Itching to go on an epic RV camping journey where lakes, mountains and national forests are your playgrounds? Washington’s I-90 passes east from Seattle through the Mountains to Sound Greenway, revealing superb scenery, dozens of outdoor recreation venues and historic towns that celebrate Washington’s past.
Before you discount this route’s 100-mile length as a day trip, consider that this is a byway to be savored. Bring your hiking shoes, fishing gear and mountain bikes. Camp along the way in one or more national forests and spend your nights in serene settings. Plan at least a day to explore the wonders of Seattle and Puget Sound. It’s all there on the Mountains to Sound Greenway, waiting for RVers to discover it.
Start your journey in Seattle at the Log House Museum, just off historic Alki Beach Park. The museum unfolds Seattle’s earliest history, and Alki Beach offers marvelous views of both Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Another exciting way to spend an afternoon is to rent a kayak and explore Union Bay Natural Area or Lake Washington.
And then it’s east on I-90, through the Mount Baker Tunnel and across the floating bridge to Mercer Island. Skirt across the northern end of the Island and over the East Channel Bridge to Bellevue, WA. If you’re ready for more outdoor recreation, don’t leave Bellevue without paddling Mercer Slough.
From there it’s a short trip east to the heart of the Mountains to Sound Greenway. Plan plenty of time to make stops at such scenic sites as Lake Sammamish State Park, where boating, swimming and blue heron watching are popular activities. Active RV campers are also going to want some time on the Issaquah-Preston Trail at the south end of the lake.
As you continue east along I-90, you’ll be surrounded by memorable mountain scenery. Choose a side trip to Squak Mountain State Park Natural Area, a hike along Rattlesnake Ridge in the “Issaquah Alps” or spend the night at Tinkham Campground in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
One of the highlights of this drive is crossing over three-thousand-foot Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascades. All around you’ll be blessed with views of a vast wilderness in which you’ll find trailheads to some of the best trails in the Pacific Northwest. Consider hiking a section of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail or take the hike up Granite Mountain just west of the Pass.
You might also want to paddle the Snoqualmie River and stay to fish for salmon. The Middle Fork National Recreation Area, just off the Greenway, offers abundant hiking, biking, fishing, paddling and sitting-back-and-relaxing-in-nature possibilities.
And did we mention the charming towns at the east end of the Mountains to Sound Greenway? Thorp, WA, well-known for its fruit stands, is also home to Thorp Mill, an interpretive center that tells the history of the Kittitas Valley. To learn even more about Eastern Washington history while experiencing nature at its best, travel the five mile Coal Mines Trail through historic mining towns Cle Elun, Roslyn and Ronald.
There are outdoor adventures everywhere along Washington’s Mountains to Sound Greenway. Why not take your family into the wilderness on this year’s RV camping journey?