The Pacific Northwest has unrivaled opportunities for exploring the great outdoors. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast and are searching for your next travel assignment, consider one of these destinations.
San Juan Islands, Washington
When most people think of the Pacific Northwest they picture a cold, rainy climate with bustling cities. There are 450 islands in the San Juan Archipelago, but only a few are inhabited. Access them on the Washington State Ferry or get there by plane. Once you arrive, navigate the island on rental cars or bicycles or hop between islands on smaller ferries.
Mount Rainier, Washington
The 14,411-foot giant towers above Seattle and Portland, so if your assignment is in one of those cities you won’t have much trouble finding your way. The mountain is an active volcano, capped with snow and covered by glaciers until it decides to erupt again. During mild weather months, its rolling meadows are carpeted with wildflowers and some of the snow melts to form cascading waterfalls.
The mountain has many hiking trails, and its challenging height and unpredictable weather have long inspired outdoor adventurers to try and attain its peak. During cold months, Mt. Rainier provides opportunities for winter camping, snow play, snowmobiling and ranger-guided walks.
Yellow Aster Butte, Washington
The Baker Mountain Wilderness features wildflowers in the spring and summer and vivid fall colors in the fall. Hike the trail when it’s snow free to navigate switchbacks through an avalanche path and continue for a 2,550-foot elevation gain. At the top you’ll be able to see all the way into Canada with views of snow covered peaks and alpine meadows.
Short Sands Beach, Oregon
Grab your surf board and head for a slice of paradise outside of Manzanita, Oregon. Hike the short distance to the beach, where you’ll find a sheltered cove surrounded by volcanic and sandstone cliffs. The rugged location draws surfers year-round with its breathtaking views and wave after rolling wave.
Thor’s Pool, Oregon
Thor’s Pool, also known as Thor’s Well, looks like a bubbling cauldron of the gods. Located on the coast outside of Salem, the huge, rugged hole gapes like a mouth that sucks and spews water violently from within.
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