Taking a Salt Lake City to Crescent City road trip means experiencing an adventure in a wide variety of environments. You will enjoy the beauty of deserts and pristine mountain forests before ending your trip in the crisp, clean air of the Northern California coastline. Be sure to bring a camera because there will be plenty of scenic views that you will not want to forget.
Great Basin National Park
Great Basin National Park is located near Baker, Nevada, a few hours south of your road trip from Salt Lake City to Crescent City. This park is known for its stunning collection of bristlecone pines. The most accessible grove is at Wheeler Peak, which can be reached by guided tour in the summer or by hiking on your own the rest of the year. The park also includes fascinating caves to explore, and you will want to experience the unmatched stargazing after dark.
Crater Lake National Park
Once you get to southern Oregon, you may want to make a pitstop at Crater Lake National Park, which is home to the deepest lake in the United States. The drive up to the lake through the majestic evergreen forests is awe-inspiring, and the scenery opens to one of the most pristine lakes you will ever see. Depending on the time of year, you may be greeted by a variety of birds and chipmunks or by huge columns of snow. The park includes a gift shop and a small café.
Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park, located in coastal California, is home to over 45% of the world's coastal redwoods, some of the tallest trees in the world. If you enjoy photography, you will have opportunities for some great shots here. Enjoy the trees and lush foliage around them as you tromp around trails enjoying the crisp air and mild temperatures. You may catch sight of a few animals now and then. Be sure to wear layers of clothing and non-slip shoes to have the best experience.
Bonneville Salt Flats State Park
The Bonneville Salt Flats is a state park about 100 miles outside of Salt Lake City. This area contains around 30,000 acres of hard salt at the western edge of the Great Salt Lake. It is free and open most of the year for the public to experience and explore. The salt is anywhere from a few inches to 5 feet thick in places, so you will want to beware when driving so that you do not damage the salt or get stuck. This is a remote area, but that should not be a problem in your self-sufficient RV. Be sure to wear sunscreen and take note that the sun can be reflected off the salt, so it's best to also apply sunscreen to the bottom of your nose and chin.
Valley of the Rogue State Park
Valley of the Rogue State Park is in Jackson County, Oregon, right on Interstate 5. Located along the Rogue River, this park is easily accessible and provides a nice choice for a pitstop on the way to the coast. You can do some boating and fishing, or simply enjoy a nice hike. It is also common to see a variety of wildlife near the water. There are day-use picnic areas available as well as camping here.
Tolowa Dunes State Park
Tolowa Dunes State Park is a state park located in Crescent City, California. It covers about 5,000 acres that include Lake Tolowa and Lake Earl. This park is a wonderful place to enjoy all kinds of nature. Keep an eye out for a rare Canada Aleutian goose as well as Peregrine Falcons. There are also coyotes, deer, and raccoons wandering the grounds. If you are there in the spring, you can enjoy a vast array of wildflowers, and when you are near the coastal area, you can see harbor seals, sea lions, and even migrating gray whales during their migration season.
Lake of the Woods Resort
The Lake of the Woods Resort is in Oregon on Highway 140 as you drive over the mountains into the Rogue Valley. This is a natural lake and one of the clearest in the Cascade Range. The new Lodge Restaurant & Bar overlooks the lake, providing a spot where you can enjoy a tasty meal and a spectacular view. When the weather is nice there is plenty of hiking to do, you can try your hand at fly-fishing, or rent a boat from the marina to play on the water. The marina also has a gift shop and pizza parlor.
The Oregon Vortex is a fascinating phenomenon located in Gold Hill, Oregon. You walk into a strange world where the impossible seems perfectly normal. The Native Americans noticed that their horses would not enter this location, so they would not either, leading you to believe the uniqueness of this area. The House of Mystery was built in 1904 and later developed and opened to the public in the 1930s. A tour guide shows you some of the interesting occurrences, like seeing people grow taller or shorter. It is a place that is a visual and perceptual occurrence and is a fun detour on your Salt Lake City to Crescent City RV road trip.
Oregon Caves National Monument
Oregon Caves National Monument is at the end of a scenic drive up the mountain from Cave Junction, Oregon. The cave was discovered in the 1800s by Elijah Davidson, a hunter that was with his dog and was tracking a bear. Now, there is a beautiful chateau with a restaurant and a gift shop. From there, you can book your guided tour through the beautiful caves and see stalagmites and stalactites. After your tour, enjoy exploring the hiking trails and some of the most beautiful country in southern Oregon.
Winnemucca, Nevada, is the only city in Humboldt County. This is a great place to enjoy cowboy country. You can check out the Buckaroo Hall of Fame as well as other historical exhibits and activities. There are also lots of hiking trails to explore. Be sure to check out their calendar of events that vary depending on what type of year you plan to go.
If you need a dump station near Winnemucca, we recommend stopping at the Pilot Flying J Travel Plaza in Battle Mountain, which is just east of town. It will cost $10 unless you have a Flying J Card. If you are looking for a place to spend the night, check out campgrounds like the Silver State RV Park on Winnemucca Blvd. You will find comfortable camping and can even take a dip in the swimming pool and roast marshmallows around the fire at night.
Klamath Falls, Oregon, is a beautiful area to enjoy a pitstop after your drive through the desert. Stretch your legs with some scenic hikes, enjoy a few rounds of golf, or try a little fishing. If you are brave, take a ride on Oregon’s longest zip line. If you enjoy birds, you can spot over 350 bird species in this area, so you will want to keep your binoculars handy.
Klamath County Fairgrounds offer dump station services for only $5. You can also get fresh water there. If you are interested in spending the night so that you have more time to explore, consider staying at a Klamath Falls campground like Eagle Ridge County Park. They have good cellphone reception and pull-through sites.
Grants Pass, Oregon, is another beautiful spot for a break. The town straddles the beautiful Rogue River. This is the area for white-water rafting or enjoying the Hellgate Jetboat Excursions, an exciting, carefree way to explore the Rogue River. Enjoy Riverside Park near downtown where you can be close to the water, feed the birds, and take the kids to the playground. There are lots of seasonal activities in the area, including the Boatnik Festival featuring jet boat races.
If you need a dump station in the Grants Pass area, you can go to the 76 Gas Station on 6th Street. They have services for only $7. You may want to camp here and explore a little since there is so much to see. We highly recommend the campground at Schroeder Park. It is a beautiful spot right on the river with a grassy picnic area, a playground, and a boat dock. There is also a dog park and tennis court on site.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Salt Lake City to Crescent City, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Salt Lake City or Crescent City.