If it’s your first time visiting Go Wander Wild, WELCOME!

We are so honored to have you here, hanging with us in this little space on the Internet.

The purpose of this website is to help you spend more time outdoors. We hope to inform, inspire, and empower you to get outside and see this world, while doing your part to respect and protect the lands beneath your feet.

Our focus is on the Pacific Northwest (or PNW for short), a unique region of the US and Canada characterized by mossy pine forests, rugged beaches, cascading waterfalls, pristine glacial lakes and epic mountain peaks. 

We fell in love with this region from our very first visit and even decided to make our permanent home here (in Bend, Oregon!).

If you are longing for the thrill of new adventures, alpine lake hikes, chasing waterfalls, hot springs and unspoiled beaches, you’ve come to the right place.

Consider us your friends and personal PNW guides as we encourage you to get out and explore. 

Contents

Hiking Essentials

Hiking is one of our greatest passions, and we love that it is a hobby for people of all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re new to hiking or you’ve logged many miles in your hiking boots, check out our personal hiking “must-pack” list (+ some of our favorite tried-and-true brands), as well as our hiking guides and resources to prepare you for the best PNW trails.

Hiking Essentials
Go Wander Wild - Outdoor Adventures
Go Wander Wild | Outdoor Adventures

Camping Essentials

From the best gear to preparing meals in a tiny kitchen or over an open fire, we’ve got you covered! Find out where to camp in the PNW and how to find the best campgrounds (Hint: The Dyrt is our favorite campsite locating app with the largest database of campgrounds and user-submitted reviews.) Plus we are sharing our favorite camping recipes and all sorts of goodies to help you get comfortable sleeping in the wilderness.

Camping Essentials

Outdoor Gear

We are gear junkies. Neither of us are all that into shopping… unless it’s a trip to REI, that is. Over the last few months, we’ve been into that store more times than we’d care to admit. We’re sharing our tried-and-true favorites when it comes to outdoor gear.

Check out our favorite outdoor gear
Go Wander Wild - We believe

Pacific Northwest Bucketlist

And now the really exciting stuff… We’ve put together a giant bucketlist covering all of the Pacific Northwest. Some of the things on this list are adventures we’ve already taken and written about for your benefit (just click on the hyperlink) and some are adventures we cannot wait to have in the future. 

You can also download this list in a handy PDF format to take with you offline and check off your own adventures!

PNW Bucketlist Opt-In | Go Wander Wild

First things first, you might be wondering…

Where exactly is the Pacific Northwest?

The Pacific Northwest is a region in the northwestern corner of the United States. Definitions tend to vary depending on who you ask and borders are blurry, but our definition typically includes the two key coastal states of Washington and Oregon, plus northern California, Idaho, and southern BC, Canada.

For the purpose of this blog, we will be focusing primarily on these states. However, at times we will stretch our definition of the PNW “borders” so as to include areas just outside the region with plenty of opportunities for adventure. 

We’ve broken this list down by state to make it easier for you to navigate. If you already know the state you want to visit, you can click on it below and jump down to that section. 

Washington State Bucketlist

Go Wander Wild | Washington State Bucketlist

The Epic Cascade Mountain range, cold weather rainforests and one of the fastest growing cities in the nation are just some of what define Washington state,  a gem in the Pacific Northwest.

There is something for everyone in this west coast state with a mix of big cities and small towns and adventures for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. I even would go as far to say it’s our favorite state in the US (Shh! Don’t tell my fellow Oregonians!).

From Washington state’s best kept secrets to can’t-miss destinations, here are the top things on our Washington state bucketlist.

  1. Berry picking in Bellingham
  2. Camp on Shi Shi Beach
  3. Chase waterfalls
  4. Colchuck Lake
  5. Get your hike on
  6. Hike (part of) the PCT
  7. Hoh Rainforest
  8. Lake Chelan
  9. Lake Diablo
  10. Leavenworth
  11. Mount Baker
  12. Mount Rainier
  13. Mount Saint Helens
  14. Mountain biking
  15. North Cascades Highway
  16. North Cascades National Park
  17. Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park
  18. Palouse Falls
  19. Scenic Mountain Loop Highway
  20. Seattle
  21. See a concert at The Gorge Amphitheater
  22. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
  23. Skiing or snowboarding
  24. Snoqualmie Falls
  25. Snowshoeing or cross country skiing
  26. Soak in a hot spring
  27. Spend the night in a mountain hut
  28. Spend the night on a fire lookout
  29. Stehekin
  30. The Enchantments
  31. Whale watching in the San Juan Islands
  32. Whitewater rafting (or kayaking!)
  33. Winthrop

Oregon Bucketlist

Go Wander Wild | Oregon Bucketlist

Hundreds of miles of rugged coastline, thick pine forests, mountains, hot springs, raging rivers and cascading waterfalls characterize the diverse landscapes of Oregon. There’s no arguing that Oregon is absolutely breathtaking.

Beyond the beautiful landscapes, Oregon is home to some of the coolest small towns in the United States and has endless amounts of adventure.

From the cute towns on Oregon’s rugged coastline to the unique landscapes found inland, here are the top things on our Oregon bucketlist.

  1. Alvord Desert
  2. Astoria
  3. Bandon
  4. Bend
  5. Blue Pool (Tomolich Falls)
  6. Broken Top Hike
  7. Camping on the coast
  8. Cannon Beach
  9. Columbia River Gorge
  10. Crater Lake National Park
  11. Ecola State Park
  12. Explore the tide pools
  13. Float down the Deschutes River
  14. Go Crabbing
  15. Heceta Head Lighthouse
  16. Hiking near Bend
  17. Hood River
  18. Lincoln City
  19. McCredie Hot Springs
  20. Mount Hood (lost lake, lavender field, skiing)
  21. Multnomah Falls
  22. Oregon Coast road trips
  23. Painted Hills
  24. Portland
  25. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
  26. Sandboarding in Florence
  27. Sea Lion Cave
  28. Secret Beach
  29. Shore Acres State Park
  30. Silver Falls State Park
  31. Skylight Cave
  32. Smith Rock
  33. Soak in a hot spring
  34. South Sister Summit
  35. Thor’s Well
  36. Three Capes Scenic Route
  37. Tillamook Creamery
  38. Tumalo Falls
  39. Umpqua Hot Springs
  40. Umpqua National Forest
  41. Willamette National Forest
  42. Wine tasting in Hood River
  43. Yachats

Northern California Bucketlist

Go Wander Wild | Northern California

Northern California is broadly defined as part of the PNW, in part for it’s similar climate and unique landscapes to rival those of its northern neighbors. Here you can experience towering Redwood trees big enough to drive your car through, volcanic mountains, rugged coastline and one of the most note-worthy lakes in the US. 

From national parks to the Golden Gate Bridge, here are the top things on our northern California bucketlist.

  1. Cypress Tree Tunnel
  2. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg
  3. Lake Tahoe
  4. Lassen Volcanic National Park
  5. Mount Lassen
  6. Pacific coast road trip
  7. Petrified Forest near Calistoga
  8. Redwoods National and State Parks
  9. San Francisco
  10. Yosemite National Park

Idaho Bucketlist

Go Wander Wild | Idaho Bucketlist

You may be surprised to hear that Idaho isn’t all just potatoes. There are rugged mountains, pristine lakes, hidden hot springs and unique landscapes scattered all over this lesser-known state. In fact, after traveling there on a state-wide road trip, we can pretty confidently say that Idaho is one of the most underrated states in the U.S.

If you’re like us and you love the outdoors, but can’t stand the crowds at popular destinations, Idaho may just be the perfect spot for your next adventure.

From pristine hidden hot springs to dramatic mountain peaks and cute small towns, here are the top things on our Idaho bucketlist.

  1. Balanced Rock
  2. Boise
  3. Bruneau Sand Dunes
  4. Coeur d’Alene
  5. Craters of the Moon
  6. Custer Ghost Town
  7. Goldbug Hot Springs
  8. Ketchum
  9. McCall
  10. Redfish Lake
  11. Sandpoint
  12. Sawtooth Mountains
  13. Stanley
  14. Sun Valley
  15. Thousand Springs State Park
  16. Twin Falls

British Columbia Bucketlist

British Columbia Bucketlist | Image by G Yancy via Flickr

Image source: G Yancy via Flickr

Canada’s westernmost province lines the Pacfic Northwest coast just north of Washington. The province is defined by an intricate fjord system dotted with lots of small islands, majestic mountain ranges and national parks to rival those in the US. 

Bursting with road trip potential, B.C. has noteworthy routes like the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway that linked Whistler with Vancouver and Highway 1 through Glacier National Park (the Canadian version). 

From the Canadian Rockies to the burgeoning modern city of Vancouver, here are the top things on our British Columbia Bucketlist.

  1. Big Berg Lake
  2. Canadian Rockies
  3. Caving on Vancouver Island
  4. Great Bear Rainforest
  5. Haida Gwaii
  6. Hike the West Coast Trail
  7. Kayak the Broken Group Islands
  8. Kootenay ski towns
  9. Lake Osoyoos
  10. Okanagan Valley Wine Region
  11. Othello Tunnels
  12. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
  13. Sail through Desolation Sound
  14. Salmon fishing
  15. Vancouver 
  16. Victoria
  17. Whistler

Get In Touch

Have questions? Comments? Suggestions? Ideas? Just want to say hello? Hop on over to our contact page, and let’s connect!

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