Rustic Luxury on the Oregon Coast
Rustic Luxury on the Oregon Coast
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is located at the southern end of the Idaho panhandle, on the banks of magnificent Lake Coeur d’Alene. Waterfront parks and activities on the lake are a huge draw in this scenic city, and wilderness areas in the surrounding region are great for hiking, fishing, boating, cycling, and RV camping. The downtown area is picturesque with the lake as a backdrop and there is plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment, to be had in this fun city. Go to the city's Attractions Website for detailed information on activities, events, and things to do.
An RV road trip from Coeur d’Alene to Astoria is 449 miles in length and can be accomplished in a few days or a weekend. Take Interstate 90, followed by Interstate 82 west to Exit 31 A, then take Highway 12 to Interstate 5. Proceed south on Interstate 5 to Exit 36, then take Route 30 west to Astoria on the coast.
RV campers can camp on the Lake Coeur d’Alene at private or government-run campgrounds or head a little further out of town, northeast to Farragut State Park or northwest to Mount Spokane Park, both of which have excellent RV campgrounds where you can stay and enjoy recreational activities.
Farragut State Park is situated in the mountains and this 4000-acre park has four campgrounds with over 200 campsites. Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho's largest lake, located here, is great for boating and fishing.
Mount Spokane State Park is popular for hiking and biking in the summer, and downhill skiing and winter sports in the winter season. With 13000 acres this park has over 100 miles of trails, on rugged terrain. There is a small campground here that accommodates smaller RV units and amazing wilderness camping opportunities.
While staying in Coeur D’Alene, RVers will definitely want to take in the lake of the same name. The second largest lake in Idaho, Coeur d’Alene Lake is exceptionally beautiful. Surrounded by mountains, it is 26 miles long with 135 miles of shoreline.
Fed by two rivers, and draining into the Spokane River, this natural lake is controlled by the Post Falls Dam which regulates lake levels and makes it excellent for recreational activities and watersports. The shoreline boasts parks, wilderness areas, campgrounds, beaches, recreational facilities, and trails. Visitors will find over a dozen boat ramps to launch watercraft onto the lake. The City Park and Beach has a large sandy beach and ball courts, located right in the city. Hike the lake on the North Idaho Centennial Trail which runs from many miles along the shore.
If you can't bring your own vessel you can rent jet skis, ski boats, pontoon boats, sailboats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards at one of the marinas on the lake, which also provide fuel and dock services. Fishing enthusiasts will find a plethora of fish species in the lake. Chinook Salmon, trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, and kokanee salmon are available for catch, and chartered fishing trips are available from local outfitters. Keep an eye out for wildlife around the lake especially majestic birds of prey. Beauty Creek Campground is a government-run campground on the lake with 20 spacious sites that can be reserved online.
As you head west on Highway 12, through Washington State, you will pass right through Mount Rainier National Park. This park is a must-see, with its mighty 14,411-foot high active volcano, which attracts experienced climbers each year to attempt its peak. The park is also full of beautiful forests, wildflower meadows, glaciers, and waterfalls.
Recreational opportunities in the park during the summer months include hiking, cycling, and even ranger-led astronomy programs. Scenic drives through the park provide access to excellent overlooks. During the winter you can go snowshoeing, downhill tubing, and participate in winter sports. The park is open year round, but some roads are not accessible during the winter months. Check Road Alerts for updated information before your trip.
RV campers will find RV friendly campgrounds at the park that accommodate RVs up to 35 feet in length. If you have a larger rig you can stay at the Seattle/Tacoma KOA or nearby private RV parks.
Arriving in Astoria, Oregon, a beautiful city on the Pacific coast, be sure to get a good look at the scenic region from the Astoria Column. This tower overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River in a 30-acre city park. The column is 125 feet tall, situated on a 600-foot hill with an internal spiral staircase that has 164 steps taking you to an observation deck at the top, and providing an amazing view of the beautiful region.
The column is decorated on its exterior with a mural depicting 14 significant historical Oregon events and 18 scenes from Oregon's regional history including Captain Gray’s discovery of the Columbia River, the arrival of the railway in Astoria, and the Lewis & Clark Expedition. There is a small fee to climb to the top of the observation tower and there is also a small gift shop on-site to pick up souvenirs. Check the Astoria Column for hours and information.
Arriving in Astoria, Oregon, get ready for beach fun, swimming, wading in the ocean, beach-combing, and tide pool exploration. You can also enjoy the cities Astoria Riverwalk and Trolley, dine on delicious seafood, or take in one of the city's unique museums such as the Oregon Film Museum or their maritime museum. Amenities camping for RVers is available at the Astoria KOA which provides both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.
For a more natural setting head out to Fort Stevens State Park Campground which has a large campground with more than 300 sites, many of which have full hookups, and all of which have electric and water hookups. You will need to make reservations online to secure a spot at this awesome campground.