In the northwestern corner of Oregon near the Washington state border is the tiny town of Clatskanie. This small community is about an hour's drive north of Portland, and 20 minutes from the Pacific Coast. Clatskanie was platted in 1884 and incorporated several years later in 1891 during the days of the Oregon Trail rush that brought countless settlers to the Pacific Northwest.
This gorgeous little town is situated in an ideal location for those hoping to rent an RV during their vacation, with lots of beautiful coastal towns no more than a short drive to the west. The Portland metro area is easy to get to and from when you book an RV in Clatskanie, so everything you’ll need is essentially right there waiting for you. Getting lost in the serene forest groves and elegant mountains of Oregon is all part of the fun and there is no limit to the fun you have when you take your RV on a tour of the state.
Experience the Sites and Scenery
Oregon is packed with adventure and incredible outdoor scenery, so deciding where to spend your time is really the only thing you have to do. Clatsop State Forest is minutes outside of town and home to some fantastic hiking trails that the Lewis & Clark Expedition once used on their way to the coast. Hemlocks, fir trees, and cedars populate the lush evergreen forests of Clatsop, with picnic sites, swimming areas, and fishing spots too. You can easily find a few places to camp with your Clatskanie camper rental at one of the five campgrounds in the forest.
Tillamook State Forest is another forest south of Clatsop State Forest, near the town of Tillamook with which it shares its name. This temperate rainforest is one of the rainiest spots in the country, contributing to its vast biodiversity and ample groves of fir trees. The forest is a wonderful place to mountain bike, hike, canoe, kayak, swim, or even off-road through rugged backcountry wilderness. There are 20 campgrounds scattered through the forest, but only about half of them can accommodate recreation vehicles like your Clatskanie motorhome rental. Fort Stevens State Park is on the absolute northwesternmost point of the entire state, once home to a US military installation. There are beautiful beaches to stroll on, lakes to swim in, and over 3,000 acres of hiking trails and nature to explore. You can camp out near the water with your Clatskanie RV trailer rental, or visit the historic Fort Stevens that has now been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, with its very own history museum.
If you don’t mind driving a few hours north through scenic Washington State, you can venture off to Olympic National Park, a stunning collection of different biomes and landscapes that will blow your mind. Rugged coastal areas, rich wetlands hosting all sorts of marine life, temperate rainforests, and towering mountains are all part of the package when you rent an RV and head to the gorgeous national park in northwestern Washington. The Olympic Mountains are snowcapped giants that can be conquered by bold climbers and there are well over a million acres of lush evergreen forest to trek through and explore. You can camp near the coast in your Clatskanie camper rental or in the heart of the forest if you like what you see and want to stay longer than anticipated.
Where to Park It
You won’t have too much trouble locating an excellent place to stay overnight when you rent an RV in Clatskanie because the evergreen forests of Oregon are full of campgrounds and RV parks. RV Outdoor Adventures is close to town and offers spacious campsites and excellent views from atop a hill. Big Eddy Park is farther to the south, but still close enough to warrant mentioning. This public park is maintained by the local government and is situated on the Bethlehem River, so hiking, boating, fishing, and swimming are all on the activity menu.
Both Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests are chock-full of secluded campgrounds where you can find some peace and quiet during your vacation. These state forest campgrounds could be ideal for those that want to spend most of their trip in the great outdoors, away from the hectic cities.
As beautiful as Clatskanie is, there are very few businesses and attractions to speak of in the small town, aside from a few local diners and shops. For true tourist attractions, you may have to get creative and take your Clatskanie RV rental on the road to a nearby town or city. Longview is a fantastic metro area just over the nearby Columbia River in southern Washington, with a few fun activities worth checking out. The Lewis and Clark Bridge that spans the river connecting you to the town is an iconic landmark itself. This awesome piece of engineering is a sight to behold, but nothing beats the uninhibited views from the middle of the bridge when you walk across on foot.
Rainier, Oregon is across the river from Longview and home to some fascinating museums, like the Rainier Oregon Historical Museum. The building that houses this incredible museum is a historic landmark with lovely white columns and a beautiful design. There is an eclectic grouping of exhibits in the small museum, mostly concerning the early logging industry, the first settlers, and the indigenous native people that occupied the Pacific Northwest for millennia.
You could head off down to Portland which is only an hour's drive away, to tour the famous Japanese Garden, catch a Portland Trailblazers NBA basketball game, or visit the Portland Zoo. Just because Clatskanie is a small town doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some city nightlife during your trip.