columbia river gorge fourth of july northwest

Best Places to Spend the Fourth of July in the Northwest

If you want to spend your Fourth of July weekend outdoors, here are some ideas for places in the northwest to explore during COVID-19.

The Fourth of July brings all the fun, fireworks, and food that make this holiday so traditional and beloved. However, in the current pandemic, most state governors have banned large gatherings, and this applies to Fourth of July celebrations. Maybe parties and fireworks won’t look the same this year, but there are still ways to have a blast this Fourth of July weekend. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in the Northwest. Here are six of our favorite Northwest destinations you might want to check out for this Fourth of July. 

COVID-19 Precautions:

While many counties in the Northwest are at least in phase 1 of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still advised that those traveling for the Fourth of July weekend practice general health safety precautions when in public places. Many public places will request that you wear a mask and maintain social distancing. The border between the United States and Canada remains closed. Please respect social distancing while exploring the many stunning sites the Northwest has to offer this Fourth of July weekend. 

Oregon Coast and Washington Coast

The Oregon Coast is already famous for its stunning cliffside views, so what better place to spend your Fourth of July weekend? Seaside and Cannon Beach are excellent choices in Oregon. Haystack Rock is an iconic site along the coastline and Seaside offers wonderful restaurants and shopping for visitors. Ecola State Park is also nearby, providing visitors with countless hiking trails and outstanding views. 

oregon coast fourth of july weekend

In Washington, Long Beach Peninsula is just what it sounds like. An expansive stretch of light-colored sand with trails for running, hiking, and horseback riding. It’s also home to the World Kite Museum. Contrary to its name, Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington will not disappoint. Surfers are attracted to this wild coastline, but if you desire a more relaxed visit, you can stay in the campground or in a yurt. 

Mount Hood

Mount Hood is an iconic piece of the Northwest landscape and there are several hikes one can take around the mountain. Hike along the Timberline Trail around the base of the mountain or make an attempt at summiting it. Old Salmon River Trail takes you deep into the thick, lush forests Oregon is also famous for at the base of the mountain. A hike around Trillium Lake provides those stunning shots of Mount Hood being reflected in the water. Finally, if you’re ready for a challenge, take up the switchbacks of Cooper Spur. This is the hike with the highest elevation around Mount Hood and provides spectacular views of the mountain on a clear day. 

Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is the largest National Scenic Area in the country, and as soon as you witness the magnificence of this Northwest gem, you’ll understand why. Waterfalls, the river, and mountains all make for excellent places to explore over this Fourth of July holiday weekend. Climb Dog Mountain for an incredible view of the Gorge, wander the fields of wildflowers at Rowena Crest, or visit the famous Multnomah Falls. If you’re looking for a little getaway into nature that isn’t too far from home or demanding on the body, the Columbia River Gorge is a perfect place to check out. 

columbia river gorge fourth of july northwest
Elena Kuchko | Unsplash
San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are now welcoming back summer visitors under Phase 2 guidelines. Take a long weekend to visit one of these islands just off the Washington Coast near Bellingham. From boating and sailing to wineries and fine dining, there is going to be a little something for everyone on these islands. If you’re a lover of outdoor water sports, the San Juans might be your ideal place for a long weekend getaway. 

North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park offers some of the most stunning scenery in the Northwest. Expansive forests, towering mountains, and crystal blue waters can all be found in this slice of the Northwest. Whether you’re a day hiker or backpacker, you can be certain you’ll find a trail to your liking. If you’re interested in a more long-term, relaxed stay, try camping at one of the many lovely campsites the park has to offer. For information about COVID-19 restrictions in the park, see here.

Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park is stunning to witness anytime of year. The park is currently making modifications to expand previous limitations to visitors. See here for more information about COVID-19 in the park. There is no other national park in the United States quite like Crater Lake. What was once Mount Mazama, but blew its top several hundred years ago, has become an icon of the Northwest. These royal blue and crystal clear waters are incredible to behold. Visitors can hike along the rim of the crater or take a boat ride out to Wizard Island on the lake. If visitors are feeling brave, they can even take a dip in these frigid waters. 

Sébastien Goldberg| Unsplash

The Northwest is filled with stunning places to explore this Fourth of July holiday weekend. For every activity level, style of outdoors sport, or favorite kind of landscape, there is something for everyone. Have a happy Fourth of July!

Some Additional Favorites:

Smith Rock State Park

Silver Falls State Park

Cape Flattery 

Jade Lake