Campsite in Golden Ears

Trip Planning

5 Campgrounds Which Made Our RV Trip in the Pacific Northwest Unforgettable

Follow along with RVer Lindsey Scot Ernst as she and her family travel in their RV across the Pacific Northwest!

Image: Sunset on the Oregon coast. Credit: Lindsey Scot Ernst

We all have lingering trips in our hearts, marinating and waiting to be fulfilled. This summer our family actualized one of those trips. We have been planning to travel to the Pacific Northwest for years, and we finally got the chance to make the trip this summer in our RV.

During our journey we have seen many miraculous sights in the Pacific Northwest, and while we stayed at some fantastic campgrounds, there are definitely a few which have stood out. There is a real beauty in travel when the campgrounds and the places we stay become more than a backdrop, they become characters to our story, and allow for experiences we could not have had without them having some sense of uniqueness. Along our stay here are a few we noted.

Image: Campsite in Golden Ears. Credit: Lindsey Scot Ernst

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Golden Ears Provincial Park is a simply beautiful park located in southern British Columbia, about an hour from Vancouver. It is an extensive park with miles of trails, giant trees, moss covered ground, and wonderful mountains which straddle Alouette Lake.

We stayed at the North Beach Campgrounds, one of the three main campgrounds in the park. The Gold Creek and Alouette campgrounds both have running water for showers and bathrooms and North Beach is more primitive, but still has outhouses. All of the campgrounds have great walks to the beaches and all of them have access to many of the hikes in the park. The tress and the moss laden ground in and around the campsites made staying in camp a pleasure worth indulging in. It really was the perfect place to be with kids.

Image: Massive Redwoods in morning dew. Credit: Lindsey Scot Ernst

Del Norte Coast Redwoods: Mill Creek Campground

Mill Creek Campground sits deep in the woods, about 2.5 miles from highway 101. In the campground area you can see old growth redwoods in places, but not much. Nevertheless, I was excited to explore the area around our site because many surrounding campsites had fairy rings. If you’re not familiar with fairy rings, they are the remnants of giant redwoods which have been cut down and are now encircled by a ring of new growth. It is sad seeing these stumps, but it is truly awesome being atop a stump which is surrounded by the new life.

To climb up inside of a ring and sit in a cove of redwoods feels as though you are sitting in a cathedral where the life of the new redwoods pay homage to a great ancestor of their past. There was both silence and echo from the trees surrounding us, which made for an unforgettable experience for both my daughter and me.

Image: Pacific Ocean view at Beach at Thousand Trails Long Beach. Credit: Lindsey Scot Ernst

Thousand Trails: Long Beach

First off, Thousand Trails in Long Beach is an RV resort in a great location. It is right near Cape Disappointment, the southwestern most tip of Washington and a short drive to Oregon. They have a pool, yurts, hookups, but maybe the best portion of our stay there was the beach. It was a short walk from the resort and felt like a private beach. There was rarely anyone there and the views of the Pacific Ocean were expansive.

Image: Sunset over Diamond Lake. Credit: Lindsey Scot Ernst

Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake is a campground in the Umpqua National Forest. For those wanting to visit Crater Lake there is no camping in the park, and if you want to stay on water and experience lake life, Diamond Lake is a great option. We stayed right on the water at Diamond Lake where we witnessed spectacular sunsets behind Mt. Bailey by day and gazed at the Milky Way and the splendor of the stars reflecting off the lake by night.

Image: Hall of Mosses trail in Hoh Rainforest. Credit: Lindsey Scot Ernst

The Hoh Rainforest

While on this trip, we have ventured around a healthy portion of the Pacific Northwest. We explored British Columbia, hopped about the Olympic Peninsula, were awed by Crater Lake, delighted by the Oregon coast, and saw more in between. I am thankful for all we saw, but none of this trip would have happened, or at least not in the way we traveled it, if we weren’t drawn by the Hoh Rainforest. 

The Hoh Rainforest Campground is a beautiful campground that neighbors the visitor center and the three trail heads the rainforest has to offer. Moss covers everything. The environment is teeming with plant life. Big leaf maples stretch wide with moss hanging from every limb like majestic curtains. It is said there is more life in the Hoh per square inch than anywhere else on Earth. I would recommend a Ranger talk about the forest, for it is what I think of when I think of the Pacific Northwest.