Great American Road Trips, Nine of Twelve; Pacific Northwest

When Lewis and Clark set their sights on the western frontier, there was a light at the end of the tunnel – and that light was the Pacific Northwest. A gem on the eastern edge of the Pacific Ocean, this region is unparalleled in its unique collection of flora and fauna.

Puget SoundPuget Sound

Host to some of the most majestic forests in the United States, the shores of the Puget Sound are nothing shy of awe-inspiring. Some of the most untouched wilderness you will ever experience, the pristine Puget Sound is dotted with desolate islands that are great for camping getaways. Accessible only by boat, these islands are perfect for a family or couple getaway, or if you want to get away from it all by yourself. With plenty of commerce along its coastline, there are countless campsites and RV parks to unhitch your trailer and rent a boat for the weekend – or month.

Mount RainierMount Rainier National Park

You don’t have to travel to some far-off, exotic place to experience rainforests and volcanoes. An expansive wildlife reserve located southeast of Seattle, Mount Rainier National Park offers all the wonders of the New Zealand Waipuoa Forest in this Northwestern slice of America. Set against a perpetual backdrop of Mount Rainier, the national park is full of accessible nature to experience at any time of the year.

Mount HoodMount Hood

Part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc of Northwestern Oregon, Mount Hood is another product of the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire.” Constantly covered in snow – even in the middle of summer – Mount Hood reaches a towering 11,250 feet. Draped in numerous glaciers, Mount Hood is a spectacular site to behold.

Climbing Mount Hood is a very technical undertaking, however, and is not ideal for the casual