Camping itinerary from Seattle to Las Vegas for campervan or RV road trip

Hit stunning National Parks in the mountains and deserts, try your hand at kite surfing, go skiing in the summer, hike temperate rainforests replete with waterfalls, go rock climbing, canyoneering, and more…

Trip Details

  • Mileage: About 2,000 miles

  • Suggested time: 10-21 days

  • Drive Time: About 30 hours + side trips

  • What to Expect: Outdoor, cultural, and historical experiences

    From Campervan North America’s pickup location in Seattle, a trip to our Las Vegas drop-off location takes you past stunning scenery, through National Parks and to iconic outdoor destinations known throughout the world.

    You’ll pass from sea level to mountain paradises like Crater Lake, Mt. Hood and Yosemite and even dive below sea level at Death Valley National Park. But every day, you can expect an amazing new experience — especially when you’re traveling by campervan and can wake up encircled by nature every day.

    Get ready for the road trip of your life — and make sure to take advantage of Campervan North America’s one-way specials to get the best deals on trips like this.


Outdoorsy Things to Do Near Seattle


Dash Point State Park

Waste no time hitting the water of Puget Sound at a 461-acre camping park. Only 30 minutes from the pickup, you’ll already be wading in the cool waves and strolling along a sandy beach well over a half-mile long. You can hike, bike or hit the water for kayaking and standup paddleboarding or even try your hand at skim boarding if you time your visit to low tide.


Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

Hit the trails at a 762-acre wildlife preserve where you have ample opportunities year-round to see whales, peregrine falcons, bald eagles and more at a massive estuary restoration project. Each season offers its own unique wildlife sightings and forest flavor in the Nisqually River Delta. You’ll also have chances to traverse boardwalks — some over open water — and hit an education center to see what makes this place so special.


Mima Falls and Capitol State Forest

Experience every shade of green in a sprawling 110,000-acre forest boasting 150 miles of hiking and biking trails. With gorgeous destinations like Mima Falls at your fingertips and plenty of camping, you may have a hard time moving on.


Things to Do Between Olympia and Portland: Mount St. Helens


Coldwater Lake

Mount St. Helens makes a great destination for day 2 of your road trip between Seattle and Las Vegas. On your way up the mountain, you’ll come across Coldwater Lake. The lake filled when debris from the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens blocked off the flow of various mountain tributaries to create what is now a pristine refuge at the base of the volcano. An interpretive boardwalk will tell you the lake’s short history, but you can always hit the water — non-motorized boats only — for great trout fishing.


Johnston Ridge Observatory and Mt. Margaret Backcountry

Hike or backpack into the Mt. Margaret backcountry for big views of the “blast zone” created when Mount St. Helens spewed 540 million tons of ash over 2,200 square miles and decimated within an eight-mile radius. If not up for a big hike, you can drive to the Johnston Ridge Observatory for light walks and an interpretive center that will fill you in on the United States’ most devastating volcanic eruption.


Seaquest State Park

Just across from the Mount St. Helens Visitors Center, you’ll find the lush forest of Seaquest State Park. This 505-acre offers hiking and biking trails, including a boardwalk trail through the wetlands of Silver Lake. Enjoy the old growth forest at this convenient campground on your way out from Mount St. Helens.


Things to Do Near Portland: Columbia River Gorge


Multnomah Falls and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Multnomah Falls attracts 2 million visitors a year. While it’s busy, it’s also worth it. Within an hour of Portland, you can climb through gorgeous old-growth forests to the top of the 620-foot Multnomah Falls. Stick to the Historic Columbia River Highway to find many other waterfall treasures with a lot less traffic — especially on a rainy day.


Hood River and Columbia River kiteboarding

Just beyond Multnomah Falls territory, you’ll roll into Hood River, a charming riverside town with a walkable downtown and stunning views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. It’s worth exploring the backroads to check out orchards and agrarian landscapes. But at the waterfront, thrill seekers can take a chance to try out kiteboarding or windsurfing at one of National Geographic’s Kiteboarding Capitals of the World.


Panther Creek Campground and Panther Creek Falls

While other areas may be slightly more accessible, a quick jaunt back into Washington over the Bridge of the Gods — an iconic toll bridge over the Columbia River — will soon land you at Panther Creek Campground. This backwoods campground places you in pristine old growth forest for the night and within easy striking distance of yet another stunning waterfall that fans out in a beautiful cascade. The parking is a little tricky to find for the falls, but well worth it for the short walk to gorgeous falls.


Things to Do Near Portland, Mt. Hood, and Hood River


Ramona Falls

Similar in some ways to Panther Creek Falls, Ramona Falls is another delicately fanning waterfall at the west base of Mt. Hood. A moderate 8.2 mile loop hike through signature northwest forests puts you at the top destination in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Whether you decide to hit it from the Hood River side or the Portland side is up to you.


Ski in the summer at Timberline Lodge 450

Had enough summer? Head up Mt. Hood where it’s always winter. Known for having the longest ski season, Timberline Lodge gives you a chance to step out of your summer campervan trip into a winter wonderland where you can take some turns on natural snow regardless of how much A/C you used on the way there.


Soak up the heat at Bagby Hot Springs

After skiing in the summer, who wouldn’t want to warm up a bit? Bagby Hot Springs offers you that chance halfway to Bend. Just take the West Cascades Scenic Byway, where your jaw is sure to hang a little looser than normal before your arrival at your


Things to Do Between Mt. Hood and Bend


Rock Hounding for thundereggs (geodes) and obsidian

Thundereggs are a lot like geodes, but only found in certain volcanic ash layers — the kind that dominates the landscape near Bend. Richardson’s Rock Ranch, White Fir Springs, Fischer Canyon, and Glass Butte attract a lot of rock hounds. However, it seems like access is slowly dwindling at places like Richardson’s, which once allowed you to dig your own thundereggs out at rock pits. There’s always the gift shop…


Go cliff jumping or take a leisurely swim at Tamolitch Pool (Blue Pool)

Though a bit off the beaten path, the clear-water Tamolitch Pool, also known as the Blue Pool, is a photographer’s dream. Gorgeous views carry you from the McKenzie River Trailhead all the way to a fairytale pool set in the forest edged by jump-worthy cliffs. A 3.7 mile roundtrip hike should get you at worst some fantastic forest scenery, and at best thrills worth remembering.


Smith Rock State Park

Known as a climber’s paradise, Smith Rock State Park may floor you with its impressive geology in an out-of-the-way spot. Many climbers make extended stays at the shared campground, but you’ll fit right in with your campervan. Be sure to stroll around the towering monoliths of the park and take in the stunning views of red rock fronted by green river valleys. And if you’re a climber, don’t miss this place. Period.


Things to Do Between Bend and Crater Lake


Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory

Check out the heavens from more than a dozen high-powered telescopes to enjoy Oregon’s starry skies. Not willing to wait around until nightfall? That’s OK — the daytime museum affords a planetarium experience as well as a bigger nature experience with popular bike paths and other educational fun.


Benham Falls

After your time in the Gorge, the gushing rapids of Benham Falls may not seem as impressive, but it’s a great opportunity for a leg-stretching 1.5 mile out and back trail along the Deschutes River. Or you can always take the longer route from Sun River. Much of the route is bikeable if you brought along your mountain bike. And if you managed to stow your kayaks in the campervan, Benham Falls presents a serious challenge to serious paddlers.


Crater Lake

Add some iconic beauty to your campervan road trip. Crater Lake offers you as much activity as you’re willing to commit to. Many pedal the road that takes you all around the crater’s rim. Others hike down into the bowl and cliff jump into the clear blue waters of the deepest lake in the U.S. Still others take short hikes on the rim to take in big views of a one-of-a-kind National Treasure. Several campgrounds dot the area, but book ahead of time or you’re not likely to find a spot unless you’re willing to travel.


Things to Do Between Crater Lake and Lake Tahoe

Buckle in, this is going to be a big driving day. But we’re still going to sneak in a few fun stops along the way.


Susanville Ranch Park

Known for some rippin’ singletrack for mountain bikers, Susanville Ranch Park is a local gem that also makes a great leg-stretching stop for a nice walk. It’s an 1,100-acre county- and BLM-managed property filled with trails and scenic views. None so dramatic as Crater Lake, but well worth a pit stop.



Had enough of nature yet? Didn’t think so, but might as well mix it up while you’re in the neighborhood. While Reno isn’t quite the spectacle of Las Vegas, it’s filled with shopping, the lovely rose park of Idlewild along the Truckee River, and more than enough shows if that’s your bag.


Lake Tahoe

Whew. You made it! Bet you can see why it might be better to take even more time for this route next time. We don’t want to pigeonhole you too much in this beautiful place, but suffice it to say that the anything fun and outdoorsy is probably possible here. Prepare for a whole lot of fun and some excellent Campervan camping — with a dose of white-sand beaches if you’re into that sort of thing (as if you might not be!)


Things to Do Between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite

If you’ve never been to Yosemite, you should probably move it to the top of your bucket list. Towering granite peaks, roaring waterfalls and picturesque valleys and forests await you. It’s unlike anything you’ll experience anywhere else, and well worth a long layover if you have the time. Below is the one-day version counting on an open Tioga Pass (usually opens in May or June and closes in November due to its soaring altitude of nearly 10,000 feet.)


Mono Lake, Panum Crater, and Tufa Towers

While Yosemite is a lush paradise just over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mono Lake is an inland sea filled with salty and unique Tufa Towers formed from the distinctive geology of a mountain-fed lake with no outlet. A bird-watcher’s paradise due to the literal trillions of brine shrimp in the water, you can also get on the water to explore the towers from Navy Beach. Or you can stay on shore and explore the Panum Crater, part of a chain of young volcanoes near Mono Lake that offers short hikes through wildflowers to its distinctive volcanic bowl.


Tuolumne Meadows

Like a Yosemite Valley Jr. at 8,600 feet, Tuolumne Meadows offers a Yosemite wilderness experience without the wild crowding of Yosemite Valley proper. A less-trafficked campground can help you with laying over in the area, Lembert Dome can give you a Half Dome-like experience without permits, and the nearby Olmsted Point along the Tioga Road lets you peer into the park’s seminal valley for unique views of Half Dome proper.


Yosemite Valley, Vernal and Nevada Falls, Half Dome

Yosemite is one of the most rewarding places to campervan. And it’s even better when you can devote some time to it. Plan ahead for camping arrangements as most sites will be reserved months in advance, and the first-come-first-serve sites are hotly contested. You can find hikes of any length to buttress your stay, but we recommend the Vernal-Nevada Falls Loop for a strong taste of everything Yosemite in a compact package. You’ll get rushing waterfalls as high as 600 feet, granite domes, and fairytale forests that connect them all together. And if you can get permits for Half Dome and are OK with heights, that’s an experience none can forget.


Things to Do Between Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes


Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Conservationist John Muir of “The mountains are calling and I must go” fame once called Hetch Hetchy a “wonderfully exact counterpart” to Yosemite Valley. Complete with its own thundering waterfalls like Wapama Falls and Tueeulala Falls, this pristine manmade lake encrusted with granite-domed jewels will take your breath away. And if you’re a fan of whitewater, the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River will grace your campervan vacation with 18 miles of Class IV whitewater including the exciting staircase drops of Clavey Falls.

After Hetch Hetchy, if you’d like to extend your trip for more time in the Sierras, head west for stunning access to the Sierras, King’s Canyon National Park, and Sequoia National Forest, to name a few. If you need to get moving along, retrace your steps over Tioga Pass for the more direct route to Vegas.


Mammoth Lakes and Mammoth Mountain

The Mammoth Area is well worth a lot of your time. It serves as a self-contained outdoor playground with everything from backpacking to lift-served mountain biking to kayaking the rivers and lakes of the Sierras. If you had to skip the Yosemite side trip for any reason, the Mammoth Lakes area may be one of the best substitutes with its snow-capped granite mountains rising from clear and pristine mountain lakes. And if you’re a mountain biker, Mammoth’s bike park with 80 miles of singletrack can happily eat days of your campervan road trip, if you let it. There’s plenty of camping nearby, so you never have to worry about where to park each night.


Sabrina Lake Trail and Inyo National Forest

Near Bishop, California, the Inyo National Forest offers another gateway to the Sierra Nevadas for people passionate about hiking and high-mountain scenery. Lake Sabrina is really a jump-off point for day hikes and backpacking trips to dozens of backcountry lakes and waterfalls and even the John Muir Wilderness. You’ll wonder why you have to keep your vacation moving.

DAY 10

Things to Do Between Mammoth Lakes and Las Vegas


Coso Range Wilderness Area

From petroglyphs to fields of Joshua trees framed by the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas, the Coso Range Wilderness Area offers a great place to stretch your legs in the transition zone from California’s lush areas to its desert wilderness. This BLM land also offers plenty of camping and hiking which is especially nice in spring or fall.


Death Valley National Park and Golden Canyon Trail

You probably know Death Valley as a desolate wasteland that hosts the lowest point below sea level in the U.S. But get to know it more intimately and you’ll see a lot of beauty in this hot desert where cars and hikers alike often overheat. While you need to make sure you carry plenty of water, hikes like the Golden Canyon to Red Cathedral route will give you a sense of the desert beauty with a little more shade and some fun scrambling through rocky corridors. And classic viewpoints like Zabriskie Point, Artist’s Drive, Dante’s View, Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Ubehebe Crater and Badwater Basin (the lowest point of elevation in North America) will give you some killer photo ops without needing to spend a lot of time in the often sweltering heat.


Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Taking in nearly 200,000 acres of the Mojave Desert just outside Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. This canyoneering destination offers plenty of places to rope up and climb or rappel with many popular routes that require as many as 23 rappels to complete an 8-mile hike. If you want to canyoneer, make sure you have the right equipment and have thoroughly done your research. Otherwise, Red Rock Canyon will still have some lovely things to see on your last day before dropping off your campervan in Las Vegas.


Back to Campervans North America in Las Vegas 576

Imagine the satisfied smiles on your face after completing such a magnificent route through some of America’s most iconic destination. We see plenty of exhausted, yet exhilarated people at our Las Vegas or Seattle locations after following this or similar routes.

You’ll find having a campervan for the experience will make it so much sweeter and allow you to experience the magnificence of the American West like no other vehicle. Our custom vans are geared toward adventure, so buckle in and start planning your route today. Reservations fill quickly for peak season, so ensure availability by reserving your campervan rental today.