Whidbey Island to Santa Cruz

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle drive the Oregon coast

The time came for us travel from Whidbey Island to Santa Cruz. We did the trip in four days, over-nighting on the Olympic National Forest, Winchester Bay Oregon and along the Klamath River in California.

Coupeville to the Olympic National Forest

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle drive from Whidbey Islant to Coho Campground

The ferry ride from Coupeville to Port Townsend was a blast! We were lucky to get a front row seat on the 35 minute trip, staying warm in the comfort of the RV.

We traveled south along the Hood Canal stopping at El Puerto De Angeles in Hoodsport for lunch.

Gianna Holle at El Puerto De Angeles in Hoodsport Washington

While having lunch, we saw four guys in a boat casting a long net into the water.  After lunch we walk down the beach to watch them pull the net to shore. I don’t know what was going on but they were able to catch about 10-20 large salmon. Interesting.

After another hour of driving, Google maps told us to turn down a dirt road (arggg), and with great hesitation and slow speed, we traveled 20 minutes over potholes and washboard.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle driving a dirt road to the Coho Campground
Finally we made it back to the asphalt and 15 minutes later we arrived at the campground.

Olympic National Forest – Coho Campground

The sites were big, clean, green, and private.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle at Co Campground Washington

We went on a bike ride down to the reservoir. Such a beautiful place.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle at Wynoochee Lake

Brian Holle rind his bike at the Coho Campground Washington

Olympic National Forest, Washington to Winchester Bay, Oregon

The second day of the trip was a long one because we wanted to drive down the Oregon coast.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle trip to Winchester Bay Oregon

After driving 2 hours, we traveled along the Columbia River and were amazed at how many fishing boats were out, presumably fishing for salmon.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle see fishing boats on the Columbia River

There were hundreds of boats for miles and miles. Crossing over the Columbia River, we entered Oregon, one step closer to Santa Cruz.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle cross the Columbis River

The drive down the Oregon coast was as beautiful as we remembered.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle drive the Oregon coast

After reading Wheeling It’s post on Salmon Bay, Gianna and I got our signals crossed and mistakenly checked into Winchester Bay RV Park which is a high end park on the ocean jetty with full hookups and lots of new class A RVs. We felt a little bit out of place because we like to camp in less refined conditions.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle at Winchester Bay RV Resort

We found out later that we were in the wrong spot. Instead of staying at the RV Resort, we wanted to stay at the overnight RV camping in Salmon Bay Spot C or D. The difference is the price and the quality of the experience. The RV resort was very nice with laundry facilities and pretty green grass where the C and D camping spots were asphalt with no hookups. Both spots were on the water but the C and D is where we want to be if we were to stay long term; it’s more our style.

Where Brian Holle and Gianna Holle should have stayed

For example, a waterfront site at the resort is $44/night-$293/week and the sites at C & D were $15/night-$270/month. This is a great savings if you want to camp next to the water and stay a month on the coast in the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle viewing Winchester Bay RV Resort

The view from Spot D towards the RV Resort.

Winchester Bay Oregon to Klamath River California

We again woke up early and resisted the temptation to sprint all the way to Santa Cruz. We decided to camp along the Klamath River

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle drive to Klamath River

Many of the campsites along the Klamath were in really bad shape so we settled outside the gates of the closed O’Neil Creek Campground. We parked on the campground access road and could barely be seen from the highway.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle at O'Niel Campground Klamath River

The spot was super nice with O’Neil Creek keeping us cool in the 90 degree weather.

Brian Holle and Gianna Holle along O'Neil Creek, Klamath River

The next day we woke up early and sprinted the 400+ miles to Santa Cruz. It was a fantastic trip, enjoying eastern Oregon Rivers, our family in Washington, Whidbey Island, and the drive back to California.
Santa Cruz, Eastern Oregon, La Conner, Anacortes, Whidbey Island to Santa Cruz: 17 days, 3 states, 2539 miles. A super great trip!

What we learned

  • Never again let the RV get down to 40 miles to empty while in the middle of nowhere
  • Spot C & D are a great place to stay in the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area

GPS Coordinates

  • Coho Campground, Olympic National Park 47.391014, -123.602946
  • Winchester Bay RV Resort 43.677373, -124.185449
  • O’Neil Creek 41.810294, -123.116855

Dates Visited

August 10, 11, and 12, 2016


  1. Jeff

    A beautiful trip! I do not envy that 400 mile sprint, but with obligations at the destination … at least you were able to enjoy the more distant sites with some leisure.

    1. Brian Holle (Post author)

      Agreed. On the way out, we take it easy but on the way back, we always seem to race home.

  2. Sergio

    Many dream it, some Live it, very nice. Spare fuel tank in the making 🙂


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