in Everett. They give plant tours, you will get to go through the largest (by volume) building in the world. Just south of that is Paul Allen's flying museum, if your a WW2 buff. Best collection in the world of aircraft from that era that still fly. You will be escorted around the museum by your own personnel WW2 historian.
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  • Yosemite, California Railroad museum in Sacramento. I'd say Lake Shasta or Lake Oroville but it might be too late in the season. There's a million RV parks. Try AAA for recommendations.
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  • The Mendocino Coast in No. California is like being in a post card. Redwoods on one side of the road, Ocean on the other.

    Catch Highway 1, about Crescent City and take it to just below Albion, CA, were you can turn inland toward Hwy 101, and South.
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  • Don't stop in Crescent City though. That place sucks.
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  • I'll add Mt Rainier to the list
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  • twisted_steel2 wrote:When you leave Portland, and are heading to Cali. I'd take highway 101 down the Oregon & N. California coast, just beautiful. Love that drive.

    I second this, I like the oregon beaches better than our washington ones. Be careful though and keep your eyes on the road, my eyes tend to drift to the scenic ocean when driving on 101.
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  • Thanks for all the suggestions, fellas. That's a solid list right there! Looks like it'll be a great trip!

    irocdave wrote:Not the best time of year for in the PNW my friend. The San Juan Islands are fantastic, try to start your adventure their after first experiencing BC. From the SJ Islands take a float plane to South Lake Union ( Kenmore Air). However you get to the Seattle area, I would suggest making your way to Whidbey Island and camp here - http://www.parks.wa.gov/507/Fort-Ebey . Not sure when the park closes for the winter but it's my families favorite local spot for camping. While on Whidbey be sure to check out this -
    http://www.parks.wa.gov/505/Fort-Casey . Sitting on the anti aircraft gun rescued from the Philippines and seeing the huge holes blown through the 1" + thick steel plate that protected the gunner as well as the divits in the barrel will make the hair on your neck stand up. The massive guns at the wall are really cool also. Click this for photos.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=fort+ca ... d=0CB0QsAQ

    MT ST Helens would also be a cool place to visit, weather could be an issue though. There is a great visitors center their sponsored by Weyerhaeuser, another great PNW company. Speaking of great PNW companies, you have to check out Boeing in Everett. They give plant tours, you will get to go through the largest (by volume) building in the world. Just south of that is Paul Allen's flying museum, if your a WW2 buff. Best collection in the world of aircraft from that era that still fly. You will be escorted around the museum by your own personnel WW2 historian.


    Unfortunately that's as early as we can go. Any later and.... no Seahawks. I'm an aeroplane junky (my grandad used to work at the Air Force museum and my wife gives me none stop grief whenever I got to London as I always find time to take one or both of the kids to the end of one of the Heathrow runways to get buzzed by 747s, A380s etc) so thanks heaps for those suggestions too. Will absolutely make sure we hit those.

    I'm pretty gutted that we probably won't be able to make it to Houston for the NASA museum. Anyone been there?
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  • North Cascades National Park.

    Having been to over 20 National Parks in the west, I can not for the life of me figure out how this place continues to get over looked and overshadowed by other parks.

    This place is simply stunning.

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  • This thread is killing me.

    I want to go AWOL from work and load up the truck and hit the road so bad now.

    Ugh
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  • Ice Caves at Monte Cristo melted yet?
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  • I'll 2nd Mt. Rainier. And that might actually be a good time of year to go, unless you're in to November - maybe a bit chilly, but it might not be as crowded as it is in the middle of summer. Plus, it's really not too far a drive from Seattle.

    Also, there are plenty of camping areas along the coast. Definitely the Oregon Coast (Cannon Beach, Three Capes, etc.).
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  • twisted_steel2 wrote:When you leave Portland, and are heading to Cali. I'd take highway 101 down the Oregon & N. California coast, just beautiful. Love that drive.


    I second this!

    Highway 101 is one of the best roads in North America (stairway to heaven) and goes on forever. Great way to see the pacific coast and enjoy all the hidden treasures.

    If you are going into California then take the time to go farther south than just northern Cal. Stop off at Yosemite and Sequoia national parks. They are amazing. King's Canyon is freaking so cool. I don't think you can get an RV down there though. Roads are tight and twisty.

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  • GeekHawk wrote:You must visit Crater Lake in southern Oregon... There is a campground on the road leading to the south entrance to the National Park that is nice (and has showers that cost a few quarters!). The scenic beauty of Crater Lake and the rim drive is why I say it's where God goes for vacations.


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