West Coast 2016 Road Trip


In this post I will share with you guys the route I took on my 2016 Road Trip from
Washington > Oregon > California~~ and back up the coast.
Each location is puppy friendly, which is very important for me since I always bring my dog Luna.

Below I included photos of my home made route I made through online research + places I’ve been to previously.
I do want to make a note that we did not exacty visit all the places we planned to on this map because of our car
breaking down along the way– but I will take you through the story as I mention each place. ☾☆

I’m excited to share my path hoping it can inspire you on your travels if you head this way. xx

(some information about the map, the green time listed is the estimated drive time between each location)

Above is the map I made from Washington (home base) to my destination which was my family’s house in San Diego.
I will go through each location and give you the details on each place <3

A. Home Base- Starting Point (Washington)

B. Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)
Cougar Rock Campground
☾☆ This was out first time visiting this Park/Campground.  It was nice and clean.
We recommend staying here.
The only problems we experienced in this area was that it was the first place out Van broke down.
We did not have a jumper cable and neither did any of the Park Rangers.. so long story short we got towed 2 hours north.
We were able to continue the trip we had planned from this point.

C. Red Roof Inn (Oregon)
3828 NE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97220
☾☆  We choose to stay at Red roof Inns when we cannot find national forests/parks to stay at.
We choose the Red Roof Inns because they are pet friendly.
They are not 5 star hotels, but they do the job when we need a place to go.
Staying at a hotels is also awesome for re-charging your electronics.

D. Crater Lake National Park (Oregon)
Mazama Campground 
☾☆ Crater Lake was beautiful! It was our first time visiting and the Lake was stunning.
Would recommend visting + camping here!
the only notes I want to mention are:
-Plan to arrive before the sun goes down, there are not many lights on the path there
so it felt kind of dangerous driving at night…. and the Sunset would be amazing to see.
-Reserve your campsite in advanced. The  Mazama campsite was full when we had arrived after dark
so we had some parking complications… ill just leave it at that.

–Photography Pit stops in Redwood Forest, California–
Drive thu Trees: Kalamath + Chandelier
I know there are a few more, but here are the ones we went to on our way.
Entree Fee is $5 per car, per tree site I believe.

E. Emerald Forest of Trinidad (California)
Patricks Point Dr Trinidad, CA 95570
☾☆ The Emerald forest of Trinidad campsite is one we have stayed at often.  This is the only
campsite that we know of that has WIFI + clean bathrooms/showers.  We always make this campsite one
to stay at on our trips through the redwood forest.

F. Friends House (California)
~Generally near San Francisco~
☾☆ We always have trouble finding a dog friendly public place to stay at in this area
of California, but thanksfully for us we have some friends to crash with.
Sorry for the lack of reccomendations.

G. Big Sur (California)
Campgrounds and Cabins
☾☆  When we go to Big Sur we always stay at the same campsite.  I am not sure what its official name is..
But driving thru Big sur from the North heading south, it is the first campsite after the resturant and mini mart.
the campsite will be on your right hand side.
I believe the price starts at $60 per night, but I think that its worth it.
-tip: there is no public wifi  or even phone service, but at that first resturant there is wifi in range.

H. Red Roof Inn Santa Ana (California)
N Main St, Santa Ana, CA 92705-2600
☾☆  After camping for a few days we always want to try to stay at a hotel to be able to fully charge our
electronics, aka all our portible chargers we bring to keep our phone gps going.

I. Destination, Family’s house (California)
~Generally near San Diego~

**or alternative San Diego spot, I had a plan B if family’s house didn’t work out.

La Quinta Inn Old Town (California)
2380 Moore Street.

…and this concludes the first part of my road trip.
From here I attended the Kaaboo Music Festival for the weekend.

Now to begin map part 1 of 2, the long journey back up the coast,
with slightly different and with more scenic routes.




A. Starting point, Family’s House (Califonia)
~Generally in San Diego~
B. La Quinta Inn Old Town (California)
2380 Moore Street.

-optional photography pit stop-
C.Salvation Mountain (California)
you should be able to pull up Salvation Mountain on google maps,
it is located near the Salton Sea and south of Joshua Tree.
☾☆ I ended up not taking this pit stop as I intended to.
Althought I’ve been there before!  Very cool photo worthy area.

D. Joshua Tree (California)
Southern Entrance
☾☆ In Joshua Tree there are many different Campgrounds.
If you plan on going to Joshua Tree I recommend staying for a few days to see all the differenet areas.

E. Joshua Tree (California)
North-West Entrance

–☾☆From this point on I want to mention that we strayed from the path I had written on the maps I made,
I will still list those areas & path below because they are very beautiful + photo worthy.
I do want to take this path again on a future road trip.
Depending on the time of year you take this trip and if your car and handle the different weather/terrains
It should be fine, but after all our old van went through my boyfriend decided that
we should head back to the coast from Joshua Tree and make our way up from there,
versus inner California that is more desert + mountains.
We didn’t want to take any more chances with our car.

On the way back to the coast we drove the route that takes you thru coachella,
and before there is the Cabazon Dinosaurs pit stop area. ☾☆

F. Death Valley National Park (California)
Mahogany Flat Campground
☾☆-ended up skipping this location-

G. Yosemite National Park (California)
☾☆ We ended up skipping this location on this trip, but we have been here before.
Very beautiful.  To get to the campsite we have been to previously,
you go uphill which was rough on our van.
Too bad GPS does not warn you when your path will go up a steep incline. >__>
This is a reccommended area to visit, but be prepared.

H. Lake Tahoe -South End- (California)
Campground by the Lake
☾☆-ended up skipping this location-

I. Friend House (California)
~generally near San Fransisco~
☾☆ We ended up going back to this location on the way up 🙂

J. Emerald Forest of Trinidad (California)
Patricks Point Dr Trinidad, CA 95570
☾☆ We ended up going back to this location on the way up 🙂



A. Emerald Forest of Trinidad
Patricks Point Dr Trinidad, CA 95570
☾☆ As mentioned above^


B. Cape Perpetua Campground (Oregon)
Cape Perpetua Campground, Florence, OR 97439
☾☆ This campground is a smaller campground that is located along the coast.
It is comparable to a very long parking lot. There are no showers (that I saw) and the bathroom is very basic.
So if you take this route be sure to shower at the Emerald forest of Trinidad^

I would still reccommed this campsite because it is very close to the Cape Perpetua area.
-And just in general the Oregon coast has so much beautiful nature.
That is where the Thor’s Well famous photography spot is.
We visited it the next morning and started our oregon coast photography journey from there.

–Optional Photography Pit stops–
-Thor’s Well

-Yaquina head light house & Tide Pools
-Haystack Rock


C. Fort Stevens State Park (Oregon)
100 Peter Iredale Rd. Hammond, OR 97121
☾☆ Fort Stevens state park was a good place to stay,
It’s at the same site as the photography spot “Fort Stevens Ship Wreck”.
After hitting up all of the above photography spots, it’s a good place to end the day.


D. Red Roof Inn (Washington)
16838 International blvd, Seattle, 98188
☾☆ We actually ended up driving straight to our house after the Fort Stevens State Park,
But if you wanted to do some sightseeing in Washington here is a pet friendly hotel option for you.
This hotel is very close to the Seatac Airport.


E. Destination- Home Base (Washington)



-Road Trip Tips & Lessons Learned-
-Have a Jumper Cable in the car,
Maybe if not for your car someone else might need some help.

-Make sure to have extra money saved for emergencies.
We didnt realize we could have to pay close to $1,000 for getting our car towed and fixed.
But thankfully we had the money ready for such an emergency.

-Don’t lock your keys in the car
This event totally took us by surprise.
We jumped out of the Van to take some sunset photos and the keys + Luna were in the car…
Thankfully our windows were cracked open and someone near by had a tool to help us get in.

-Always have a plan B location, or reserve your camp spot prior.
We didn’t think all the spots would be taken at the Oregon Crater lake camp spot, but alas it was.
That became a very stressful situation when it was pitch black and our only place to stay had no more vacancies.
Avoid being in a situation like this.

I hope you enjoyed this journey of a road trip we took!
Please leave a comment below if this helped you,
If you are interested in seeing more of these posts from me about the paths I take,
and if you have any travel spots or tips for us!

one of my next travel blog posts will be more photos
from this road trip so stay tuned 🙂