Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Washington National Parks-- route recommendations?
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 > Washington National Parks-- route recommendations?

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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 05/12/19 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you go to the Mt. Baker area in Sept., save some time for picking huckleberries and wild mountain blueberries!


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Roy&Lynne

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Posted: 05/12/19 03:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

If you go to the Mt. Baker area in Sept., save some time for picking huckleberries and wild mountain blueberries!
Just keep an eye out for black bear.


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Dave5143

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Posted: 05/12/19 04:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If I wanted to go directly from Mt. Rainier NP to North Cascades NP while avoiding the worst that Seattle has to offer what route(s) should I take? I've already been to Olympic NP. I'm towing a 34' TT.


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paulj

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Posted: 05/12/19 11:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

West or east side of the mountains?

Honeybee8888

Central NJ

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Posted: 05/13/19 12:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to all of you for the great ideas and suggestions. My current route, after reading your advice, is taking us west from Glacier via US 2 to Coulee Dam (great suggestion!) and then back north-west via WA 20, taking the ferry as suggested to Port Townsend, and then around the peninsula and down to Ranier. I've currently allowed 12 days for all of this, but I may cut off some of the pre-Glacier leg(s) of the trip in order to give us a few more days in Washington. After WA it's down through the Portland area (friends and family) to Lassen Volcanic NP, and then we'll have to head back east again. (Last year, we couldn't get to Lassen because of the fires, and spent some extra time in Idaho instead. If that happens again (and I sure HOPE not!), we'll use the time to go to the Astoria, OR coastal area before heading home.) Overall, an 8 week (plus a few extra days) trip. Our longest yet-- I am psyched!

Thanks again for all your help!


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Dave5143

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Posted: 05/13/19 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

paulj wrote:

West or east side of the mountains?

Preferably West side.

paulj

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Posted: 05/14/19 12:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I ask Google Maps for Ashford to Sedro-Wooley, it gives a 150 mile route with time estimate ranging from 2hr 40min to an hour more.

One choice in the south is between WA7 (via Spanaway) and 161 (Puyallup). Both have twisty sections in the south, and suburban business in the north before hitting the freeways. The other choice is between I5 and I405, about the same.

If I tell it to avoid freeways, and drag the route to Snoqualmie, it adds 10-15 miles, and a hour to the route.

I like the drive through the Snoqualmie valley. I was just out there checking out a 30 mile bike trail. But if my goal was to get from one end to the other, as opposed to sightseeing and poking around, I'm not sure that avoiding the freeways is worth it.

With the mountains to the east, and Sound to the west, there aren't any fast outer beltways around the metro area.

North of King Co, WA9 is the main alternative to I5. But that doesn't get into country until north of Arlington. And after that there are windy sections. Often I leave the freeway at Arlington, and head east to Darrington and then north to WA20, bypassing the town driving at the west end of 20.

If I change the destinations to Packwood and Winthrop, it takes me east to US97 and north, adding 100 miles, and estimated time of 5 hr. I like that drive, but that's basically a full day's travel.

* This post was edited 05/14/19 09:36am by paulj *

profdant139

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Posted: 05/14/19 09:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

paul, do you remember how time consuming it used to be to do that "what if" mapping and planning? Those calculations -- "what if I go via this route instead of that one" -- were very tedious. And even then, we could get mileages but did not really know how long each of the alternate routes would take.

There are a lot of things about the 21st century I don't like. But Google Maps ain't one of them. [emoticon]

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