We hope each and every one of you had an amazing, wonderful Christmas holiday with your family or the ones you consider family. Whatever the holiday you celebrate, I hope it was full of memories and love. We had a wonderful Christmas with our kids! Priceless and precious moments.
As full-time RV’ers we travel and see a lot. This is part of our Opting Out of Normal series where we explore the “Off the Beaten Path” of every state. We love the big popular stuff like everyone else, but there is just something incredible about discovering something unique, different and maybe a little “off the beaten path”. We certainly can’t explore them all, but we’d love you to include your favorites below too. Each series will include at least 1 epic boondocking area, some complete with pictures and all with GPS coordinates.You definitely have to visit the popular places like Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park while in Washington. But we have some unique, off the beaten path experiences you might want to check out too.
We really love State Parks. Most are just completely overlooked, empty and amazing. Deception Pass State Park is beautiful! Highly recommend checking it out. If beaches are you thing, you’ve hit the jackpot! You can also take a whale watching tour. Absolutely incredible.
Maryhill Museum and Stonehenge – Goldendale
An odd museum and Stonehenge replica in rural Washington State. Sam Hill was a Quaker and used his money to organize and fund a Quaker utopian community on the banks of the Columbia River in the early 1900s. Unfortunately no Quakers besides Hill ever moved there and his utopian vision failed after a few short years. Nonetheless Hill continued with the construction of a French Mansion on a cliff overlooking the Columbia River. From Portland, Oregon, take I-84 east through the Columbia River Gorge for about 70 miles. Cross the river at The Dalles (the pink bridge) and continue east on state route 14 for another 20 miles.
Palouse Falls – Lacrosse Unless you know what they’re looking for, hikers are unlikely to simply stumble upon the nearly hidden Palouse Falls. This is a 1.2 mile loop trail hike, pretty easy. You can actually see the falls from the parking area if you don’t want to do the hike. The state park offers three distinct views of the falls. The lower viewpoint provides a direct view; it is reached by a set of steps from the main day-use area adjacent to the parking lot. The second, at the end of a paved interpretive path, tells the story of the secluded canyon. Both the interpretive path and gravel secondary parking area lead to the third and highest viewpoint, the Fryxell Overlook, offering panoramic views of the falls and Palouse River Canyon. Don’t miss this! It’s awesome!
Beacon Rock – Stevenson – A truly unique experience to do. Location is on State Route 14 about 35 miles East of Vancouver. Today, visitors of Beacon Rock State Park use the unique trail system to easily traverse the rock’s steep ledges to its peak overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. The rock is also open for climbing year-round.
Another Gravity Hill. While traveling we’ve realized there are several places in the US that have a gravity hill phenomenon. This gravity defying road is not easy to find. Located on a stretch of North Crosby Road about 10-15 miles north of Prosser, the road’s just down the street from an old (said to be haunted) grain elevator. Luckily, there’s a start line painted on the pavement so you’ll know where it is.
Snoqualmie is a city next to Snoqualmie Falls in King County, Washington. It is twenty-five miles east of Seattle. Who knew you could be so close to a city and see this?
If you’re in Seattle, definitely check out the Center of the Universe Sign. No one has been able to determine if this is actually the center of the universe, so the sign stays. Just a fun thing to see.
Do you like squirrels? Yes, I said Squirrels! The Nutty Narrows Bridge in Longview was constructed in 1963 by a local builder, the late Amos Peters, to give squirrels a way to cross Olympia Way, a busy Longview, Washington, thoroughfare, without getting flattened by passing cars.
Have you explored Seattle? We know this isn’t an “Off The Beaten Path” place, but wanted to share our amazing finds here as well! Check out our blog The Best Places to Visit in Seattle here! AND if you haven’t explored Cape Flattery, you’ll find our blog about it here! Cape Flattery is amazing and worth a trip!!!
There is so much beauty in Washington. Please share your hidden gems with us!
- Rifle Lake – Glenoma, Washington. Anysize RV will fit. Lake front and kayaking is amazing. GPS: 46.489023, -122.18287 Cell Service is good but not great.
- Wynoochee River – Montesano, Washington. Nice spot right by the river. No power or hookups. Great for boondocking. Large rigs are fine. GPS: 47.445034, -123.552992
- (updated – see picture below) Rufus – A beautiful area right on the Columbia River. This is actually in Oregon, but it’s right on the boarder, so I’m adding it this Washington Post. It’s about 15 minutes from the Stonehenge memorial above. Wide open for any size rig. GPS: 45.692701, -120.756865