Winter Warmth: Oregon and Nor-Cal Beat the Cold

February 2022 – Calling all Sunseekers! A few months into the damp Seattle winter most locals are ready for a change of scenery. While a week-long trip to Fiji might sound perfect, most of us need to find a more schedule- and budget-friendly option 🙂 The good news is that sunny skies and temperatures in the 60’s or 70’s are often just a day’s drive away – read on for recommendations!

Building Your Game Plan

When my family is looking for a long-weekend in the sun, we start by scoping out the 10-day weather forecast. Most of the time – even when it’s rainy in Seattle – clear skies and warm air can be found along the Southern Oregon Coast and Northern California. A week before your trip, find a weather map that displays temp, rain, and sky condition forecasts, such as the NWS Graphical Forecasts. Checkout conditions along Pacific coast, particularly between Florence, OR and Klamath, CA. Take a look at inland California too – the Redding valley typically stays warm. All of these destinations are a long day’s drive away (about 8-10 hours), perfect for a long-weekend roadtrip with friends or family.

One benefit of traveling during the cooler months is that, being the low-season, campgrounds are rarely full. You can usually roll into a campground at any time to grab a good spot.

Brookings, OR – Tidepools & Redwoods

As the southern-most town on the Oregon coast, Brookings serves as the gateway to several nearby adventures. Grab a campsite at Harris Beach State Park – several have hookups and there’s a large playground for the kids.

Walk down to the beach from your campground. Turn right to roam the sandy beach, or left to explore the tidepools and Arch (pictured in header).

Farther afield, take time to tour nearby dunes and towns. Drive southeast to find groves of the tallest trees on Earth – Walker Road in Cal’s Redwoods State Park is a fun and easy place to wander.

Reedsport, OR – Sand Dune City

A 50-mile stretch of towering sand dunes along the Oregon coast is designated as the Dunes National Recreation Area. Unique both in its scale and diversity, the Dunes NRA offers ample opportunities for fun. A large section is open for ATV-use, and several providers in the area rent vehicles so you can spend a few hours zipping around the 500′ dunes. For a slower-paced experience, other portions of the Dunes NRA contain hiking trails weaving amongst the sand, forests, lakes, and coastline. There are also several lighthouses that can be toured.

While there are several great campgrounds in the region, one to consider is the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park Campground. It’s situated about a mile inland from the ocean in a forest adjacent to the dunes. Perched above a lush valley containing a small lake, the campground offers several sites with hookups. From your campsite the lake-loop trail, sand-dune trail, and lighthouse are fun and easy sightseeing adventures.

Shasta Lake, CA – Captain a Boat

Head down I-5 and keep going until you hit warm weather! Shasta Lake is a sprawling reservoir located just over the Siskiyou Mountain Range where daytime highs can reach into the 70s! Spend a day hiking the area’s trails or take a guided tour of the underground Caverns. Hit the water for a few hours of fishing or cruising – boat rental is usually available from Bridge Bay Marina. There are several National Forest Campgrounds open year-round around the Lake – our family had a great experience at Lakeshore East.

Ready to Try it Yourself?

Whether you’re looking for a few days of mid-winter sun or planning a 10-night roadtrip in the shoulder season, Southern Oregon and Norther California have tons of options. Feel free to reach out by email or phone to the friendly staff at Boundless RV anytime to talk more about planning your trip, or help picking one of our modern & spotless RVs. Happy camping!