We entered Colorado for the first time as motorhome travelers. Our first stop was Loveland, in order to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. In Loveland we parked at Riverview RV Park.
This is the first time in Montana for both of us. Columbia Falls is located southwest of the west entrance to Glacier National Park. We parked at the LaSalle RV Park.
I don’t attempt to rank national parks and other places of natural beauty since each place offers something unique and special. But suffice it to say that Glacier National Park gave us many opportunities to feel overwhelmed with the sheer scale and beauty of what we were seeing. This place that was carved and shaped by geological forces and glaciers occupies about one million acres in northwestern Montana.
Eatonville is a bit southeast of Seattle in the vicinity of Mt. Rainier National Park which was the major purpose for our visit. We parked at Rainbow RV Resort which is located on picturesque Lake Tanwax. On a clear day, which we were fortunate to experience, you can see the peak of Mt. Rainier from the RV park.
At 14,410 feet, Mt. Rainier is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range and the most glaciated peak in the continental United States with 26 named glaciers. We entered the park at the Nisqually entrance which is in the southwest corner of the park. Near the Longmire area we stopped for a hike that took us up to a spot with a nice view of Mt. Rainier. We continued on the main road stopping to check out waterfalls and other viewpoints. We went as far as the Paradise area which is the most popular spot in the park. It takes you to about 5,400 feet in elevation. The National Park Service says that “Paradise is the snowiest place on Earth where snowfall is measured regularly.” It has an average of 671 inches of snowfall per year with 1,122 inches recorded during the winter of 1971/72. Mt. Rainier NP is a little off the beaten path but well worth a more extensive visit.
Next stop: Portland, OR
Burnaby is located on the east side of the city of Vancouver. While here we stayed at the Burnaby Cariboo RV Park. It is immediately adjacent to the Burnaby Lake Regional Park just off the Trans Canada Highway. We visited the city of Vancouver on our car trip back in 2014.
In North Vancouver you will find the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This is a tourist attraction with the primary feature of a suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River. The bridge is 460 feet in length and 230 feet above the riverbed. The other features are Treetops Adventure which is a boardwalk and elevated footbridges among old growth forest and Cliffwalk which is a narrow walkway cantilevered from the cliff’s edge, extending out over the open canyon. Don’t get me wrong, this is a beautiful place but it felt a little too staged for my tastes. There are many places where you can get a comparable experience without the admission price which was about $69 USD for the two of us. However for those who are unable or unwilling to do a little hiking, then this provides a convenient way to get the experience.
On another day we did a day trip west to the end of the Trans Canada Highway at Horseshoe Bay. From there Highway 99 turns north on what is known as the Sea to Sky Highway. Immediately, you encounter jaw dropping beauty along the shore of the bay. And it doesn’t stop as you continue north passing through Brittany Beach, Squamish and Whistler. Along the way, a short walk gets you to Shannon Falls which at almost 1,100 feet is the third tallest waterfall in British Columbia. The Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics. It is a large ski resort with extensive facilities and village development.
Next stop: Arlington, WA