Washington: Evergreen RVing

Published: Tuesday, July 31, 2007

When one mentions Washington, the immediate images created are the White House, the Pentagon, and a host of various government buildings. Yet, these structures are not representative of the entire area of the American capital, for Washington is more than just the US government. It also happens to be a land filled with historic sites and a myriad of natural wonders that include green mountains, serene lakes, ice-cold skiing areas, fine beaches, and even an active volcano. RV-boarded travelers will find themselves helplessly falling in love with this American state once a visit is hatched.

A Look into the Regions of Washington

The "Evergreen State" is relatively large so it is not surprising that it is divided into nine different regions. These include the Northwest Region, the San Juan Islands Region, the Olympic Peninsula Region, the Cascade Mountains Region, the Northeast Region, the Puget Sound Region, the Southwest Region, the South Central Region, and the Southeast Region.

The Northwest Region

Comprising only a relatively small portion of the entire Washington state, the northwest area is actually an island region generally composed of Fidalgo, Camano, and Whidbey. Despite its rather isolated location, the region nevertheless sports an array of exciting attractions that are suited for outdoor exploration. Camano Island leads the way in this aspect as it hosts a state park where a 134-acre wide forest area is found. Ostensibly, the place is filled with various wonders that should spur the interests of most RV-boarded visitors.

When it comes to RV parks, the region boasts of several cities that carry this particular feature. These include Anacortes, Bellingham, Sedro Wooley, and Blaine with the latter of rather great interest to RVers who are on the hunt for fun on the beach. Blaine plays host to Birch Bay RV Resort which lies along Birch Bay where water-oriented activities like clamming, swimming, and fishing abound.

The San Juan Islands Region

Lying south of Northwest Washington, the San Juan Islands Region is actually an archipelago composed of over 170 islands of which four are popular tourist destinations. These are the islands of Lopez, Shaw, San Juan, and Orcas, with the latter being the most rugged and the largest as well. It is also the official home of the Moran State Park where Mount Constitution, the tallest regional peak, is nestled. A variety of hiking trails are found here, with hikers having the added privilege of getting to see majestic eagles perched in one of many trees resting in the forest grounds.

However, despite the abundance of outdoor opportunities, the San Juan Islands is not exactly accessible via an RV although the Washington State Ferry System, which services the four major islands, is an option worth exploring. Additionally, no RV park appears to be in operation in these parts. However, cabins, cottages, and tent camping sites, like those being offered at the Lopez Farm Cottages and Tent Camping down at Lopez Island, do exist here, something that RV-boarded travelers may want to check out.

The Olympic Peninsula Region

The region derived its name from its two important tourist attractions namely the Olympic National Forest and the Olympic National Park. Together, the two encompass around 2,132,324 square miles, making them the perfect venue for outdoor exploration. At Olympic National Park alone, RVers will find trail paths no less than 500 miles long complemented by five different landscape settings. RVers can choose from a lazy afternoon rest at the park beach or scale the rugged cliffs that adorn the 7,965-feet tall Mount Olympus, easily the tallest mountain in the park.

Planning to camp out in these parts is never a problem since the park has several RV-friendly sites operating in its midst. RV-boarded travelers who prefer a more formal set-up, however, can head off to Port Angeles where eight different RV sites await them although Shadow Mountain Campground and RV Park is ideal since it is situated about a mile away from Olympic National Park.

The Cascade Mountains Region

The most dominant feature of this region is obviously the Cascade Mountain Range, a very vast row of green peaks that stretches from British Columbia down to California. A deluge of outdoor activities await the visiting RVer to this region, foremost of which is hiking, with the trails covering at least a hundred miles. Mountain climbing, backpacking, and camping are likewise popular in these parts, but for RVers who have a love affair with the snow, the Cascade Mountains will not let them down as its slopes are excellent skiing trails during the winter.

Conconully, Twisp, Methow, and Marblemount are the regional cities to remember when visiting the Cascade Mountains Region because these are all RV-friendly with at least one RV park found under its jurisdiction. However, if direct access to the Cascade Mountains is a priority, Alpine RV Park and Campground in Marblemount is the RV park to visit. A mere walking distance from the famed mountains, the campground is also near several other regional attractions like the Skagit River and Diobsub Peak.

The Northeast Region

Just like the other regions, Northeast Washington rose to national prominence via one single attraction, and this is the Grand Coulee Dam, a structure that covers almost a mile of the waters of the Columbia River. Set up in 1941, the dam is presently the biggest supplier of the hydroelectric needs of the US.

Grand Coulee Dam, however, is not necessarily what RVers need to see when exploring Northeast Washington. Rather, what should be of great interest to them is Lake Roosevelt, which was formed soon after the construction of the dam. Stretching for about 130 miles, the lake is teeming with 30 different fishes, attracting anglers from various areas of Washington. RV-boarded travelers, however, can opt for a boating venture since the activity is also quite popular in these parts.

To see more of Grand Coulee Dam and Lake Roosevelt, RV riders can try checking out Coulee Playland Resort based in Electric City. The campground is found just several minutes away from the famous dam and has the added feature of lying along Banks Lake, a 30-mile long spot that is a common ground for various anglers.

The Puget Sound Region

Considered as the residential district of Washington, the Puget Sound Region is filled with quiet suburbs and bustling cities and highlighted by Interstate Highway 5, the major thoroughfare of Washington state. Among its more prominent attractions is Puget Sound through which Pacific Coast waters pass through as they head inland to supply the port needs of ships bound for Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle. The last two ought to be quite significant for RVers visiting this particular region because they happen to be the major cities of Washington state. Olympia is the state capital with its attendant museums and state capitol building offerings. Seattle, meanwhile, is the largest of all Washington cities, stunning in its mountain and lake setting headlined by Mount Rainier and Lake Washington.

However, for many RV-boarded tourists, the ideal regional city has to be Fall City, situated quite near Seattle. The city plays host to the Snoqualmie River whose waters are popular breeding grounds of salmons and steelheads for which vigilant anglers constantly keep watch. Nearby is the Snoqualmie River RV Park and Campground where RVers can conveniently settle in their vehicles and from where they can explore other area attractions including the 270-foot tall Snoqualmie Falls, located three miles away, where a resident park features an exciting hiking path.

The Southwest Region

The area may well be called the Lewis and Clark Region for this was where American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark ended their historic 8,000 mile journey. RVers will find the regional driving tours that commemorate the last few stages of that historic journey absolutely nostalgic particularly as it concludes at the Fort Canby State Park.

Meanwhile, for a more exciting outdoor activity, RV-boarded travelers may want to take on the challenge being posed by the Columbia River Gorge, a geological creation that serves as the border between Washington and Oregon. Extending for 80 long miles, the gorge was the result of glacial floods that occurred eons ago, eventually creating a river that stretches for 1,200 miles and rugged cliffs with heights of as tall as 4,000 feet. These two natural creations have become popular grounds for several inviting water-based activities like kayaking, sailing, and wind surfing.

Vancouver and Long Beach are the two regional cities that RV riders should consider when exploring Southwest Washington. These two cities happen to be RV-friendly, with Vancouver having two RV campgrounds under its fold, one of which provides easy access to several regional attractions. Specifically, Van Mall RV Park is situated near the Columbia River Gorge National Forest through which one can have access to the famed canyon. Additionally, the campground offers regular day tours to other prominent Washington attractions like Mt. St. Helens, the Multnomah Falls, and the state beaches.

The South Central Region

South Central Washington is sometimes called the Wine Country Region because majority of the 400 wineries of the "Evergreen State" are found on its south central side. A tour of these wineries ought to give RV-boarded visitors an idea on how these exquisite Washington wines are produced.

The region is largely agricultural, teeming with such crops as apples, pears, and peaches, many of these grown along the plains of the Yakima Valley. RVers may initially find the area generally unexciting, but outdoor lovers do abound here, either water rafting across the waters of the Yakima River or hiking along the mountain trails found at nearby Pacific Crest Trail.

Needless to say, if one is going to visit South Central Washington, the city to head off to is Yakima, where the more prominent regional attractions are based. One RV park, the Trailer Inns RV Park of Yakima, is even willing to lend the needed assistance to make RV exploration totally enjoyable as it lies near such Yakima attractions as the Yakima Speedway, the Yakima Greenway Path, and, of course, the famous Yakima River.

The Southeast Region

Southeast Washington is fondly called the Palouse by many people in reference to one of its central attractions, the Palouse Falls, whose rumbling waters steadily plunges 198 feet down into the Palouse River with its unique basalt lava grounds formed by melted glaciers centuries ago. The sight is simply spectacular and no RVer who loves to see natural wonders will ever dare miss it.

Another regional attraction that RVers will definitely want to see is the Umatilla National Forest composed of various mountains and canyons stretched out over 1.4 million acres. Hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers are common sightings here, but so are bighorns, black bears, cougars, deer, sheep, and Rocky Mountain elks. For skiing buffs, another peak, Blue Mountains, is famous for its deep powder slopes.

Many regional cities are in close proximity to several tourist destinations of Southeastern Washington, and these include small-sized ones like Moses Lake. This particular city ought to interest many visiting RVers since it centers around a famous lake carrying the same name where fishing is a common activity alongside boating, swimming, and waterfowl hunting.

Visiting the lake should be relatively convenient for interested RVers since Moses Lake the city holds one RV campground under its fold. Suncrest Resort, set about a mile away from the lake, boasts of 83 fully hooked-up sites apart from having 300 sunny days annually, an occurrence typical of Washington state.


It is the third largest state city and boasts of several parks whose number is the greatest if one goes by the per capita of all US cities. Indeed, if an RV rider is on the lookout for the most diverse set of outdoor activities in Washington, Spokane has got to be on top of the list.

Unquestionably, Mount Spokane State Park is the most prominent attraction in these parts. Covering a vast 13,643 acres, the park is a virtual camping ground with its 85 picnic areas, 12 camp sites, a parking area that can accommodate 1,588 vehicles, a separate campground for group campers composed of 90 people, and three picnic stations. Meanwhile, the resident mountain offers numerous outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and huckleberry picking. During winter, the slopes of Mount Spokane become suitable grounds for holding various snow-centered activities like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding.

Two RV parks are based in Spokane namely Alderwood RV Resort and Park Lane Motel, Suites, and RV Park, which RV-boarded tourists may want to check out as they explore the city. Of the two, Alderwood RV Resort is preferred as it is the closest Spokane campground to the many Washington mountains, including Mount Spokane.


The Kittitas Valley of Central Washington plays host to this historic town that was once the home of the Yakama Indians with its offerings of grains, berries, and various game animals. These days, Ellensburg is adorned with shopping complexes, cultural centers, and first-class restaurants despite its largely agricultural landscape.

With its ideal location of being sandwiched by the Cascade Mountain Range westward and the Columbia River eastward, Ellensburg has naturally become a favorite hang-out of outdoor lovers. Columbia River, in particular, is regularly visited by water skiers, river rafters, and anglers. The Cascade Mountains, meanwhile, alongside nearby Stuart Mountains, have seen many visits from cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.

RVers interested in engaging in these outdoor recreations will find Ellensburg a totally RV-friendly town. Within its midst lies the Yakima River RV Park where prospective RV-boarded visitors are given convenient access to the famed Yakima River. The waters of this historic river have long been inhabited by rainbow trouts and RVers who are into fishing will find the sport totally pleasurable in these parts.

Planning a Washington Visit

The weather in Washington varies, depending on the region where one is situated. Typically, the lower regions experience generally mild weather even during summer especially for the areas lying near the coast. The higher reaches, meanwhile, particularly the mountain areas, exhibit a totally different weather pattern, with snow covering the peaks virtually all year through.

In general, summer visits are best avoided especially for RVers thinking of seeing the plain areas of Washington. Humidity levels can get extremely high in these parts during this time which can cause great discomfort. Winter sojourns may be good, but only if one is a certified skiing enthusiast because snow in Washington can be quite heavy at times, resulting to very harsh winters.

Spring visits are generally ideal but for RVers wishing to avoid the crowds, coming to Washington in the latter part of the season is much better as the number of people has significantly dwindled and prices of goods are not as high. Other than that, autumn is perhaps the most ideal time to see the "Evergreen State".

Pioneer Trails RV Resort and Campground

Encompassing 28 acres of land, Pioneer Trails RV Resort and Campground stands out as a unique RV park in that it gives visiting RVers the option to spend their camping days in one of 24 covered wagons. The idea is to enable visitors to experience the early days of camping when pioneers had only these wagons to protect them from the elements.

Apart from this unique feature, the campground also prides itself in having spotlessly clean facilities, including fully-tiled bathrooms and modern laundry areas. This indicates the official campground view that camping need not be a rugged venture for it to be enjoyable.

Attraction-wise, the RV park is situated right in the central area of the San Juan Islands from where outdoor enjoyment is limitless. From this vantage point, RVers can easily head off to popular tourist destinations like Deception Pass and La Conner. Meanwhile, for attractions other than the outdoors, Anacortes, the city upon which the campground lies, has many antique shops, book stores, and boutiques that are all worth exploring.

Granite Lake Premier RV Resort

Situated a mere three blocks away from Clarkston town, Granite Lake Premier RV Resort offers a quiet vacation spot for prospective RV-boarded visitors with its many relaxing attractions. Topping the list is Granite Lake on whose banks the campground is nestled. The lake, boasting of a shoreline that extends for over a hundred miles, offers a wide range of outdoor activities that include water skiing, fishing, boating, and swimming although for those who have a preference for extreme sports, the lake waters also make for good white-water rafting ventures which can then be tempered by an enchanting dinner cruise across the waters of nearby Snake River.

A particularly noteworthy feature of the campground is its proximity to Hells Canyon, acknowledged as North America's deepest gorge. For RV-boarded travelers who have never seen this incredible piece of rock formation, a visit to Granite Lake Premier RV Resort ought to be quite an experience.

Amenities-wise, the campground is sufficiently full with its regular offerings of tiled restrooms with accompanying shower areas, laundry facilities, and wireless Internet access. Recent additions include newly-acquired picnic tables, a modern kitchen, a covered patio that features a barbecue grill, and a clubhouse that can accommodate up to 60 people.
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