Camping Places on the West Coast: The beauty of the West Coast is in the outdoors. California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles will appeal to tourists looking for culture and energy, but as a general rule, the West Coast is an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re coming from outside the country or across it, the best way to experience the “Wild West” is to ditch the hotel rooms, invest in an RV or a tent, and find a campground.
There are beautiful campsites all up and down the West Coast, from the more sparsely-populated regions of California to just north of the United States border in British Columbia. Here are 5 of the most beautiful places to set up camp.
California: The Redwoods
The California Redwoods are located in the northern part of the state. The area is protected as multiple, interconnecting National and State Parks, and there are plenty of campgrounds in the heart of this majestic forest.
The redwood trees are the tallest in the world. In fact, the tallest tree in the world, known as Hyperion, is located somewhere in Humboldt State Park—its exact location is undisclosed for fear that people would try to climb it, carve souvenirs out of it, etc. It measures 379’, 10” tall, which is about twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. Hiking and camping near trees of this size and beauty are definitely worth the trip.
Oregon: Cape Blanco State Park
Cape Blanco is on the southern coast of Oregon, and is the westernmost part of the state. It is a picturesque, rugged (albeit rather isolated) strip of coastline about 5 miles north of Port Orford.
Choose a campground and make Cape Blanco your home base as you enjoy the Oregon Coast. The ocean is too cold to stay in the water for long, but Oregon’s beaches offersome of the wildest, most breathtaking views you’ll see anywhere in the country. Explore the historicalCape Blanco lighthouse, walk the miles of hiking trails, and enjoy horseback riding along the beach and through the woodland.
Washington: Mount Rainier
Washington is home to Mount Rainier National Park, which includes almost 240,000 acres around and including the titular landmark. Mount Rainier is actually a stratovolcano, which is a conical volcano composed of layers of ash, lava, and rock. It is the highest peak in Washington, and one of the highest in the continental US. It is surrounded by gorgeous valleys, alpine forests, and lakes, and has plenty of camping opportunities. It is also a fairly popular mountain to climb, with about 10,000 attempts (about 50% of the hikers reach the top) annually.
Winter activities include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing—and if you don’t want to camp in the snow, there are also plenty of cabins or lodges to choose from that will still give you the “outdoorsy” feel.
Idaho: Coeur d’Alene Lake
We’ll take a little detour here on our journey up the West Coast and slide over to Idaho, which technically isn’t part of the coast but has a plentitude of wonderful places to camp, including a little corner of Yellowstone National Park. One of the most beautiful places in Idaho is up in the northernmost part of the panhandle, just across the Washington border. Coeur d’Alene is the second largest metropolitan area in Idaho, and is a popular place for tourists.
The lake itself is stunning, with multiple campgrounds and RV parks that will allow you plenty of time to explore the lake and its adjoining National Forest. Skidoos, yachts, and speedboats roam the lake, with plenty of designated space for wading or swimming. The lake measuresstretches for 25 miles, so there is plenty of room for everyone without feeling overcrowded.
British Columbia: Vancouver
Just north of Mount Rainier is the province of British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver is one of the most vibrant cities on the coast, and also has plenty of campgrounds outside the metropolitan area for those who want to enjoy the city without paying for hotel accommodations. Traveling can be expensive, especially adding in hotel charges, eating out, souvenirs, and potential car repairs (although there are some good auto repair shops in Vancouver area, if you run into trouble). Save a little bit of cash with a campsite, and take public transportation into the city for the tourist experience.
The city is located on the coast, and is consistently named as one of the top 5 “most livable” cities in the world (which takes into account factors such as educational opportunities, culture, stability, and infrastructure). Spending your evenings at a quiet, peaceful campground and your days exploring the city’s libraries, museums, theaters, and historical attractions will make for a rich, rewarding vacation experience.
Melanie Hargrave is a wife and homemaker whose family is her pride and joy. She loves learning new camping and vacation tips from companies like Minit Tune and exploring the great outdoors with her husband and daughters. Hope you love reading “Top 5 Camping Places on the West Coast”