Seeing the many wonders of natural Oregon and enjoying the shopping, dining and family activities of its many friendly towns is almost impossible in a one week trip, but we’ve put together a nine day RV adventure that gives you a great introduction to all Oregon has to offer. After trying this RV trip, you may want to go back and spend a bit more time in some of them or explore a few side trips on your next outing.
One Week Oregon RV Adventure
Days 1 & 2 – Bend, Oregon/Deschutes National Forest
Every trip has to have a starting point, so we’ve chosen Bend, Oregon because it’s centrally located and has lots to do within a relatively small geographic area. It’s at the edge of the Deschutes National Forest and is close to Sisters, a charming town with an “Old West” feel to it that offers lots of dining and shopping in quaint boutique style shops. Bend itself has breweries and restaurants galore. In the afternoon, the kids will love tubing down the river that runs through town, or rent some kayaks and spend the day watching the scenery as you navigate the Deschutes River. There are also ample opportunities for rock climbing, including Smith Rock. The views are incredible, so take your camera along.
Deschutes National Forest has 1.8 million acres of unspoiled beauty along the Cascade Mountain Range offering boating, hiking, fishing and numerous bike trails. For your first night’s stay, Cascade Meadows RV Park is located just 22 miles from Bend, Oregon and has amenities ranging from swimming pools to full shower facilities. The on-site restaurant means you can come home to a delicious meal after a day of hiking or fishing without preparing it yourself.
Day 3 – Silver Falls State Park/Silverton
It’s only about 2-1/2 hours drive from Cascade Meadows to Silver Falls State Park, a wonderland of hiking and beautiful waterfalls. The 9-mile “Trail of Ten Falls” offers breathtaking views and a few opportunities to walk behind a few of the falls. There are also shorter treks if you’re not up to the longer walk. In Silverton, Oregon (just 10 miles away), don’t miss the Oregon Gardens with its 80 acres of beautiful flowering and exotic plants. The Historic Gordon House tour is another must-see, particularly if you’re a Frank Lloyd Wright fan. The house is a gem of architectural design created to work with its natural environment.
Day 4 – Crater Lake/Paulina Lake
One of the most stunning sites in the Cascade Range, CraterLake is lovely all the time, but it’s amazing if you visit at sunrise or sunset. The waters in this volcano created lake are crystal clear due to the purity of the water, which comes solely from melting snow and rainfall. It’s one of the few lakes in the world with no tributaries. You can camp inside the Newberry Crater on Paulina Lake and take advantage of the many bike trails that take you to several waterfalls, including some you can slide over and plunge into Paulina Lake for a refreshing dunk.
Day 5 – Brookings/Oregon Caves
Brookings, Oregon is a southern coastal town that is one of the few areas where you can see giant redwoods outside of California. The Oregon Redwood Trail is rugged, so wear your hiking shoes and bring your binoculars. You’ll marvel at the size of these beautiful, old growth trees and the abundance of wildlife you’ll see, including elk and bear. The temperatures here are moderate year-round and the scenic Harris Beach is starkly beautiful with its many rock formations and tidal pools. Harris Beach State Park offers RV camping with amenities like showers and hook-ups, but it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance, as the spots fill up fast.
The Oregon Caves National Park and Preserve offers a spectacular caving experience in an extensive system of natural marble caves offering guided tours for families as well as spelunking opportunities for experienced cavers. This natural wonder maintains cool temperatures year-round, so bring a jacket or sweater. The caves are only open from late March to early November, so plan your travel accordingly.
Day 6 – Gold Beach/Rogue River
Fishing and jet boats share popularity at Gold Beach, a small town on the Rogue River. The fishing is excellent and there are a wide range of fisheries here. Trout, salmon and sturgeon migrate upriver every year. If fishing isn’t your think, take a jet boat ride to hear a fascinating history of the region or simply enjoy the scenery.
Day 7 – Shore Acres State Park/Battle Rock Wayside
You’ll discover some of the Oregon’s most elegant offerings at Shore Acres, which was once the private home of a timber baron and his family. Today, the preserved estate features stunning gardens (including a Japanese garden, rose gardens and a formal garden), water features and part of the original estate, which now features an enclosed observation area looking down on the ocean.
If you’re in the right season, take a short drive north to Battle Rock Wayside, where you can do some whale watching. During December and January, upwards of 20,000 whales will migrate along the coast to reach warmer waters, but even in the spring, summer and fall expect to spot whales daily on the Oregon coast.
Day 8 – Winchester Bay
The Umpqua River empties into the Pacific Ocean at Winchester Bay and the beaches both wild and beautiful. You can find multiple camping locations for your RV, including Windy Cove, Umpqua Lighthouse State Park and the Winchester Bay Marina. Check out the Umpqua Lighthouse and its history, then browse the shops of Winchester Bay. If you prefer something more thrilling, there are miles of sand dunes for ATVs, which you can rent in town. You can also rent a charter for ocean fishing if you’re looking for larger catch than nearby lakes can give you.
Day 9 – Neskowin/Chinook Winds Casino
Park your RV at Neskowin Creek RV Resort, about 2-1/2 hours from Winchester, Oregon, and discover how much you can do without leaving the resort. You’ll find a dog run, full-service facilities and laundry, a playground and game room. Just a half-mile stroll away is a sandy beach as well as various fishing options.
Neskowin itself is a sleepy little town on the Oregon coast that happens to have one of the best white sand beaches on the Pacific Coast. It’s protected from the weather on both the north and south ends, so winds aren’t a problem like they are in other locations. Proposal Rock is a small, rock island that can be reached by walking during low tide, but that is cut off from the land during high tide. Legend has it that a sea captain proposed to his sweetheart here a century ago. There are also fascinating remnants of a 2000 year old forest on the beach – the petrified remains of an ancient grove of trees jut out of the sand, a result of the grove dropping 60 feet into the ocean in 1700 after an earthquake.
If you’re looking for a bit of excitement at the end of your trip, visit the Chinook Winds Casino, where you can play the slots, dine or enjoy headlining entertainment, including top comedians and musical artists.
After you’ve taken this nine day trip, be sure and consider touring central and east Oregon, where you’ll find lots of other natural wonders and plenty of things to do in your RV!