GoCamp has the wheels you need to take you on your autumn adventures! We have vans available for pick up in Portland, Bend, Boise, and the Bay Area. Not sure where to go or what to do? Check out these fall trip ideas for inspiration!
Roofus’ license plate reads SAG Van – as in support vehicle. And this rig is true to its name. It’ll haul all your gear, your bikes, and your friends or children as it did recently on five nights of fun in Northern California. Here’s a sample itinerary to consider for a trip in Roofus.
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and Drive 3.5 hours north of San Francisco to Russian Gulch State Park. Just north of Mendocino, Russian Gulch State Park combines a three-mile leafy canyon with windswept headlands and pristine beaches. Along the coast, waves crash into a collapsed sea cave called Devil’s Punchbowl, and the photogenic Frederick W. Panhorst Bridge rises gracefully 100 feet from the bottom of the gulch.
Consider hiking the Fern Canyon Trail. You’ll start out with an enchanting 2-mile stroll along Russian Gulch Creek to a fork in the trail. If you continue on the left fork, you’ll arrive at a 36-foot waterfall in only 0.7 miles. In fact, Fern Canyon is an unforgettable natural wonder that Steven Spielberg chose as a location for Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World!
Continue north, and as you do, check out Glass Beach, popular for glass polished by waves, tidal pools, and scenic views. Tonight you’ll stay at Salt Point State Park where rocky promontories, panoramic views, kelp-dotted coves, and the dramatic sounds of pounding surf will greet you. Pack some warm clothes though, even in summertime it can be cool here as fog hugs the coastline and ocean winds chill the air. And here’s a bit of trivia for you: sandstone from Salt Point was used in the construction of San Francisco's streets and buildings during the mid 1800's. If you look closely at the rocks at Gerstle Cove, you can still see eyebolts where the ships anchored while sandstone slabs were loaded onboard.
The King Range National Conservation Area is one of the most spectacular and remote stretches of coastline in the continental U.S. It stretches along 35 miles of the northern California coastline about 60 miles south of Eureka and covers 68,000 acres along an abrupt wall of mountains rising 4,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
There are six designated campgrounds in the King Range: Mattole, Honeydew Creek, Horse Mountain, Tolkan, Nadelos and Wailaki. Campsites are first-come, first-served and open year-round. When Roofus’ owner did this trip he stayed at Tolkan, a first come first served campground with easy access to great mountain biking trails and even a small terrain park.
You’ve filled up on beach vistas; it is time to head inland. Located on land donated by former lawyer, entrepreneur and state senator, Arthur W. Way, the A. W. County Park sits on the Mattole River and offers camping and some fantastic swimming spots in the Mattole River. Do this trip in summer time and you’ll want to jump right into the river. Or jump in no matter what time of year, good swimming holes are hard to come by!
Either on your way to your next campground, or on your way back to San Francisco tomorrow, you should add the Avenue of the Giants to your itinerary. This famed road, easily the most scenic drive among the redwoods, has been called the finest forest drive in the world. Lined bytitan trees, the 31-mile Avenue parallels Highway 101 and offers an excellent alternate (and slower) route through southern Humboldt County. Mostly flat with gentle curves, it passes secluded forest hamlets, campgrounds, picnic areas, and access points to the Eel River, a federally-designated Wild & Scenic waterway with idyllic swimming, fishing and paddling spots. Numerous trailheads can be found along the Avenue, each leading into the magical redwood forest.
Albee Creek Campground is located 5 miles west of the Avenue of the Giants on Mattole Road, in the western portion of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Open mid-May through mid-October, this 40 site family campground adjoins Rockefeller Forest and offers beautiful scenery, wildlife, and an incredible night sky. Situated on an old homestead, the campground has both second growth redwood forest and open meadows. Albee Creek is very popular, and the campground is often full in the summer season. Site-specific reservations are available from just before Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Reservations are recommended.
After grabbing the keys and taking a tour of Vanna (she was a beaut and everything we could have asked for), we hit the road to Cannon Beach.... This trip itinerary comes to us from Sarah Valencia and Adam Pellegrino, two happy campers that took Vanna (a Nissan conversion van) out for an adventure in Oregon. Thanks for all the tips Sarah!
DAY ONE: Portland, Cannon Beach, Pelican Brewing
We hopped on a late night flight from Denver the day before and crashed at a nearby no frills hotel in Portland. After getting some much needed shut-eye, we woke up to a text from Vanna's owner, Tracy, saying to head on over whenever to pick-up our camper van. To say it simply, we were absolutely stoked. After grabbing the keys and taking a tour of Vanna (she was a beaut and everything we could ask for), we hit the road to Cannon Beach.
There were so many options for places to explore on the Oregon coast but Haystack Rock was at the top of the list. The drive to the coast was incredible. The lush trees and winding roads with Tom Petty on the radio gave me some serious adventure feels. Arriving at Cannon Beach, we walked the small town along the coast, grabbed some beers at Pelican Brewing and made a dinner to take down to the beach and catch the sunset. The wind, the golden light, the massive rock formation with the waves crashing against it... it's something forever imprinted in my memory.
DAY TWO: Lost Creek Campground in Mt. Hood, Burnt Lake Trail
We hit the road early in the morning and headed east towards Mt. Hood National Forest to grab a spot at Lost Creek Campground. Our campsite was perfectly tucked away in the towering trees with other campers scattered far enough away that you felt like no one else was around. We popped the top on Vanna and made some lunch before heading to Burnt Lake Trail for some hiking.
Vanna really has all the things you could need in a camper van. The stove + sink combo pulls out of the van so you can have more room to cook or wash dishes. Attached to that is a table that pops up if you need more cooking space. Inside is a convertible couch + bed so it's perfect for an easy sitting or sleeping option. Not to mention, Vanna is stocked with all your cooking and camping needs.
Hiking into Burnt Lake Trail makes you feel like you have walked into a different time and place with the huge trees and peaceful forest. A storm lingered overhead with thunder booming through the mountains as we trekked through our hike. It was a total surreal adventure. With tired legs and the sun creeping down the sky to set, we headed back to Vanna to make dinner and relax around the campfire. Lost Creek was honestly one of my favorite campgrounds. It was tucked away right by the creek and you could hear the rushing water right outside the camper van. Best night’s sleep a girl could ask for.
DAY THREE: Mt. Hood Roasters, Trillium Lake, Salmon River Trail
We woke up early to head to Trillium Lake to get our kayak rentals for the morning. With not a ton of time to make coffee (like I said, it was a solid night's sleep) we stopped off at Mt. Hood Roasters to try out the local coffee spot. We rolled up to Trillium Lake just in time to catch Mt. Hood’s reflection on the lake in all her bluebird glory.
After some kayaking, we took Vanna down a windy road to Salmon River Trail. I thought the trees at Lost Creek were massive, but these by far were the biggest I'd seen. As the wind blew through the forest you could hear the creak of the trees swaying and the moss fluttering off them. Of any trail, this one stole my heart.
It was our last night with Vanna staying at Trillium Lake Campground. We made a feast of a dinner and then made our way down to the amphitheater to check it out. We took Vanna down and around the lake to watch the sunset on Mt. Hood. It was an evening for the books and an epic way to end our road trip.
DAY FOUR: Portland
Our time with Vanna was coming to a close so we made some coffee and hit the road back to Portland to return Vanna. Oregon really is one incredible place. With lush forests, peaceful hikes, beautiful mountains and the most friendly, chill locals... it was more than I expected in every way. I have a feeling that Oregon will be a place I'll be visiting again soon and I will definitely be taking Vanna for another spin.
The Marin Mountaineer, a sweet Eurovan Camper, is located in Tiburon, just north of San Francisco. That means you’ll get to cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge on your way to pick it up.
Right after Luke and Willa picked up the Marin Mountaineer they headed for the Marin Headlands, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, so they could watch the sun rise over San Francisco. From there they stopped by a favorite surf spot at Fort Cronkite before meandering up Highway 1. Luke and Willa’s route took them over Mount Tamalpais, through Stinson Beach, and along the coast to Wright's Beach, where they nabbed a campsite right on the beach (even without a reservation!).
Luke reports, “For anyone looking to escape the city or see NorCal within a short drive of San Francisco, the drive up the coast to Wright's Beach is about as laid back and beautiful as it gets!”
The next day, Luke and Willa headed back down the coast to Point Reyes, a protected National Seashore that has amazing views and limitless places to explore. Pressed for time, they then headed home, but if you can add one more day to your adventure in the Marin Mountaineer, Luke suggests you linger in Point Reyes, explore the lighthouse, and consider stopping in at Nicks Cove, a little seafood restaurant on Tomales Bay that has great lobster rolls.
Relax, she beckons, from her clean white walls. Roads and Rose is the Sprinter van of your dreams.
It will be hard to go back to tent camping after a few nights of deep sleep and total comfort in this amazing van. Roads and Rose is a Dodge Sprinter van that is packed and ready to go. The kitchen is gorgeous with a glass tile back splash and plenty of counter space and retractable cutting boards for you to cook up a feast. Six can fit around the welcoming table, and when you are done being the envy of the campground, pop the table down and voila, you have a nearly king sized bed.
Roads and Rose is meant for the sustainability minded. Enjoy a 20-gallon freshwater tank for your washing and showering needs. Rose is ready to go off the grid with her solar panels and there is a propane-heated shower that will warm up for you in minutes!
From a recent renter..."This past weekend we took the gorgeous Roads and Rose around Oregon to camp, and had an absolute blast seeing beautiful lakes, rivers, little towns, and mountain roads. She was the most perfect addition to our trip and made everything easy. I’ve never done the whole camper van thing, and after this little taste, I’m totally in love!"
Rose will remind you to enjoy the journey, but you really won't need the prompt. Leave a note in Rose's guest book; we want to hear all about your adventure.
Photo credit: Abby Elizabeth Tohline