The Perfect Northwest USA Road Trip

We love checking in on our users and hearing about the fun trips they plan. This one in particular stuck out to us. It encompassed the perfect American summer road trip, so naturally, we had to know more.

Kate and Craig

Travefy user’s Craig and Kate journeyed out on a 1,741-mile road trip starting in Portland, OR to Duluth, MN. “My girlfriend Kate and I flew out to Portland to pick up a car that I purchased and then embarked on the long journey back home to Duluth, MN,” says Craig. “Our seven-day road trip brought us from Oregon to the bottom of Washington, then into the Panhandle of Idaho, across Montana, down into Wyoming, straight through South Dakota, and ending in the great north of Duluth, Minnesota.”


“We experienced and saw so many different things from the weirdness of Portland, Oregon to the thrilling white rapids of the Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.”



What was your favorite stop and favorite state to drive through?

“It’s hard to exactly pin point our favorite stop since the road trip as a whole was the most memorable experience. Some favorite stops include Hood River, Oregon which has beautiful mountain valley views and a hip town with a great brewery. Jackson Hole, Wyoming was another great stop. We were able to take a hot shower and experience the touristy adventures that Wyoming had to offer. Driving through the Panhandle of Idaho would have to be the best state to drive. Driving up and down mountains with spectacular 360° views all the way through was exciting…and a bit scary for the driver.”


Most memorable moments from the trip?

  • “Driving along the Oregon Trail! As a childhood enthusiast of all things Oregon Trail, this was exciting. At different points along our trip we saw signs for old homesteads, markers of the actual trail, natural landmarks, an unfathomable amount of farm country and we stopped in towns like Kellogg, Idaho for coffee only to find ourselves immersed in the history of an 1850’s mining town.”
  • Coeur d’Alene, was a site to see nearing sunset on a warm summer night. A fun town with spectacular mountain views of the Spokane River.”
  • “Camping at Harry’s Flat in the Lolo National Park – and living to tell the tale. We camped deep into the mountain’s valley near the river where we slept with eyes wide open through the dark eerie night.”
  • Jackson Hole – it’s a tourist trap! We loved it. We went white water rafting, we wandered around the town, we took old-timey pictures, we played some trivia, we slept in the car outside the library in hotel-less desperation (still trying to forget that part), generally got to enjoy each other’s company. It was a nice contrast to the day before driving across Yellowstone.”
  • BadlandsThe Star Show at Cedar Pass Campground! Oh, it was good, I could have listened to that all night. And we thoroughly tested the tent’s wind strength with great success.”


Tips for planning a road trip:

“We had exactly seven days to get from Portland, OR to Duluth, MN. We wanted the travel show experience. We wanted to camp, hike, occasionally sleep in a hotel and shower, taste all the craft beers, eat at the best restaurants, drive the most scenic HWY’s, avoid road construction, not spend all of our money, and still manage to relax. It’s great to have a whimsical list of places you’ve seen on TV, but getting to them and having time to enjoy them is an entirely different beast. This was no easy planning, but Travefy certainly made it easier. It was a lot more driving than either of us anticipated.”

  1. During the preliminary planning stage, I recommend spending a few realistic hours on Google Maps. You have to know how long it takes to get from Jackson Hole to the Badlands getting idea happy with the activities. As millennials, we don’t use real maps (except in the antiqued land of Yellowstone), so Google was crucial in planning stages and finding all of these places.
  2. Pack for all of the weather! There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad packing!
  3. Plan enough food! We had some near HANGRY moments, and if we had bought a bit more nourishing food, it could have been slightly less desperate at times. Also, remember the coffee filters.
  4. Be brave! Sometimes to make your trip companion happy you have to camp in the middle of absolute nowhere Montana in a tiny tent armed only with what looks like a can of hairspray that may or may not protect you from a grizzly bear. As I felt bad for trip companion, I was glad to she was able to enjoy camping in the wilderness as I did.
  5. Avoid the drive-drive-drive attitude that can develop on a highway that looks like Mario Kart: The Mountain Level. Stop and pull over at the viewpoints. Do drive into the impossibly tiny towns of 37 people to see their only landmark. Do stop at craft breweries along the way and yes a beer after a long drive is victory!


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