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Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip

West Coast Road Trip: Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip

Discover the beautiful West Coast from California to the Pacific Northwest. We’ve packed this adventure with dramatic coastlines and national forests. On this trip, you will travel through three states, beginning in Los Angeles, California, and ending in Seattle, WA.

Driving from LA to Seattle is a must. You will travel from Big Sur to Crater Lake, to Portland and Seattle for a mix of cities, outdoor fun, and beautiful scenery. Enjoy the rugged beauty and waterfront views.

Planning a trip can be stressful. To help get you started, we’ve assembled the ultimate, 8-day Los Angeles to Seattle, WA drive.

Los Angeles to Seattle Distance

You might be wondering, how far is Seattle from LA? Your unforgettable adventure begins at the Escape Camper Vans in Los Angeles, CA. The distance from Seattle to LA is 2,625 miles.

Driving along California’s beautiful coast, then through Oregon and Washington, this trip would take about 43 hours without any breaks. To make the most of your journey, we recommend allotting at least eight days to complete this Pacific Northwest road trip.


Directions Tips:

Los Angeles to Seattle drive time: 8 days, driving 43 hours

Los Angeles to Seattle miles: 2,625 miles

Best Time of Year for a LA to Seattle Drive

Driving to Seattle from Los Angeles is best enjoyed in late spring or early fall. These are the two best times to visit all the destinations on this trip. Enjoy perfect temperatures without summer crowds, and don’t worry about closed campgrounds or trails on your road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington.

Spring

Late spring is a great choice for most destinations on this route, as you’ll enjoy warm temperatures without overwhelming crowds. Portland and Seattle are rainy at the start of the season. By May, cherry blossoms and wildflowers bloom, making the parks green and beautiful.

In California, spring is a good time to see the Redwoods and watch whales along the coast of Big Sur. Temperatures in San Francisco are also mild during the spring, and the rainfall isn’t as frequent as it is during the winter.

Crater Lake and Mount Rainier National Parks are cold and usually draped in snow for most of the spring. However, by the end of the season, temperatures have warmed up and are perfect for long days of exploring both parks.

Summer

Summer brings warm, pleasant temperatures for nearly all the stops on this itinerary. All national park campgrounds and trails will be open and easily accessible. During peak season, there are lots of people and it’s hard to find campsites. Plan your summer road trip early to avoid problems.

Fall

Early fall means warm summer temperatures but with a fraction of the crowds. September to mid-October has great weather for hiking and beautiful fall colors in the Pacific Northwest. This is also the warmest season in San Francisco, and the city’s crowds diminish compared to the summer months.

Washington and Oregon will experience increased rainfall and lower temperatures as the season progresses. We r recommended that travelers avoid these states after November.

Winter

Unless you’re seeking a trip filled with rain and snow, we advise avoiding a winter road trip to the Pacific Northwest. In Mount Rainier, most of the park is closed off to vehicle traffic during the winter, so the park is only an option if you’re snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Most other destinations on this itinerary are quite cold and rainy during the winter. In Big Sur, dramatic storms often cause mudslides and can limit road access, making driving from Los Angeles to Seattle Washington difficult in the winter.

However, if you’re looking for a winter wonderland, you’ll love Crater Lake National Park during the off-season. The park remains open all year, and snowfall reaches an average of 40 feet, making it one of the snowiest places in the country. Crater Lake is also one of the best places in the US to see the Northern Lights.

Preparation for your Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip

Between traveling through three states, long periods on the road, and ever-changing landscapes, your journey up to Washington requires a fair bit of planning and preparation. Before setting off on your Los Angeles to Seattle road trip, take some time to reserve your campsites, gather your necessary supplies, and choose the ideal camper van for your adventure!

Traveling from Los Angeles to Seattle is the best way to experience the West Coast.

Camping

Campground Reservations: Campgrounds throughout this route are popular during the summer and can fill up quickly, so aim to reserve your sites well in advance. Even during the shoulder season, it’s a good idea to book ahead whenever you can. That way, it’s one less thing you need to worry about during your trip!

Dispersed Camping: While most campgrounds on this itinerary operate all year, Mount Rainier and Crater Lake’s campsites are usually only open from May through October. If you’re planning to travel off-season or you just can’t find available sites, look into the dispersed or free camping options near each stop.

Navigation

The cities throughout this itinerary should be easy to navigate while using your Smartphone as a GPS, and cell reception will be relatively reliable throughout this route. However, we recommend picking up a free paper map at each national park you visit. In some park areas, there may be little reception. Having a map when going to remote trailheads or campgrounds is a lifesaver in a pinch.

Gear and Supplies

Food: Our camper vans come equipped with kitchenettes, so all you need to do is stock up on ingredients for quick, easy-to-make meals! You’ll also need to load up on water since not all campgrounds you’ll encounter provide potable water. Head to one of the grocery stores near our Los Angeles location to ensure you have everything you need before hitting the road.

Supplies: Our extra add-ons ensure you have all the gear you need to make your trip seamless. Add an extra kitchen kit to make campground meals easier and an extra bedding kit since evenings along the coast and up north can be chilly, even in the summer. A national park pass is another essential because you’ll be entering three national parks during this trip.

Sun Protection: Sunscreen is also important to have on hand, as you’ll be spending most of your time outside. This is especially crucial in Mount Rainier, where the sun is powerful because of the park’s high elevation.

Which Camper Van is Best for a Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip?

Escape Camper Vans offers a range of five different vehicle models to choose from, which are available from our Los Angeles location. Our two largest models are the Del Mar and Mesa, followed by the Mavericks. These all sleep up to five people with a rooftop sleeper and include comfortable queen-size beds and kitchenettes.

Los Angeles to the Pacific Northwest Road Trip Itinerary

Embark on an unforgettable journey from Los Angeles to Seattle, traversing the breathtaking landscapes of the West Coast. This epic 8-day road trip takes you through three states, spanning 2,625 miles of scenic coastline, towering forests, and vibrant cities. Begin your adventure by winding along California’s rugged Big Sur coast, then venture north to marvel at the towering redwoods of Northern California. Explore the eclectic city of Portland before reaching the iconic skyline of Seattle.

Along the way, immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Mount Rainier and Crater Lake National Parks, where stunning vistas and outdoor adventures await. With carefully curated stops, diverse activities, and essential tips for camper van travel, this itinerary promises an unforgettable exploration of the Pacific Northwest.

Day 1- Los Angeles to Big Sur, California

Your journey to the Pacific Northwest begins at the Escape Camper Vans in Los Angeles. After loading up your van with all your gear and supplies, it’s time to make your way towards Big Sur, the 90-mile stretch along central California’s rugged coastline.

Today is as much about the journey as the destination, with the drive along Highway 1 being a jaw-dropping experience. This winding coastal road is one of California’s most scenic drives and offers travelers numerous pit stops, overlooks, and iconic landmarks. One of the most famous sites is Bixby Bridge, which offers unparalleled views of Big Sur’s dramatic cliffs.

To split up the distance from Los Angeles to Seattle, we reccommend stopping in Big Sur.

Things to do in Big Sur, CA

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park- Spread along Big Sur’s picturesque coastline, this stunning park provides spectacular views and numerous forested trails. The park’s main draw is McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall that cascades straight into the Pacific Ocean.

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve- Just north of Big Sur in Monterey, Point Lobos sits along the coast and is a premier area for spotting whales, seals, and other marine wildlife. The reserve also contains numerous hiking trails and the fascinating Whalers Cabin Museum.

Pfeiffer Beach– This is one of Big Sur’s most popular beaches, largely due to its unique purple sand caused by Manganese garnet rocks that have fallen from the cliffs. The beach’s other crowd-pleaser is the Keyhole Arch, a massive rock formation over the water. The giant rock features a natural arch, which allows waves to crash through, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Places to Eat near Big Sur, CA

Big Sur Taphouse: This laid-back taproom is perfect for unwinding with a draft beer and filling meal while enjoying a scenic outdoor setting.

Deetjen’s Restaurant: With a fascinating history dating back to the 1930s and an English-style decor that has remained mostly unchanged over the past seventy years, this charming restaurant is unlike any other in the area. Delicious, home-cooked meals are served in one of four candlelit rooms, creating an especially alluring ambiance while you dine.

Campgrounds near Big Sur, CA

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground: This scenic campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to six months in advance. It is Big Sur’s most popular campsite, so try to book as early as possible. Amenities include coin-operated hot showers and a dump station.

Riverside Campground: Nestled in a serene forest beside the Big Sur River, this idyllic site features picnic tables, fire pits, laundry facilities, and a convenient camp store. Reservations must be made on their website, which operates all year.

Day 2- San Francisco, California

Today, load up your camper van once again as you head back down to California, this time making your way to the vibrant city of San Francisco. The drive from Big Sur will take about two hours.

Explore the biggest and oldest Chinatown in the country, or step back in time to the 1960’s as you wander through Haight-Ashbury. If you’re missing the nature of the Pacific Northwest, you can also head to one of the city’s many parks.

Take a rest in San Francisco to see the Golden Gate Bridge on your drive.

Things to do in San Francisco

Walk over the Golden Gate Bridge—One of the best things to do in San Francisco is to walk across the city’s iconic 1.7-mile bridge. Both sides of the bridge contain stunning viewpoints, perfect for snapping postcard-worthy photos.

Fisherman’s Wharf- Located along the water, take in views of the bay while popping into this lively neighborhood’s many artisan shops, museums, and restaurants.

Painted Ladies- Full House fans looking for a nostalgic outing should head to Alamo Park, where you’ll have a perfect viewpoint of the pastel-colored homes famously featured on the beloved 90’s sitcom.

Places to Eat in San Francisco

La Taqueria: Burritos are an essential part of any visit to San Francisco, and this casual eatery is the place to order them. Opened in 1990 and found in the center of the Mission District, this is one of the city’s most popular spots for authentic burritos and tacos.

HK Lounge Bistro: San Francisco is brimming with delicious dim sum, and this Michelin-listed restaurant is one of the best in the city. The cozy locale is known for its authentic cuisine and small size, so reservations are recommended.

Campgrounds near San Francisco

Francis Beach Campground: Located in Half Moon Bay State Park, this beachfront campground does not require reservations, though they are highly encouraged. This year-round site does not offer sewer or electric hookups. However, it does contain showers, a dump station, and drinking water.

Samuel P. Taylor State Park Campground: Fall asleep under a forest of redwoods at this scenic site just north of San Francisco. Reservations are recommended for this year-round campground, and facilities include hot showers and potable water but no hookups.

Day 3- Redwood National and State Parks

Today, continue making your way up California’s dramatic coastline before reaching the spectacular Redwood National and State Parks. Divided between three state parks and one national park, the redwoods are home to the world’s tallest trees and offer ample opportunities to walk among these spectacular giants. Explore enchanting redwood groves, mystifying canyons, and jaw-dropping hikes while immersed in this prehistoric wonderland.

Redwood National Park is home to some of the largest trees in California.

Things to do in Redwood National Park

Fern Canyon—On this breathtaking trail, a serene creek is lined by imposing canyons draped in verdant ferns. Visitors must have permits to visit during the high season. Plan accordingly if you \ visit from May to September.

Tall Trees Grove HikeThis challenging hike takes you 800 feet down to Redwood Creek, and the trek is about 4.5 miles roundtrip. This secluded trail only allows 50 parties per day, and you must obtain reservations in advance.

Boy Scout Tree Trail—This 5.5-mile trail, located in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, takes you through a stunning grove of ancient redwoods.

Places to Eat near Redwood National Park

Moonstone Grill: This upscale eatery offers a decadent meal while admiring phenomenal ocean views. In addition to an extensive wine and cocktail list, the menu features a mix of small plates, fresh seafood, and grilled dishes.

Cafe Brio: This casual eatery offers a wide selection of breakfast, lunch, and brunch items. They source their produce from nearby farmers and prepare all meals and pastries in-house.

Campgrounds near Redwood National Park

Jedediah Smith Campground: Nestled in a stunning old-growth redwood grove, this year-round site is the northernmost campground of all the parks. Facilities include coin-operated showers, potable water, and food storage lockers.

Elk Prairie Campground: This scenic campground operates annually, though reservations are only necessary from May until October. The site features showers, potable water, and several nearby hiking trails.

Day 4- Crater Lake National Park

Take one more glimpse of the imposing Redwood trees before driving to Crater Lake National Park. Formed by a collapsed volcano, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in North America, reaching a depth of nearly 2,000 feet.

The best way to get acquainted with the park and admire the deep blue hue of this striking body of water is to ride along Rim Drive. As you drive, you’ll encounter many classic overlooks, impressive vantage points, and popular trailheads.

Crater Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the U.S. and the perfect detour for a Los Angeles to Seattle road trip.

Things to do in Crater Lake National Park

Boat Trip on the Lake- Get a closer look at the crystal blue waters of Crater Lake by hopping on a daily boat tour. Tours usually last about two hours, and there’s often a park ranger on board, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the park. You can also opt for a tour to Wizard Island, a 763-foot cinder cone in the middle of the lake.

Cleetwood Cove TrailThis steep, 1.1-mile trail is the only hike that leads directly to Crater Lake’s shore. Once you reach the water, you can jump into the clear blue lake to admire the panoramic views of the park from a brand-new perspective.

Garfield Peak TrailThis popular hike takes you along the south rim of Crater Lake and provides some of the best views of Mount Rainier in the entire park. While only 3.5 miles roundtrip, the hike is quite steep and moderately strenuous.

Places to Eat near Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake Lodge Dining: This lakefront restaurant is the best option inside the park for an elevated meal with exquisite views.

Beckie’s Cafe: This historic eatery has been in business since 1926 and is renowned for its hearty, home-style meals. Save some room for dessert, as their homemade pies are especially popular.

Campgrounds in Crater Lake National Park

Mazama Campground: Situated inside the park, this scenic campground only operates during the summer. Reservations become mandatory for the entire campground beginning in July. Coin-operated showers, laundry facilities, potable water, and food storage lockers are all available.

Diamond Lake Campground: This lovely lakefront campground near the park entrance features showers, picnic tables, potable water, and grills. The site typically operates from June until September, and reservations are required.

Day 5- Portland, Oregon

Enjoy an early breakfast at your campground before exploring Oregon’s diverse scenery. After about five hours of driving through the Pacific Northwest state, you’ll arrive in the vibrant city of Portland. Portland is renowned for seamlessly blending a thriving urban metropolis with verdant forests and outdoor excursions. Discover Portland’s lively downtown areas, try local beers at one of the many breweries, or go for a hike.

Mount Hood over the Portland skyline.

Mt Hood at Sunset with Portland City Center

Things to do in Portland, OR

Powell’s Books- Spanning an entire city block, this is the world’s largest used and new bookstore and a quintessential stop on any visit to Portland. Nestled in the lively Pearl District, continue exploring downtown, brimming with local shops, breweries, and entertainment after your visit.

Forest Park- This enormous urban park features numerous trails, wildlife, and historic sites like Pittock Mansion. This is a perfect solution if you’re craving some nature without leaving the city.

Multnomah Falls—Only a thirty-minute drive from Portland, this is one of the tallest year-round waterfalls in the country and one of the most visited sites in the Pacific Northwest.

Pro Tip – If you have extra time or you’re missing the coast, head to Cannon Beach to marvel at Haystack Rock. Just an hour and a half from Portland, this 235-foot tall rock formation by the shore is stunning, especially at sunset.

Places to Eat in Portland, OR

Hinterland Bar & Food Carts: Food cart pods are a great way to sample a variety of the city’s best cuisine in one place.

Oma’s Hideaway: This popular neighborhood eatery serves creative dishes inspired by the street foods of Singapore and Malaysia in a fun, colorful setting.

Campgrounds near Portland, OR

Champoeg State Park Campground: This campground near Portland has hot showers, full hookups, a dump station, and many hiking trails. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance, though they are not required.

Cape Lookout State Park: If you decide to venture to Cannon Beach, this nearby campsite is open all year and can be reserved up to six months in advance. The scenic campground is within walking distance of the ocean and features hot showers, full hookups, and a dump station.

Day 6- Mount Rainier National Park

Just an hour and forty-five minutes south of Seattle, you’ll find the jaw-dropping Mount Rainier National Park. Not only is Mount Rainier the tallest mountain in Washington, but it’s also an active volcano!

Hiking to the summit of Mount Rainier requires a permit and at least a couple of days to complete. However, if you’re not up for such a strenuous climb, there’s still plenty to enjoy in the park.

Mount Rainier is divided into five sections, with Paradise being the most popular. Located along the park’s southern end, it offers numerous hiking trails, picturesque viewpoints, and a visitor center.

Family sitting in an Escape Camper Van on a Seattle road trip.

Things to do in Mount Rainier National Park

Skyline Trail to Panorama PointThis popular 5.4-mile hike offers some of the best views of Mount Rainier in the entire park. The trail begins in Paradise and takes you past the glorious Myrtle Falls before summiting at Panorama Point.

Reflections Lakes—Accessed by several different trails, this breathtaking area is celebrated for the impressive reflection of Mount Rainier in its lakes. This beautiful spot is popular for photos in the park. It looks amazing at sunrise or sunset. Remember that you cannot swim or fish in the lakes.

Hike to Mt. Fremont Fire LookoutThis spectacular hike is about 6 miles long and weaves through breathtaking scenery before arriving at a fire lookout that dates back to the 1930’s. Once you arrive at the historic structure, you will see magnificent views of Mount Rainier.

Places to Eat near Mount Rainier National Park

Summit House Restaurant: Getting to this mountaintop restaurant is an experience that is only accessible by hopping on the Mount Rainier Gondola. Take in jaw-dropping views of Mount Rainier from Seattle’s highest-elevation restaurant while enjoying a delicious meal.

Ukrainian Cuisine Restaurant: Located in Paradise Village, this charming eatery serves classic Ukrainian dishes. Stop by for a delicious pastry and coffee in the mornings before setting off for a day of exploring.

Campgrounds in Mount Rainier National Park

Cougar Rock Campground: This popular campground inside the park usually runs from late May until early October and is conveniently located close to Paradise. Reservations can be made online, and amenities include flush toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits.

Ohanapecosh Campground: Located in the Southeast section of Mount Rainier, this campground typically operates from late May until early October. The site features potable water, flush toilets, and access to many wonderful hikes.

Day 7- Seattle, Washington

After you leave Mount Rainier National Park, head to Seattle, Washington, which is just two and a half hours away. Surrounded by snowy mountains, green forests, and calm waters, this busy city has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.

Keep your camper van parked for the day as you explore the city’s neighborhoods and iconic landmarks on foot. To see Seattle’s beautiful city view, take a ferry ride on the Puget Sound. Enjoy the impressive skyline from the water.

Crater Lake reflection Lake.

Things to do in Seattle, WA

Pike Place Market- Founded in 1907, Seattle’s famous market is one of the oldest and biggest in the country. Walk around and see many vendors selling food and crafts. Eat at one of the market’s restaurants or get coffee from the original Starbucks.

The Space Needle- This legendary observation deck was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair and has been a symbol of Seattle ever since. Head up to the top, where you can admire the city from 605 feet above ground, standing on a glass revolving floor.

Discovery Park- Situated along Puget Sound, spending an afternoon picnicking or hiking through the city’s largest park is one of Seattle’s best things to do. The park’s West Point Lighthouse is also well worth a visit, and the surrounding beaches are stunning.

Places to Eat in Seattle, WA

The Walrus & The Carpenter: Seattle is known for its fantastic seafood, and this inviting restaurant stands out as one of the premier spots to come for delicious fish and oysters.

Maneki: This historic eatery dates back to 1904 and is one of Seattle’s oldest restaurants. It serves a wide selection of authentic Japanese plates and some of the city’s best sushi.

Campgrounds near Seattle, WA

Fay Bainbridge Park & Campground: Located just across the bay from Seattle, this year-round site on Bainbridge Island is first come, first served. Amenities include showers, a dump station, and phenomenal views from the waterfront.

Dash Point State Park Campground: Wake up to tranquil views of the Puget Sound at this year-round campsite.

Day 8- Return Your Camper Van

Your West Coast trip ends today. Wake up early at your campground near Seattle, then go to our Washington hub for your drop-off appointment. Our Seattle location is conveniently located near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for easy access.

Why Rent a Camper Van for a Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip?

Renting a camper van from Los Angeles is the best way to make the most of your West Coast road trip! Driving a small camper van is easier than driving a large RV

During the trip, you will explore California’s stunning yet winding coastline. You will also see the beautiful landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Discover the beautiful West Coast from California to the Pacific Northwest. The adventure is filled with dramatic coastlines and breathtaking landscapes.

Small camper vans are more maneuverable and easier to park in tight spaces. They are also more fuel-efficient and cost-effective for long trips. In addition, small camper vans are more versatile and can access more off-the-beaten-path destinations.

1. Mobility.: A large RV could be quite cumbersome to maneuver along the endless curves of Pacific Highway 1 or the crowded urban streets of Seattle and San Francisco. Our smaller camper vans make it easier to move around different terrains and areas during your trip. This will make your trip easier and help you fit into small parking spaces or tight camping spots.

2. Ease of Use: While a traditional RV can be quite intimidating to drive if you’re not used to being behind the wheel of such a large vehicle, our camper vans are similar in size to a family SUV. This way, you’ll feel much more comfortable and at ease during those long periods on the road.

3. No Need for Sewer or Electric Hookups: A traditional RV would require sewer or electric hookups, which many campgrounds on this route do not provide. Our vans are self-contained, so you don’t need hookups. This gives you the freedom to sleep anywhere you want without planning ahead.

Compact camper vans allow for more freedom and less stress when you’re on the road. Enjoy the West Coast’s beautiful landscapes without worrying about RV logistics by renting a smaller vehicle.

Reserve With Escape Camper Vans For Your Los Angeles to Seattle Road Trip

Are you ready to see the beautiful coast of Big Sur? Do you want to enjoy the view of Seattle from the Space Needle? Or swim in the country’s deepest lake?

Book your dream camper van for a Los Angeles to Seattle road trip. Click the link to reserve your Escape Camper Van today and start your unforgettable journey.

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