If you are taking a Denver to Portland RV road trip, you are in for scenic treat. Beginning in the Mile High City, you will travel north across the state border into Wyoming and then west toward the coast. You will travel through five different states and experience a variety of interesting sites along the way.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is located a couple hours northwest of Denver, Colorado. This park is known for the Old Fall River Road and Trail Ridge Road. The views from these trails are spectacular with stunning wildlife, wildflowers, hiking, and scenic drives. Enjoy camping in the wilderness under starry skies with just the peacefulness of nature. If you enjoy hiking, bird watching, or photography, this is a park that you will want to stop and visit.
Nez Perce National Historical Park
The Nez Perce National Historical Park is located near Joseph, Oregon. This is a nontraditional park that consists of 38 different sites, telling the story of the Nez Perce people. The closest site to this road is Old Chief Joseph’s Gravesite, the resting place of the father of Chief Joseph who is a well-known figure in the area's history. These sites together tell the story of Chief Joseph's tribe including Fort Lapwai; Dug Bar, where they crossed the Snake River; and Tolo Lake. This collection gives you a fascinating history of the native people.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park covers around 3,500 square miles through Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It has the distinction of being the first-ever national park in the United States. This huge park has plenty of interesting attractions and activities. This dormant volcano contains more geysers and hot springs than any other area of the country. You will also be greeted by stunning mountain views and maybe a glimpse of wildlife. Since the elevation is quite high, you can expect cooler temperatures, especially at night. Enjoy camping, hiking on the trails, and taking pictures. You will also find lakes like Cascade Lake, Yellowstone Lake, and Grebe Lake where you can boat, swim, and fish.
Curt Gowdy State Park
Curt Gowdy State Park is located near Laramie, Wyoming. This park is 3,395 acres of beautiful rolling hills. You have a choice of three different reservoirs including Granite, Crystal, and North Crow, where you can enjoy fishing and boating. This park offers over 35 miles of trails for hiking or horseback riding, or you can sit still and enjoy the native wildlife like ground squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and elk.
Willard Bay State Park
Willard Bay State Park contains a beautiful freshwater reservoir near Willard, Utah. This is the perfect spot for a little break from driving where you can watch the animals, camp, or go boating. It was renovated just recently and consists of two marinas, camping facilities, boat ramps, and modern day-use areas. You can enjoy beautiful photo opportunities, observe the birds and wildlife, and savor the peaceful surroundings.
Cottonwood Canyon State Park
Cottonwood Canyon State Park is a state park near Lonerock, Oregon, the second-largest park in the state. It is 8,000 acres of rugged canyons, cliffs, and grasslands. It offers primitive campsites where you can park and spend time exploring or stargazing. The John Day River has some fantastic fishing. There are hiking trails with backcountry camping available and opportunities to see elk, mule deer, antelopes, coyotes, and lots of other critters.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. Shortly after the beginning of your journey, this is an interesting attraction you will not want to miss. The museum features the Otter Box Digital Dome Theater with a 39-foot diameter dome screen and booming surround sound. You can enjoy collections-based and hands-on exhibits in the huge open floor plan. Learn about the physics of sound in the sound lab. Check out the Schatz Family Exploration Zone where you can explore scientific concepts in a more interactive setting. This is a great place to visit on your Denver to Portland road trip if you're traveling with kids.
Old Idaho Penitentiary Site
The Old Idaho Penitentiary Site is a fascinating historical attraction located outside Boise, Idaho. This penitentiary opened in 1872 to confine some of the West’s biggest criminals. You can check out solitary confinement, see the cell blocks, and visit the gallows. Explore historic buildings, exhibits, and weaponry. You will see some of the faces of those who were housed at the penitentiary, crafts that were made by the cons, and the ward where they kept female criminals. If you enjoy history, this is a unique educational stop.
Leo Adler House Museum
The Leo Adler House Museum is an enchanting stop near Baker City, Oregon. This is a restored 1889 home where Baker City philanthropist Leo Adler lived. Today, they offer guided tours that allow you to hear the story of his life while you admire the original furniture, light fixtures, and artwork. Wandering through this house will make you feel like you are wandering back through time.
Ogden is a beautiful city along the route that is known for its historic buildings and the beautiful scenery of the nearby Wasatch Mountains. The culture goes from mountain to urban with an exciting nightlife, fun shopping opportunities, and delicious dining. You can also enjoy all kinds of outdoor recreation in the nearby mountainous regions. Enjoy hiking trails and the nearby national parks. There are scenic drives, water activities, or just wandering around town viewing the art and architecture. If you need a dump station near Ogden, you can find a free option at Smith's Food and Drug. If you are looking for a place to stay overnight so that you have more time to explore the area, check out the campground at Fort Buenaventura. This RV park is also a beautiful campground right on the river. It includes trails, a solid disk golf course, and a playground for kids.
Boise is the capital of Idaho and is a definite highlight of the state. Their beloved park called the Green Belt goes through the heart of the city following the Boise River. You can enjoy scenic views and wildlife by bicycle or on foot. The city has many wonderful parks and is also home to Zoo Boise. If you enjoy ice sports, you can visit Ice World, their indoor ice-skating center. Boise has a choice of six swimming pools to visit when the weather is right as well as two golf courses. If you find your RV in need of a dump station near Boise, you will find a free option at Boise Stage Stop. Most of the RV parks also offer options if you stay there. If you want to spend the night in Boise, the Mountain View RV Park is right in the heart of the city near shopping, restaurants, and the Green Belt.
La Grande, Oregon
La Grande, known as “The Hub City,” is a gem in eastern Oregon. This town offers an interesting blend of urban culture mixed with casual country. This is a great place to enjoy art exhibits or concerts throughout the year. In summer, you can check out breathtaking views, scenic bikeways, and the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. Enjoy the rugged mountain surroundings and lakes with hiking and fishing in the warmer months and a fair amount of snow to play in during the winter. If you need a dump station near La Grande, check out C&M Country Store. It is free there as long as you get gasoline at the same time. There are also a number of campgrounds in the area at which you can relax and enjoy the scenic beauty. Grande RV Hotsprings Resort is a beautiful location for camping if you decide to spend the night, and it has a dump station as well.
Your road trip itinerary from Denver to Portland is sure to give you an unforgettable adventure. You will enjoy beautiful mountain and high desert scenery as well as finding fun little spots to stop, rest, and explore. The benefits of traveling by recreational vehicle include being able to stop whenever it is convenient and not having to worry about reservations or check out times. If you do not have an RV of your own, we can help you find the perfect rental at RVshare in either Denver or Portland. Then, you will be ready to start your five-state tour.