Travelling the USA, Canada and Australia



Las Vegas

Northwest (1)

Wild Beauties of the Northwest

It is our first common trip to the American continent, and it’s the full program right away: eleven hours of direct flight, a time difference of nine hours – it doesn’t get much further west. It will remain the only trip with the kind support of Meier’s Weltreisen (they did a good job, by the way); future tours we are going to plan by ourselves on the computer.

The following journey tells about the “Wild Beauties of the Northwest” in the states of Oregon and Washington and starts at Portland International Airport. The city has a modern streetcar, a small Chinatown, a historic waterfront right on the wide Willamette River (honestly, never heard of it before) and Powell’s, the largest independent bookstore in the world. America for beginners!

And then we head off into the wild forests of Oregon. At Vista Point in Crown Point State Park, we enjoy a fantastic view, followed by the first spectacular waterfalls; the two-story Multnomah Falls are the tallest in Oregon. After a night in Hood River, we marvel at snow-covered Mount Hood; then we cross the Columbia River and reach the state of Washington. There are two more attractions in Toppenish: the Yakama Nation Cultural Heritage Center and about 75 large murals spread throughout the town.

The stops that follow are among the absolute highlights of the northwest: Mount Rainier (National Park) with its snow-covered peak, which on good days can still be seen in distant Seattle, and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, a spooky but fascinating landscape formed after the volcanic eruption in May 1980. Via Olympia (with the State Capitol) and Tacoma, the center of glass art, we finally reach Seattle, the large city in the northwest of the USA.


Cities, Nature, Art – Have a look…

After two days in the big city, we drive into the wilderness of the Olympic National Park with its completely different regions. From the park’s main town, Port Angeles, a steep spur road leads to Hurricane Ridge, a beautiful wildlife and hiking paradise. At Rialto Beach, thousands of logs pile up behind the surf of the Pacific Ocean, and at Hoh Rain Forest, you feel like you’re standing on the Amazon.

We follow US 101 south and take a detour to Cape Disappointment State Park with its small lighthouse. At Astoria we reach the state of Oregon again. From the Astoria Column high above the city you have a great view over the delta of the Columbia River, which flows into the Pacific here. 

After visiting Lewis & Clark’s winter camp in Fort Clatsop, we continue to Seaside, one of the most popular seaside resorts on the coast. Next is Ecola State Park (with a small lighthouse, of course), Cannon Beach with the striking Haystack Rock and Tillamook cheese factory, where guided tours of the production facility are offered. After a stop at Cape Meares State Park, we finally reach Newport on Yaquina Bay.

After so much coastline, we move inland once again, to Bend in central Oregon. From the city’s local mountain, Pilot Butte State Park, you have an excellent view of the surrounding volcanoes and the mountains of the Cascades Range. After a visit to Newberry National Volcanic Monument Park (again with a summit and magnificent panoramic views) we spend the rest of the day on the shores of deep blue Crater Lake. Even if it’s a big detour – Crater Lake National Park just has to be.

The last section back to the coast takes us to the giants of the forests in the state of California. In Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park there are redwoods that are almost 2000 years old – unbelievable. The Avenue of the Giants starts next to Eureka and runs through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Once again, we can admire the giant trees, and there is even a “Drive Through Tree” which forms a kind of gate so you can drive through it by car. Even more incredible!

Our first tour through America ends at the most famous bridge in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Route Description

01Portland Airport (PDX)Portland000 m / 000 km
02PortlandPortland000 m / 000 km
03PortlandHood River070 m / 115 km
04Hood RiverYakima150 m / 240 km
05YakimaParadise (Mt. Rainier)230 m / 370 km
06ParadiseKelso190 m / 305 km
07KelsoSeattle130 m / 210 km
08SeattleSeattle000 m / 000 km
09SeattlePort Angeles120 m / 195 km
10Port AngelesLake Quinault190 m / 305 km
11Lake QuinaultWarrenton165 m / 265 km
12WarrentonNewport140 m / 225 km
13NewportNewport010 m / 015 km
14NewportNewport010 m / 015 km
15NewportBend180 m / 290 km
16BendKlamath Falls195 m / 315 km
17Klamath FallsEureka275 m / 440 km
18EurekaSan Francisco275 m / 440 km
19San FranciscoSan Francisco000 m / 000 km
20San FranciscoSan Francisco Airport (SFO)000 m / 000 km
Total2.330 m / 3.745 km

The Journey in Pictures