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Stunning Drives in the Pacific Northwest

July 5, 2018

There’s nothing better than discovering a nice drive. Whether it takes you into the country, along natural wonders, or close to scenic masterpieces, a day on the road can be a great way to unwind and bring your family closer together. Fill up the gas tank, pack a picnic, and enjoy a tour of these Pacific Northwest favorites.

Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway

You’ll travel 172 miles, but what you’ll see along the way will amaze you and your family. Sights include more than 15 waterfalls, wild rivers, rolling hills, and incredible landscapes.

Where to Stop: Favorite waterfalls include Toketee Falls and Watson Falls. Also, the Colliding Rivers just outside Glide is a unique spot where two rivers collide head-on. Don’t miss your opportunity to see Crater Lake, Diamond Lake, and enjoy views of Mt. Thielsen and Mt. Bailey.

Where to Start: You can start in Roseburg or Gold Hill, Oregon. From Roseburg, take State Highway 138 east. This road eventually becomes SR 230, then 62, and finally 234 before ending up in Gold Hill. If you’re going from Gold Hill, look for 234, which will end up being State Highway 138 as you roll into town.

Olympic Highway Loop

If you have a full day open for driving and exploring, this 264+ mile loop could be perfect for you. The drive includes views of the Olympic National Park, Pacific Ocean, and plenty of quaint and enjoyable towns and waysides.

Where to Stop: Stops along the way include Forks, Washington for some movie location sightseeing, Lake Crescent, Hurricane Ridge (just off the path), Lake Quinault, and breathtaking ocean views just outside Kalaloch, Washington.

Where to Start: You can really start the tour along any town on the route, which encompasses most of Highway 101 as it heads north from Hoquian, Washington and then follows the peninsula down to Kamilche, Washington. To complete the loop, take Washington 108 to the 8 and then Highway 12 going from Kamilche to Hoquian.

Spokane River Loop 

If you’re a local to the area, you already know about this wonderful drive along the Spokane River and Long Lake. Trust us when we say, this drive will help you relax, recharge, and get re-connected with nature and the world around you.

Where to Stop: While you’re near Gonzaga University, be sure to check out the Crosby Student Center where you’ll find every album Bing Crosby ever produced (he went to school there for a short while). Photo opportunities include Riverside State Park, Nine Mile Falls, Long Lake Pictographs and Archeological Interpretive Trail just after Tumtum, Long Lake Dam, and Riverfront Park in Spokane.

Where to Start: The easiest place to start is in Spokane, Washington. Take I-90 to exit 280 and then onto South Division Street to the Spokane Visitor Center. Next, turn left on Washington 291 and follow it until you’re past Long Lake Dam. There you’ll take a left on Washington 231 towards Reardan. Once you reach Reardan, take US-2 to head back to Spokane.

Hood River County Fruit Loop 

This is one of the most remarkable, yummy, and enjoyable 35-mile scenic drives in the entire Pacific Northwest. Plan a day of it, with stops at wineries, farm stands, fields of alpaca, and small-town restaurants – all under the careful watch of Mt. Hood’s less photographed north face.

Where to Stop: Check out The Gorge White House for strawberries and raspberries, Hood River U-Pick for cherries and raspberries, as well as Montavon’s Berries. While it’s not a quick detour, a trip up to Lost Lake offers stunning views of Mt. Hood along with some day-use campsites and a pristine, alpine lake.

Where to Start: Starting in Hood River, take Highway 35 south. Follow the signs to Parkdale, then take a right onto Highway 281 north, which will take you back into Hood River alongside I-84.

Start Your Scenic Drive at Coastal

Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has everything you need to keep your car or truck running smooth, including antifreeze, oil, belts, hoses, and a lot more. While you’re there, stock up on snacks for the journey, jackets for those unexpected cold snaps, and any other clothing you might need to face our region’s unpredictable weather.