There is never a bad time to begin a long, peaceful drive down a scenic Washington State road. Washington state is one of the most beautiful states in the Pacific Northwest (many of the authors of this blog are from WA, so you can rest assured there is no bias in this post! Just kidding, there’s a bit of bias here). Washington boasts a large variety of ecosystems and environments, including the coast, the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia Plateau with its sagebrush steppe, the Palouse in Eastern Washington, and more! We have listed 7 of the best Washington Scenic Drives to visit in your RV!
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The Palouse Scenic Byway
John Denver had it right about country roads, nothing beats a long leisurely drive through them. The Palouse Scenic Byway is a long 208-mile network that connects seven local highways. Along the route, you can see memorable spots such as Palouse Falls State Park, Elberton Ghost Town, Steptoe Butte, and the Junk Castle. Venture through the rolling wheat fields of Eastern Washington! However, take caution and be prepared. There are few areas to fill up on gas, and cell service can be spotty. Make sure you have a map and enough water for the hot summer days before you head into this incredible section of Washington. Visit the Palouse in the spring to see the hills lush green or bright yellow with fields of canola, or visit late in the summer to see golden hills with the year’s wheat crop.
While not as long as the Palouse Scenic Byway, this drive is every bit as scenic. Chuckanut Drive takes you 21 miles down the winding road of Highway 11. Along the route, you will drive by several beautiful farming towns. Besides the charming farming towns, you’ll also see Larrabee State Park (Washington’s first official state park). The park is worth the visit, so don’t be afraid to stop. The route ends in the enchanting Historic Fairhaven District. There, you can park your RV and check out all the shops or sit down and eat at all the charming restaurants.
State Route 10
State Route 10 is a bit more secluded than all the others, but that just means there is more road to yourself. It is located in Kittitas County, where you can follow the Yakima River southwest. You’ll follow along the Roslyn branch of the historic North Pacific Railway. You can also stop practically anywhere along the route for views of the Yakima River. On hot summer days, you may see river enthusiasts rafting through the canyon. Keep an eye out for deer, coyotes, rabbits, and other desert animals.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Highway 2 from Sultan to Wallace Falls State Park
If you are looking at traveling through the more forested western side of the state, then this Highway 2 route is perfect for you. US-2 begins in Everett at the intersection with SR 529. Once you hit the Sultan Area of the route, that is where it starts to get really exciting. Along the way, you’ll see a bunch of roadside attractions, like the World’s Tiniest Chapel and the beautiful Wallace falls State Park. The park is right outside of Gold Bar, so park your RV there to fully experience the park.
Yakima River Canyon
State Route 821, otherwise known as Canyon Road, runs from I-82 in Ellensburg, WA to Selah, WA. You experience the Yakima River and all of its deep canyons as you pass by them on SR 821. Recreation opportunities abound in the Canyon. Fly fishing, rafting, U-Pick blueberry picking, the Ellensburg Canyon Winery, your choice of beautiful campgrounds, and multiple hiking trails are waiting to be explored. Keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and bald eagles as you travel. River enthusiasts will enjoy fishing and floating the river on hot summer days!
State Route 206
State Route 206 Mount Spokane Park Drive takes you through Mead, WA and leads you to the entrance of Mount Spokane State Park. We recommend keeping an eye out for moose while you drive, as the park is bristling with wildlife. We also suggest parking your RV at the Mount Spokane Park to explore it for a bit as there is plenty to do around. Take a hike on one of the multiple trails in the area, or try your hand at geocaching, a very popular local activity!
Photo Credit: Trond / alltrails.com
Strait of Juan De Fuca Scenic Byway
The Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway stretches along the length of Washington’s coast. It rests on the north shore of the Olympic Peninsula and starts near Port Angeles, WA. The byway will take you past cliffs and old-growth forests, all the way to the Makah Indian Reservation. Along the drive, you’ll also see the beautiful towns of Challam Bay and Joyce. Continue on this route to Cape Flattery to see the northwestern-most point of the continental U.S. If you are free in September, we recommend setting off on the byway to experience the one-day Great Strait Sale. The sale is a massive garage sale where you can find all kinds of treasures and knick-knacks.