With the summer months coming fast, it’s time to nail down your summer RV adventures. Here at Guaranty RV, we think Oregon is one of the best destination spots for RVers, especially if you’re looking to see a wealth of natural wonders. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 National Parks in Oregon. From the end of Lewis and Clark’s westward adventure to ancient fossil beds from 40 million years ago this is one list you are going to add to your bucket list of adventures. There are so many opportunities in Oregon, that we’ve had to make this blog a two-parter. In part one we’ll look at three national parks, and next week we’ll take a look at a couple more.
As you plan your Oregon road trips remember to stop in at our Travel Center located in Junction City, just off the I-5 corridor, where you can fill up your propane tanks, get any parts and supplies you need, and buy some snacks for the drive.
John Day Fossil Beds National Park
Really the John Day Fossil Beds National Park is three parks in one. In our blog Visit the Seven Wonders of Oregon in Your RV, we focused on the Painted Hills, one of Oregon’s most unique and beautiful treasures. Formed by volcanic eruptions and climate changes, the sediment on the hills is richly colored and layered. They are breathtaking and should be visited while you are there. However the real treasure of the park is the fossil beds. Nowhere else in North America can you see the see the evolution of the earth over the past 40 million years. Whether it’s land mammals or plant growth, you can see the fossils of them all. The third park is Sheep Rock, where you can visit the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center where you can see a large portion of the park’s fossils. Also there are some great hiking trails where you can explore the interesting geological formations such as Sheep Rock’s green layers.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Park
For the history buffs out there, visit the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park located in Astoria, Oregon, the northernmost of our coastal towns. Fort Clatsop was the winter home of Lewis and Clark once they reached the Pacific. This park is open year round, but in the summer months it has a bevy of people dressed in period costumes demonstrating period crafts from leather tanning, to candle making, to demonstrations of firing a flintlock gun. There is something for everyone to enjoy. This is great place to spend 4th of July weekend. There are many events happening up and down the northern stretch of the coast as well. In Seaside, Oregon, about 30 minutes south, there is the annual parade and Old Fashioned Social. The day’s festivities culminate in a fireworks display that is unparalleled on the Oregon Coast.
The Oregon Caves:
If you need a place to beat the heat in the middle of summer, the Oregon Caves are the place to go. This underground network of caves and tunnels has some of the most unique architecture in the world, and none of it is manmade. The road getting down to the caves is winding and steep so the Oregon Caves staff has asked that you you park your RV’s and travel trailers at Grayback Campground. It’s about 12 miles from the caves, and you’ll only be able to access the caves area with your tow vehicle or the smaller car you tow behind your motorhome. The trip is worth it to see the only underground wild and scenic river in the U.S.! The caves were formed from rainwater eroding marble. Take the guided tour (there are 15,000 passages within the cave), and you will learn all about the unique plants and animals that thrive in caves. Afterwards you can take a hike through the old growth forest that surrounds the Oregon Caves. This is the coolest national monument in Oregon.
You can make reservations to camp in Oregon’s national parks here, and don’t forget to visit us in between trips for a tune up at our Service Center.
Stay tuned for part two next week, where we’ll explore more of our favorite National parks, and if you have any questions, be sure to give us a call.
Photo: Bureau of Land Management
Check out Part 2 here