The Pacific Northwest is known for its lush forests, scenic coastlines and towering mountains. Whether you’re new to the region, a lifelong resident or just visiting on vacation, there’s an abundance of outdoor activities for everyone. Here are some of our favorite spots to explore.
Swim in a Collapsed Volcano – Oregon
Crater Lake was formed over 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall volcano. Today, boasting an intense blue shade, it’s one of the deepest lakes in the U.S. You can also hike the surrounding forest that’s home to 15 species of conifers and a wide array of wildlife.
Discover the Olympic National Park – Washington
Spanning nearly a million acres, the Olympic National Park has it all: forests, beaches and mountains. This park serves as an incredible national playground for both scientists and visitors. You can go boating, fishing, camping, backpacking, skiing and even hike through the Hoh Rainforest, one of the only protected temperate rain forests in the Northern Hemisphere.
Raft Down the Rogue River – Southern Oregon
The Rogue River flows 215 miles, from Crater Lake National Park all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Surrounded by forests, meadows, rock formations and steep canyons, the river is famous for its whitewater rafting, steelhead and salmon fishing, hiking trails and extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities.
Kayak Around the San Juan Islands – Washington
There are 172 named islands and reefs that make up the “San Juan Islands.” The four most popular islands are San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island and Shaw Island. Among all the lodging, dining and tourism activities, one of the most popular is kayaking. You can paddle your own or sign up for a guided tour. If you’re lucky, you might event catch a glimpse of an orca whale. It’s the best place in the world to see them in the wild.
Climb at Smith Rock State Park – Oregon
Smith Rock State Park is located in Terrebonne, Oregon and spans over 650 acres. The major rock faces are made up of compressed volcanic ash that were formed 30 million years ago. While the park offers a variety of activities, including camping and hiking, it’s most notable for its vast number of climbing routes. Known as the “birthplace of US sport climbing,” Smith Rock has nearly 2,000 routes that range from beginner to hardcore.
Explore Lava River Cave – Deschutes National Forest, Oregon
Imagine walking one and half hours through a mile-long lava tube. At the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, you can do just that. Lava River Cave formed from a volcanic eruption some 80,000 years ago and offers a self-guided tour where you first descend 55 stairs to a combination of flat boardwalk, uneven surfaces and stairways. Great for beginners, the cave has railings and concrete steps, and the visitor center has maps and lanterns for rent.
As a bank that’s “grown up” in the PNW, we know we’re lucky to live in a place surrounded by so many natural playgrounds. That’s also why we offer our customers a number of extras—like cell phone protection, roadside assistance and travel insurance—so you have peace of mind wherever your adventure takes you.
Have you been to any of the places above? Share your story with #TravelWithHeritage!
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