Entries by bigpaw

Our Camper Commitment

Embrace The Distance

We know many of you have been itching to hit the road again – and it appears we are going to be able to do so this Summer season!

Last week, Gov. Kate Brown released Executive Order 20-25, known as “Strong and Safe Oregon,” which details outdoor recreation and travel. Included in the new executive order are details about how individuals may go outside for non-contact recreational activities while continuing to minimize non-essential travel.  i will also have the option of reopening if they are able to comply with Oregon Health Authority guidance.

This comes with great excitement to our fellow #RV and #Van travel tribes! If you are new to the Big Paw Tours tribe or  a loyal comrades, we are excited to welcome you back to the world of travel. Before you book we realize you may have a few new questions for us and we are ready to answer them for you! 

What We’re Doing to Keep You Safe

We take cleanliness and hygiene seriously all-year round but have recently ramped-up our efforts to help prevent the spread of germs for our guests by partnering with EcoMaids! Their 64-Point Checklist is unlike any other! It was created with quality cleaning in mind. The 64-Point Checklist helps give a clear, color-coded, visual layout of what each of our cleaning services cover. It also allows us to ensure your rental is cleaned properly from top to bottom.

 

EcoMaids will be using organic and eco-friendly antibacterial disinfectant, while maintaining meticulous attention to detail so that all of our rentals are safe for the next set of adventurers. 

Along with our pre and post-cleaning procedures, our team will be wearing masks and gloves upon all guest contact and we will even be offering delivery services (pre request and for an additional fee) to various locations in Portland, OR so you and your family can leave your worries at the curb! Interested in learning more about our #CamperCommitment give us a call today!  

Where Can We Camp?

Oregon Travelers | Learn What’s Open

Washington Travelers | Learn What’s Open

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Connect with us! We are just a phone call away. 

303-870-8935
mark@bigpawtours.com

 

Mark Cobb, Founder & CAO – Chief Adventure Operator 

 

At-Home Camping: Self-Isolation Style

Since coronavirus is keeping most of us at home and indoors these days, you might be dreaming of the days when you could load up the car and go camping without a worry. You might also be wondering if there is a way you can still use your camping gear and have an adventure during […]

The Winter RVing Guide

Just like your house, you need to maintain your RV. For most who live in a place where a winterized house is necessary, you may know that the same has to go for your RV if you plan to take it out during the winter.

We’ve  gathered some essential tips to help you prepare for cold weather RVing. If you are considering taking your RV out this winter, don’t let the cold weather get in your way. Use this guide to cold weather RVing to stay warm and safe during your wintertime RV camping adventure.

Prepare Your RV For a Cold Weather Trip

Before you embark on a winter RV trip, make sure your camper is in the best condition to face the cold. By preparing your camper for harsh weather, you eliminate the need for hefty bills at the mechanic. Below are four ways to prepare your RV for a winter camping trip.

  1. Install and upgrade your RV’s insulation

Just like your home has insulation, so does your RV. Without insulation, you will have drafts and close to freezing temperatures inside your living spaces. An adequately insulated RV will keep your warm and your family warm to make your winter camping more enjoyable and comfortable.

  1. Protect your RV plumbing

Freeze-ups are a common challenge for winter RV camping and can lead to plumbing damage. When ice expands in pipes and hoses, it can cause them to crack or burst if not properly insulated. To keep your water flowing, follow these tips: use heat tape on pipes and hoses, warm your internal plumbing, use a space heater, add antifreeze, and dump tanks wisely.

  1. Take care of your RV engine

RV engines and engine components need a little more TLC during the harsh winter months. Before hitting the road, take a look under the hood to see if there is any corrosion or damage. While you’re under there, test the batteries to make sure they are working properly. You would hate to get stuck out in the cold!

  1. Prepare your RV furnace

If camping in extremely cold temperatures, it is best to have an inspection performed by a certified RV repair technician. Clean your furnace using compressed air or a soft brush to remove dirt and debris. Check the furnace vents for any damage or obstructions that could prevent air from flowing properly and check that the furnace air return is not blocked.

Following these four tips to prepare for your next RVing trip will help relieve any unwanted issues along the way. While we can’t control the weather or other people on the road, we know these tips will help make sure you’ve done what you needed to do.

Christmas Towns in the PNW You Have to Visit this Holiday Season!

The holiday season brings family together from all around the world. If you’re hosting your family this year we’re sure you have planned things to do and see to keep them busy. Whether you have to entertain kids or adults or both, these Christmas towns will sure to make everyone happy. Each of these towns are just a short distance from major Pacific northwestern cities, and are great places to spend quality time together while getting into the Christmas spirit.

 

Leavenworth, Washington

Visitors to this mountain-walled hamlet will instantly recognize the faceted buildings, wooden balconies and two-toned timber frames of the houses and shops speckled throughout as a style directly imported from the famous European Alps, and the German Alps. Come the holiday season, the town turns into a Christmas Wonderland. Thanksgiving weekend brings the Christkindlmarkt, an outdoor holiday market at the City Park that includes food, music, and activities for children. Christmas lighting festivities take place on weekend evenings throughout the season, complete with visits from Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, and other traditional holiday characters. If you weren’t in the Christmas spirit upon your arrival, you’re sure to leave feeling like Santa.

Experience Camping in Leavenworth

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Boasting impressive Switzerland-type views and easy water access, Lake Wenatchee offers abundant recreational activities in any season! Opportunities include camping, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding. Learn more.

Leavenworth / Pine Village KOA

Rustic,luxurious camping, nestled along the Wenatchee River at the base of the Cascades. Learn more.

Leavenworth RV Camping

The beautiful Cascade Mountains provide the perfect backdrop to relax or enjoy numerous recreational activities in the alpine setting of the Thousand Trails Leavenworth RV Camping Preserve. During the winter months you’ll be able to ride your snowmobile directly across the street to over 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. You can cross country ski, snowshoe, and sled down hills that are all located on property. Learn more.

 

Stanwood, Washington

The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp is an annual holiday event that features more than one million Christmas lights displayed on more than 15 acres of gorgeous waterfront campgrounds. With seven different light display areas, each with a different theme honoring the holiday season you’re sure to be amazed. The event combines live entertainment, holiday shops organized by local artists, children’s activities, and so much more. There are also a large number of on-site food concessions that offer a variety of hot drinks, snacks, sweet treats, and dinners waiting to be devoured by the warming fires. No matter how you choose to participate, the event is a wonderful holiday tradition. Make sure to add this to your list of “to do’s when family is in town”.

Experience Camping in Stanwood

Warm Beach Camp

While camping is slim in Stanwood, you’re in luck if you visit The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp as they offer RV sites. Book your site in advance and you’ll only be a skip and a hop away from the entertainment. Learn more.

Couer d’Alene, Idaho

The area around The Coeur d’Alene Resort, downtown Coeur d’Alene, and Lake Coeur d’Alene are all aglow with festive lights during the holiday season. The Holiday Light Show starts with a big lighting ceremony and fireworks on the Friday after Thanksgiving and can be enjoyed while wandering around the resort or from the water on a lake cruise throughout the month of December.

Experience Camping in Couer d’Alene

Tamarack RV Park

Tamarack RV Park is nestled in the tall pines within the beautiful city of Coeur d’Alene. It has the natural, woodsy feel of forest camping in the shade of the tall ponderosa pines, combined with the convenience of being nearby the Holiday Light Show. Learn more.

Camp Coeur d’Alene

Camp Coeur d’Alene is a destination campground with water access to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Wild and remote, yet only 15 minutes from the heart of Coeur d’Alene. Resident wildlife sets the scene with the lake and mountain for a backdrop. Learn more.

 

Coos Bay, Oregon

A grand display of holiday lights has become an annual tradition at Shore Acres State Park, drawing visitors from around the region. You are sure to see at least 325,000 lights, 30 large landscape lights, dozens of small landscape lights, 30 large holiday trees, dozens of lighted sculptures, and a beautifully decorated Garden House.

 

Experience Camping in Coos Bay

Oceanside RV Resort

Your next adventure awaits in Coos Bay. At Oceanside RV Resort & Campground, you’ll experience the sounds and smells of the Pacific Ocean from every tent and RV site. Learn more.

 

 

Victoria, BC

The Butchart Gardens, just outside of Victoria, B.C., are spectacular at any time of year, and well worth a visit, but the Christmas holiday season brings another layer of visual delight in the form of sparkling lights, decor, and music.

 

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” is a major theme; you’ll find garden areas decorated with everything from the 12 drummers drumming to the partridge in a pear tree. The Christmas season also brings an outdoor skating rink, carolers, and garden-themed gift shopping to The Butchart Gardens.

 

Experience Camping in Victoria

Salish Seaside RV Haven

Salish Seaside RV Haven is Western Canada’s premier Motor Home park, located on a private peninsula right in the heart of Victoria’s waterfront harbor. 

 

 

What’s Happening this December?

We know that December can be a busy and stressful month with the holidays, but don’t forget to enjoy it because it truly is the most magical time of the year. If you’re looking for things to do this December to entertain your kids or family, we have some great ideas for you. Whether it’s a musical, a light show, a Christmas festival, you name it, we got you. These events are being held all over the PNW, so we got you covered wherever you may be.

 

Seattle Center Winterfest: November 29 – December 31

Winterfest at the Seattle Center is an entire month of winter and holiday events held at various locations around the Seattle Center for free and affordable prices. You’re sure to find something here to entertain family that’s in town. Learn more

 

Lumaze Seattle Holiday Indoor Light Maze and Show: November 19, 2019 – January 4, 2020

Laugh, stroll and play under the twinkle of a million lights as you explore the light gardens and illuminated structures. Kids will play for hours on the playgrounds, while you kick back at the licensed bar and enjoy some seasonal beverages, delicious food, and live music. Shop the vendor market for last minute Christmas shopping. There is something for everyone. Learn more.

 

Zoo Lights: December 2, 2019 (Tacoma, WA)

Zoo Lights at the Point Definance Zoo and Aquarium is an annual holiday event featuring over 700,000 LED lights that light up the zoo at night during the holiday season, often featuring shapes of various animals. Learn more.

 

 

Victorian Country Christmas: Recurring throughout the month (Payallup, WA)

Step into a Victorian Village where holiday music fills the air! Shop in over 500 stores and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Enjoy gourmet food, wine, and delicious tasty treats throughout the festival. Visit two beautiful theaters and see countless professional stage shows, The Signing Nativity and concerts! Soak in the atmosphere of music, lights and decor. Learn more.

 

A Christmas Carol: Recurring throughout the month (Port Gamble, WA)

Learn more.

 

Leavenworth Tree Lighting Getaway: Recurring throughout the month (Leavenworth, WA)

Light up your December with Leavenworth’s famous Christmas Tree Lighting. For the ultimate day trip, hop on their luxury bus with your friends and family and head over the mountains. Once you arrive, you’ll have free time to explore this little Bavarian village, and watch everything come to life as the town lights up at sunset. Learn more.

 

For a more extensive list of all the events, check out Pacific Northwest Beyond. There are so many fun and exciting things happening this month. Take advantage of what your town has to offer!

The Pacific Coastline

TRIP ITINERARY

From the epic rock formations of Washington’s Cape Flattery to natural bridges in Southern Oregon to the winding roads of Big Sur, California, there is always something new to see along this coastal drive!

So what is the Pacific Coast Highway exactly?

You can also recognize it by its abbreviation (PCH), California Coast Road Trip, Pacific Coast Road Trip, Route 1, Highway 101 (through Washington and Oregon), or even just Highway 1 (in California).

All names aside, they all lead you down the same road, which is the one that parallels the Pacific Ocean and the Western border of the contiguous United States.

Along this drive you are destined to see non-stop coastal views, amazing iconic stops, and little beach towns scattered throughout!

 

CULTURE

Every town you stumble upon is going to be slightly different. From quaint coastal towns to booming metropolis’, you are bound to see everything in between. 

If activities and sports are your scene then the Pacific Coast Highway has plenty to offer, on land and sea. You can ride the surf, watch whales and dolphins on a cruise, play golf, go fishing or clam-digging, exercise those leg muscles with some hiking or cycling. Whatever you do, don’t drive straight through without making time to do some of the unique things on offer along the Pacific west coast.

 

DINING

Many wonder about “where are we going to eat?” To their surprise, Humboldt County offers an array of culinary spots. You will find hat locations chefs make the most of their surrounding local farms, the sea, and many local pastures. If you want something special, check out Humboldt’s Bay Oysters, Grass-fed Beef, Cypress Grove Chèvre, and other fresh seafood.  VIEW MORE

  • Bay Area Views and Chews
  • Fresh Food in Santa Cruz
  • French Flair, Beach Style
  • Big Flavors in Big Sur
  • Dining Right on the Bay
  • Casual Coastal Treats
  • Laid-back Vibe, World-class Views
 

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

We have boiled our list down to the top 10 must-see attractions for visitors traveling the length of Oregon’s coastline. It’s amazing how every season showcases a different wonder and activity for those passing through.

Learn More at TravelOregon.Com

 

CAMPING

REDWOODS:  Camp among world’s tallest trees – Humboldt Redwoods State Park with Eel river access and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, a part of the Redwood National & State Park, where the Roosevelt elk roam, Richardson Grove, Van Duzen County Park & Grizzly Creek SP also offer redwoods & river access.  

RIVER:  Van Duzen County Park, Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Richardson Grove, Grizzly Creek Redwood State Park on the Eel River or Camp Kimtu on the Trinity River.     

BEACH: The Lamp Camp, Gold Bluffs Beach, Clam Beach, Big Lagoon and  Patrick’s Point State Park have easy access to the ocean, hiking and beach combing.   

Mount Hood

TRIP ITINERARY

We all have dreamt about adventuring off to the 7 Wonders of the World, but it’s not so easy to drop everything and run off to another country. Well, we’ve got a secret for you. Oregon has 7 wonders of its own and it’s much easier to plan a visit to.

 

Located at the north end of the Oregon Cascades, just east of Portland, you will find Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest peak, the most well-known of the Cascade’s mountains, and one of Oregon’s 7 Wonders. 

 

In the words of John Muir, “…There stood Mount Hood in all the glory of the alpenglow, looming immensely high, beaming with intelligence, and so impressive that one was overawed as if suddenly brought before some superior being newly arrived from the sky.”“The whole mountain appeared as one glorious manifestation of divine power, enthusiastic and benevolent, glowing like a countenance with ineffable repose and beauty, before which we could only gaze in devout and lowly admiration.”

 

Live life outdoors, from the mountains to the rivers. This is the home of explorers, filled with endless possibilities.

CULTURE

Indulge in all that Mount Hood offers. Surround yourself in Mount Hood’s 13 glaciers and shred some powder on the slopes. Take your adrenaline to the next level on epic flow-based single-track trails. Raft, kayak, or float among one of the many rivers or lakes. Let your taste buds dance to the taste of wine as you stroll through the countryside, home to wineries galore. Frolic through picturesque fields of flowers. And for our foodies, please your palate with a six-course dinner or experience a meal from farm-to-table and learn about where the food is sourced and ventured.

 

As you can see, there is a little bit of everything for everyone. And of course, it doesn’t stop there. We’ve gathered lists of places to eat, things to do/see, and stay.

DINING

Majestic Mount Hood attracts adventure-seekers with an unparalleled array of outdoor attractions. Make sure you take in all the delicious cuisines offered around Mt. Hood and don’t leave home on an empty stomach. This dining guide dishes on where to fuel up with jelly donuts and huckleberry pancakes, lunch at rustic mid-mountain huts and relax with large pizzas and local pints après-ski. VIEW MORE

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

If you’re not a foodie coming to sample all the delicious cuisines that Mount Hood has to offer, then we can only assume you’re an adrenaline junky or admirer of sights.

Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway

This is a 70-mile drive along one of North America’s grandest rivers, the Columbia is at its finest as it rolls through the Columbia River Gorge, framed by sheer walls of basalt, cloaked in firs and ferns and rare endemic plants, accented with waterfall after crashing waterfall.

The Fruit Loop

All around Mount Hood, you’ll find farms galore. The Hood River County Fruit Loop boasts thousands of acres of orchards, wines, lavender and wildflowers.

Alpine Lakes

Mount Hood is home to beautiful alpine lakes, each offering its own unique view of the mountain. The Alpine Lakes include, Elk Lake, Lost Lake, Ice Lake, Waldo Lake, Crater Lake, Todd Lake, Sparks Lake, Summit Lake, and Anthony Lake. Each of these lakes offers great hikes and great views.

 

Timberline Lodge

With six ski areas, Mt. Hood easily becomes your base camp for skiing. It’s also home to some of the only year-round skiing anywhere, which is why you’ll often find Olympians here training during the summer.

CAMPING

Mt. Hood National Forest offers a huge variety of world-class recreational activities with opportunities for everyone. Continuously enjoy the forest and stay in one of the many developed campgrounds. VIEW MORE

Crater Lake

TRIP ITINERARY

Ready to visit another one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon? Fuel up your car, que up your playlist, buckle up, and get ready for an unforgettable trip to Crater Lake National Park.

 

Crater Lake National Park is a natural wonder born out of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption. Crowning the Cascade Mountain Range, the park contains vibrant forests, bountiful wildlife and an awe-inspiring blue lake worthy of its nickname “lake majesty.” Its geologic history spans back thousands of years and inspires visitors today as they swim, snowshoe, ski, hike and cycle through the mountainous terrain. With countless other activities and thousands of acres to explore, adventure is endless at Crater Lake.

CULTURE

At 1,943-feet deep, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States, and the seventh deepest in the world. Crater Lake formed when Mt. Mazama erupted approximately 7,700 years ago in a massive volcanic eruption. Your jaw is sure to drop once your eyes are set on this majesty of a lake.

DINING

Not sure where to eat? Craving something in particular? Check out this restaurant guide to all the best restaurants in the area. Keep in mind that some of these restaurants may be out of the way, but would be great options to stop at on the way to Crater Lake or when you’re heading home. VIEW MORE

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS

Wizard Island Tours

Cruise around the perimeter of Crater Lake and spend some time on Wizard Island. You’ll be able to hike, swim, and take in the panoramic views. 

 

Hiking Trails

Hiking is an ideal way to explore the magnificent landscape of Crater Lake National Park. From short, accessible trails to longer, invigorating routes that explore the backcountry, you’ll find a hike to suit your pace and experience. Trails range from half a mile to 30 miles. No matter the trail you choose, you will be delighted with the views.

 

Fishing

Are you a fishing connoisseur? Ever imagined fishing in a collapsed volcano? Well at Crater Lake, there is fishing galore. Don’t worry, you don’t need a fishing license. Fish as much (or as little) as you’d like.

 

Bicycling in Nature’s Beauty

Crater Lake’s magnificent 33-mile Rim Drive is a bucket-list attraction for bicyclists. The road’s steep hills and high elevations make it a physically demanding ride, but you can catch your breath at the 30 overlooks and pullouts that offer spectacular scenery and views. Because many roads are closed during the winter, July, August, and September are your best choices for bicycling trips.

Rim Road

The drive around Rim Road features more than 30 scenic pullouts. At Pinnacles Overlook, visitors can see volcanic ash frozen into 100-foot-tall solid rock formations. Stopping at Videa Falls provides a view of a cascading waterfall and is one of the best places to observe some of the park’s plant life. For a unique spot bursting with color, stop at Pumice Castle Overlook. Over time, an orange layer of pumice eroded into the shape of a castle — a magnificently royal occurrence. Or visitors can step back in time at Discovery Point and imagine themselves in the boots of John Hillman, the first pioneer to see Crater Lake.

CAMPING

Mazama Campground is tucked away in the forest, seven miles south of Rim Village, just past the park’s south entrance station near Highway 62. It’s the perfect spot to pitch your tent or park your camper as your base for exploring the park. Each of the 214 sites features a picnic table, a fire ring with a grill, and a bear-resistant food locker.