101 Adventurous Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest (Your Complete PNW Bucket List)

Ahh, the Pacific Northwest!

Its stunning mountains, powerful waterfalls, and gorgeous coastline aren’t a secret. In fact, the PNW is home to some of the most incredible scenery and landscapes in the world!

You, our adventurous reader, are coming for the thrill of new territory and you came to the right place.

Your spirit is longing for those coastal drives, alpine lake hikes, and lazy summer days soaking in the warm breeze of the mountains.

BUT, there are so many cool things to do in the Pacific Northwest that the choices can get overwhelming. That’s where we come in. Consider us your friends and personal PNW guides.

From our PNW Bucket lists, (See year 1 and year 2’s), to endless road trips and expeditions, we’ve already done all the work for you.

We’re reporting back the best places to see in the PNW so you can spend less time researching and more time exploring.

Discover 101 amazing things to do in the PNW in this blog post.

Happy exploring!

Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest - Riding a Ferry in Seattle

PS. This list of things to do in the Pacific Northwest comes in a downloadable form. Sign up via our newsletter below and get a copy sent straight to your inbox!

101 Adventurous Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest
(Your Ultimate PNW Guide)

We’ve already taken loads of Pacific Northwest adventures!

If you see a list item that’s hyperlinked, that means we’ve written another blog post where you can dive deeper into that destination.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get lost!

Where is the Pacific Northwest Anyway?

The Pacific Northwest is a region of North America roughly located in the northwestern part of the United States.

The borders are blurry, and many people interpret the lines differently.

The majority of the population refers to the PNW to include Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the United States.

Broader terms may even refer to British Columbia, Northern California, and even Western Montana included in the Pacific Northwest.

Even broader, some may consider everything Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska as part of the PNW, and possibly even west until the continental divide (which would extend the area east to Jackson, Wyoming and Alberta, Canada).

For this blog post, we will define the PNW “borders” broadly, as to cover the maximum amount of adventurous things to do in this region.

Let’s get started.


Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest - Washington State

THINGS TO DO IN WASHINGTON STATE

Washington is the rainy, rugged part of the Pacific Northwest.

From the cold coastline to its alpine lakes, Washington has no shortage of outdoor adventures. Listed below are some of the best things to do in Washington state, including gorgeous national parks like the Olympic National Park. Don’t forget to pack your rain jacket!

(As a reminder, anything listed in a different color means you can click on it to explore more!)

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1. Mount Rainier National Park

2. Nisqually Vista Loop

3. North Cascades National Park

4. Olympic National Park

5. Cape Flattery

6. Rialto Beach

7. La Push Beaches

8. Mount Storm King

9. The Enchantments (Backpacking Trails)

10. San Juan Islands (Whale Watching)

11. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

12. Palouse Falls State Park

13. Ocean Shores, Washington

14. Cape Disappointment State Park

15. Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument

16. Columbia Valley (Tri-Cities)

17. Leavenworth, Washington

18. Lake Wenatchee National Forest

19. Hoh Rainforest

20. Flying In A Sea Plane

21. Shi Shi Beach / Point of Arches

22. Gig Harbor, Washington

23. Snoqualmie Falls

24. Maple Pass Loop Trail

25. Falls Creek Falls / Lower Lewis Falls / Panther Falls (Basically the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge)

Bonus* The Tree of Life at Kalaloch Beach


101 Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest (Oregon)

THINGS TO DO IN OREGON STATE

Oregon State can be wrapped up into one word – dramatic.

From Samuel H Boardman’s rocky shores to the Mars-like landscape of the Painted Hills, Oregon is ready to blow you away.

This state is best experienced via road trip, in our opinion. Pack your car, bring your friends, and experience the wonders of Oregon this year!

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26. Astoria, Oregon

27. Cannon Beach

28. Cape Kiwanda

29. Thor’s Well

30. Samuel H Boardman Scenic Corridor

31. Sahalie and Koosah Falls

32. The Blue Pool (Tamolitch Falls)

33. Bagby Hot Springs

34. Trillium Lake

35. Mount Hood National Forest

36. The Painted Hills

37. Umpqua Hot Springs

38. Columbia River Gorge Area

39. Diamond Creek Falls

40. Smith Rock State Park

41. Abiqua Falls

42. Ecola State Park

43. Devil’s Punchbowl

44. Salt Creek Falls

45. Alvord Desert

46. Toketee Falls

47. Willamette Valley Wineries

48. Heceta Head Lighthouse


Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest - (Idaho State)

THINGS TO DO IN IDAHO STATE

Idaho is one of those states that hasn’t really had its time to shine. Many of its residents already know the secret though – this place is AWESOME.

Rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and unique landscapes are scattered in all corners of Idaho.

We’re hoping to explore more of Idaho this year, and will update this list with more information as we explore along with you!

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49. Burgdorf Hot Springs

50. Priest Lake

51. Sandpoint, Idaho

52. Craters Of The Moon National Monument

53. Bruneau Sand Dunes

54. Sun Valley, Idaho

55. Hells Canyon, Idaho

56. Trail Creek Hot Springs

57. Shoshone Falls

58. Wallace, Idaho

59. Sawtooth Mountains

60. Idaho Hot Springs

61. Stanley, Idaho

62. Backcountry Yurt Camping In Idaho City


Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest (California State)

THINGS TO DO IN CALIFORNIA

In broad terms, Northern California is considered part of the Pacific Northwest.

Here, you can experience giant Redwood trees, mountains, stunning waterfalls, and beautiful wine country! We even created a road trip to Northern California – a loop that connects all of the best stops in this part of the state!

Here are some ideas to help you get started in California. Better yet, follow our Pacific Coast Road Trip to see it all on Highway 1!

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63. Point Reyes National Seashore

64. Redwood National and State Parks (Drive through the Avenue of Giants)

65. Fern Canyon

66. Mount Tamalpais State Park

67. McArthur-Burney Falls

68. Mount Shasta

69. Lassen Volcanic National Park

70. King Range National Conservation Area

71. Mossbrae Falls


Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest - (Montana State)

THINGS TO DO IN MONTANA

Montana is wild. Drive just an hour outside of any city, and you’ll likely find an untouched forest, awesome backcountry roads, and maybe even a bear or two!

If you’re looking for fewer crowds and off-grid adventures, come check out the Big Sky State.

This list below consisted of Western Montana adventures, as we consider anything west of the Rockies in “Pacific Northwest Territory”.

Here, you’ll find places like Kootenai Falls (Where they filmed part of The Revenant with Leonardo Dicaprio!), the note-worthy Glacier National Park, and beautiful hikes.

72. Hiawatha Bike Trail

73. Kootenai Suspension Bridge

74. Kalispell, Montana

75. Whitefish, Montana

76. Glacier National Park

77. Yellowstone National Park (Yes, a tiny tiny portion is in fact in Montana!)

78. Bozeman, Montana In The Winter Season

79. Flathead Lake

80. Kootenai National Forest


Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Canada)

THINGS TO DO IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA

With deep mountainous fjords, rugged coastline, and thousands of islands, British Columbia is an explorers dream.

Come for the amazing road trip potential that this area has to offer!

We suggest routes like Highway 1 through Glacier National Park (the Canada version!), Vancouver Island, and up north on Highway 97 towards Prince George!

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81. Vancouver, British Columbia

82. Whistler Mountain

83. Squamish, British Columbia

84. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

85. Vancouver Island

86. Buntzen Lake

87. Golden Ears Provincial Park

88. Yoho National Park

89. Emerald Lake Lodge

90. Panorama Ridge Hiking Trail

91. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

92. Tofino, British Columbia (and Hot Springs Cove!)


Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest (Alberta, Canada)

THINGS TO DO IN ALBERTA, CANADA

The province of Alberta, Canada consists of some of the most beautiful Rocky Mountain views in North America.

This area of Canada consists of five Rocky Mountain Parks (Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park, Yoho National Park, and Glacier Waterton National Park).

Here, there are endless amounts of trails for hiking, backpacking, camping, and road tripping. Come for the views, stay for the adventure!

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93. Icefields Parkway (Highway 93)

94. Peyto Lake

95. East End of Rundle Trail

96. Banff National Park

97. Jasper National Park

98. Abraham Lake

99. Maligne Canyon

100. Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada

101. Johnston Canyon

In your opinion, what are some of the best things to do in the PNW? Should we add any adventures to our PNW bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t Know Where To Start? Try These PNW Itineraries:

The Ultimate Pacific Coast Road Trip

An Amazing Olympic Peninsula Loop Road Trip

The Ultimate Northern Idaho Adventure Itinerary

11 Incredible Things To See In The Inland Northwest

The Pacific Northwest Bucket List

Choose One To Pin For Later!

The Complete PNW Bucket List! Looking for the best things to do in the Pacific Northwest? Here's 101 beautiful places in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, BC, Alberta, and Northern California. Click here to get outside! #PNW #pacificnorthwest #washington #oregon #california #Idaho #britishcolumbia #alberta #canada #outdoors #travel #photography #landscape