With summer around the corner, many outdoor enthusiasts are thinking about where to take their next adventure. The American Northwest has plenty of travel options for those who are more inclined to hiking and camping than lounging around lazily while on their vacation. Start planning your next outdoor trip today by learning about the following five destinations in the American Northwest you won’t want to miss.
Boise National Forest
Image via Flickr by treegrow
Offering more than 1,300 miles of summer trails, Boise National Forest is a prime destination for hiking, horseback riding, and camping. Additionally, the 7,600 miles of streams and rivers in this national forest offer a great opportunity to raft, kayak, ski, or water-ski. After a long day of exploring this mountainous landscape covering more than 2.5 million acres, you can find a hotel in Boise where you can experience a bit of rest and relaxation.
North Cascades National Park
Located about 2 1/2 hours outside of Seattle, North Cascades National Park offers incredible scenic hiking, ecological diversity, and more than 300 glaciers. With less than 27,000 visitors annually, this park may be one of the least visited parks in the country, making it a great outdoor destination if you want to avoid the crowds at busier national parks.
Lime Kiln Point State Park
The San Juan Islands in Washington state are a great option if you want to observe spectacular marine life. Located on the west end of San Juan Island, Lime Kiln Point is considered one of the best whale-watching spots on earth. Offering views of gray whales, orcas, sea lions, and porpoises, this state park is not to be missed. For the more adventurous, you’ll also find many kayaking and diving excursions available on San Juan Island.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
While the Columbia River Gorge offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities, those travelers interested in wind and paddle sports will be especially drawn to this destination. Since the gorge dividing Washington and Oregon provides a natural wind-tunnel effect, kiteboarders and windsurfers around the world enjoy it. The Gorge is also home to eclectic small towns where you can explore local galleries, breweries, and restaurants.
Dungeness Spit and National Wildlife Refuge
For a quieter trip, consider visiting the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge in Washington. Originally established in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson as a refuge and preserve for native birds, the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is an optimal location for viewing about 250 species of birds and 41 species of land mammals. If you are interested in wildlife photography, you can be sure that you will capture some stunning images in this ecological haven of the Pacific Northwest.
Whether you are traveling to only one location or you are road-tripping throughout the American Northwest, the destinations above have much to offer those who love the outdoors. With breathtaking sights and an incredible variety of activities available, the five places above will not fail to make your next outdoor adventure an unforgettable experience.