The quickest route for a Reno to Bend RV road trip is a journey through sections of three states—Nevada, California, and Oregon. The direct route takes you along the scenic U.S. 375 highway. The road cuts through and into parts of the Eastern and Northern California forestlands. Mountains, lakes, and rivers merge in this region, creating a memorable trip for you and your family.
Though the fastest route between Reno and Bend is a mere 390 miles, it is best to expand your Reno to Bend road trip itinerary to visit three of the most spectacular national parks in the nation. Each of these parks will pique the attention of your family.
Death Valley National Park
Before you venture north toward Bend from Reno, take a trip of 367 miles south to Death Valley National Park. You can get there in six hours by traveling U.S. 95 to Beatty, NV, before crossing over into California. The park sits astride the California-Nevada border with access points from east and west. The area is relatively remote, and you should prepare by carrying extra fuel and water. The temperatures are scorching with the highest temperatures ever recorded in the United States registered at the Furnace Creek section of the park. Despite the high temperatures, life moves forward in every section of the park. Visitor centers provide information and maps as well as directions to many RV campgrounds that surround the park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park lies 150 miles into your road trip from Reno to Bend. To visit the park, turn at Susanville, CA, on U.S. 395 toward the west. The park is only 64 miles off your main route. The attraction of Lassen Volcanic National Park is in its geographic diversity. Within its boundaries, you'll find steaming fumaroles, geysers, dormant volcanoes, and bubbling mud pools. In this park, you'll find jagged, picturesque peaks, crystal-clear mountain lakes, and flowers of every color of the rainbow. RV parks are available in several places inside the park as well as outside the park.
Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is one of the most pristine parks in the country. The park takes its name from a huge crater filled with water, a spectacular sight from any place along the road that circles the crater. The lake is the deepest in the United States and reflects a blue that is not seen in most places in the world. Crater Lake is easily reached from U.S. 375 as it is located only 20 miles from the highway. The climb up Mount Mazama is somewhat arduous and is closed during the winter months due to high snow levels.
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park
Taking a detour of 78 miles from your Reno to Bend road trip route will get you to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park near Redding. The park covers 910 acres and is chiefly known for its picturesque waterfall at the park's entry point. Park activities include fishing, water sports, hiking, and horseback riding. Shaded by trees, the mist from the falls turns into rainbows during the noon hour on a sunny day. The park has 100 RV camping sites within a short distance of the waterfall and several primitive camping sites as well.
Collier Memorial State Park
Collier Memorial State Park is located north of Klamath Falls, OR, about 270 miles along your Reno to Bend RV road trip. The park is also only about 30 miles from Crater Lake National Park, which makes it a great spot to camp before traveling up Mount Mazama to take in the sights. It is only 146 acres in size, but it offers plenty of room for the casual RV camper who does not require a hookup. The park includes several hiking trails, ranger-guided information tours, and an intriguing Logging History Museum.
Tumalo State Park
Tumalo State Park lies just 7 miles northwest of Bend; it is a great spot to park your RV and take in the area's sights. The 330-acre park sits beside the beautiful Deschutes River. Activities include fishing, swimming, hiking, and picnicking. There are plenty of RV camping sites inside the park as well as a significant number in the surrounding area.
The points of interest on a road trip from Reno to Bend involve the effects of natural forces. Wildlife refuges and national forests pepper the area. Federal laws protect these locations. Those visiting these sites should take care to leave as little imprint as possible.
Lava Beds National Monument
While you are still in California on your road trip from Reno to Bend, stop at the Lava Beds National Monument for a view of one of the most recent lava flows in the area. At this monument, you can hike among lava tubes, cinder cones, lava fields, and the most massive lava flow still evident in the Cascades. RV camping sites are available at the nearby town of Tulelake, CA.
Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
About 270 miles into your road trip from Reno to Bend, you'll travel next to the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge on the California/Oregon border covers approximately 50,000 acres and is dedicated to the preservation of waterfowl. The sanctuary was established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt as one segment of his effort to preserve the wild nature of the west. RV camping is not allowed inside the refuge, but there are plenty of camping sites close to the area.
Lava River Cave
At the end of your road trip from Reno to Bend, you can explore the mile-long Lava River Cave. The cave near Bend is a lava tube through which lava ran during an ancient eruption. To tour the cave, allow about an hour and a half and dress for cold conditions. The cave stays around 48 degrees F during the entire year. If you wish to camp your RV in this area to explore other caves, there are several campgrounds available with full hookups.
To complete your road trip itinerary from Reno to Bend, consider stopping at these cities along the way. They hold an immense amount of the area's history. In some towns, you may find traditional events to get involved in. Stopping, visiting, and exploring these cities adds an extra ingredient to your trip.
Susanville is located 60 miles along your Reno to Bend road trip. The town was once a busy logging and mining community. You can still see the historic buildings from the old mining days. Many restaurants still serve foods that have been around for over a century. Since Susanville is a crossroads for much of the traffic through Northern California, there are a number of dump stations available in the city to clean waste tanks. There are a few modern RV campsites available around Susanville, but rustic sites with no hookups are abundant.
Klamath Falls, Oregon
The city of Klamath Falls is about 270 miles into your road trip from Reno to Bend. The city offers several natural sites to visit, so many that it will take two to three days to see them all. The town has plenty of dump stations so that you can clean your waste tanks before moving on. Numerous modern campgrounds let you pick and choose the location from which you can explore the area.
Bend, OR, is your road trip's destination. The city is one of the fastest-growing communities in the country due to its local attractions and favorable climate. Located in the heart of Oregon, Bend is surrounded by evidence of ancient volcanic activity. The area is a favorite place for Oregonians to visit during vacations. There is so much to see that you cannot visit it all during a two-week family vacation. Since the town is visited often, dump stations are abundant. RV campgrounds with full amenities pepper the area.