While New York, San Francisco and L.A. may steal the headlines, the Northwest is a fantastic destination for adventurers looking to explore another side to the USA. With sensational backdrops, and a seasonal climate comparable to Great Britain, it’s an attractive addition to any travel wish-list.
Here are some of our favorite ‘must-see’ highlights of the Northwest USA.
Yellowstone National Park
Wyoming is the United States’ least populated state, and home to plenty of grizzly bears. Those two facts are most probably linked.
Yellowstone is the second largest national park in the USA, and drapes itself across volcanic plateaus and forested mountain ranges, complete with over 2.2 million acres of beautiful lakes, piping hot springs, including the famous Old Faithful, and picturesque waterfalls. If you only plan on seeing one of the USA’s 59 national parks, make it this one.
Mount Rainier National Park and Mount St. Helens
Mount Rainer and its smoldering cousin, Mount St. Helens, join up along the Cascade Range, to bring you Washington state’s most explosive nature show.
Lose yourself on Mount Rainer's fantastic walking trails
Mount Rainer boasts no less than 25 glaciers, and 260 miles of adventure-laden trails, making this a major draw for exploration. 35 miles south, Mount St. Helens stands majestic, a stark reminder of the huge 1980 eruption, which changed the region’s landscape forever. Today, you can follow your whispers through her forested foothills.
Glacier National Park
Montana’s very own Glacier National Park yells out like a planet’s last gasp. Forming part of the International Peace Park, and reminding us all of the importance of our lonely planet.
Earn your views, in the Glacier National Park
The park earns its moniker as the ‘Crown of the Continent’ for its powerful and rugged mountain-scapes. Get out among the valleys and experience the evocative landscapes for yourself. These hills were crafted by shifting glaciers, carving out valleys, and paving the way for lakes, attracting herds of moose, as well as the rarer mountain lions, lynx, wolverines, black bears and grizzly bears.
As the Snake River winds its way through southern Idaho, it grows in force, before spearing its way through the mountains of Oregon’s eastern border to form the deepest river gorge in the country. At its deepest point, the gorge walls rise nearly 8,000 feet, deep enough to hold 47 Niagara Falls stacked on top each other.
Behold, Hells Canyon, so called because there is seemingly no way out. That is unless you have a turbine-powered jet boat and an urge for adrenaline. For those looking for a slower pace of life, there are kayaks and rafts available, too.
The Oregon Coast
By virtue of some remarkable planning decisions in the 1910s, much of the state’s 362 miles of beautiful coastline remains undeveloped, paving way for one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline, anywhere on the planet.
Let loose on Oregon's vast sand dunes.
Choose your ride, and journey along Route 101, where you can experience whale watching, lighthouse laden vistas, world famous orcas (yes, the one from Free Willy), and some of the best hiking trails on the continent, as well as over 50 miles of sand dunes.