Northern Exposure: RVing in the Pacific Northwest with Your Pet

Northern Exposure: RVing in the Pacific Northwest with Your Pet


The Pacific Northwest offers an enchanting escape for RV enthusiasts, characterized by its lush forests, rugged coastlines, vibrant cities, and pet-friendly policies. From the misty shores of the Olympic Peninsula to the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range, RVing in this region provides a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, cultural experiences, and opportunities for your pets to join in the fun. Here’s a guide to help you make the most of your RV journey through the stunning Pacific Northwest, with your furry friends by your side.

Best Time to Visit

Late spring through early fall (May to October) is ideal for RVing in the Pacific Northwest, as the weather is mild and the landscapes are vibrant. Summer offers dry conditions perfect for outdoor activities, though it also attracts more visitors.

Must-Visit Destinations

Olympic National Park

Explore diverse ecosystems from rainforests to mountain vistas. Pets are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, and on specific trails like Rialto (to Ellen Creek) and all Kalaloch beaches, making it a great destination for those traveling with dogs. Remember, pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet.

Mount Rainier National Park

Majestic Mount Rainier is a beacon for outdoor enthusiasts. Pets can accompany you in parking lots, campgrounds, and on the Pacific Crest Trail, but are not allowed on other trails or wilderness areas. Ensure your pet remains on a leash where required.

Columbia River Gorge

This area is known for its stunning waterfalls and scenic drives, with more lenient pet policies. Most trails are pet-friendly, provided pets are leashed. It’s an excellent spot for adventurous pets and their owners.

Portland, Oregon

This quirky city is renowned for its pet-friendly atmosphere. Explore numerous parks, trails, and pet-welcome restaurants. Portland's surrounding RV parks provide easy city access, allowing you to explore its vibrant culture with your pet.

Seattle, Washington

Experience Seattle's arts scene, historic neighborhoods, and landmarks like the Space Needle with your pet. The city offers several pet-friendly RV parks and public spaces, making it a hassle-free urban stop.

RV Travel Tips

Planning Your Route

Consider the winding and often narrow roads of the Pacific Northwest. Use an RV-friendly GPS to navigate safe and suitable routes for larger vehicles.

Booking Campgrounds

Reserve your spots early, especially in popular destinations like Olympic and Mount Rainier National Parks. Check if campgrounds offer pet-friendly amenities and familiarize yourself with their specific pet policies.

Packing for Variable Weather

When traveling to areas with unpredictable weather, it's essential to pack waterproof clothing and gear for both you and your pet, such as jackets and booties. Layering is key, so include a mix of light and warm layers that can be easily adjusted. Protect against the elements with hats and UV protection, and ensure your pet's safety with a pet temperature monitor, which can alert you to dangerous conditions in your vehicle or accommodation. Also, pack an emergency kit with essentials like water, snacks, extra blankets, and a first-aid kit to handle any weather situation effectively.

Wildlife Precautions

Store food securely and keep a respectful distance from wildlife. Follow campground guidelines to ensure the safety of both wildlife and your pet.


RVing in the Pacific Northwest offers a remarkable opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the most diverse and scenic landscapes in North America, alongside your pet. From dense forests and vibrant city scenes to serene lakes and towering mountains, the region provides an unforgettable backdrop for your RV adventures. With thoughtful planning and respect for nature and local policies, your trip can be both enjoyable and sustainable. Pack your bags, prepare your RV, and set off to explore the unparalleled beauty of the Northwest with your furry companion in tow.