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Old 02-19-2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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More Washington/Oregon Questions

The temps are below 0 & there is about 8" of snow on the ground and I'm escaping by planning our trip. I got great advice about Hwy 101 in Oregon resulting in a new drive plan but would like to ask a few more questions about places to see and routes to get there. We will be traveling with our two boxers which will limit what we can do and how long we can be gone from the rig.

1. I had originally thought we'd go to Kalaloch Beach CG which is a part of Olympic NP but wonder if it's worth the extra drive and time. It's somewhat isolated from the rest of Olympic and it's a pretty good drive to get to the main part of the park. Does anyone have opinions about it?

2. We'd like to stay near Mount Rainier & Mount Saint Helens and are looking at Iron Creek CG. It is off of US 12 which runs from Yakima, WA to I-5. Is US 12 (East to West) friendly to big rigs?

3. How is US 30 from I-5 to US 101 for motorhomes?

4. How to get back to I-5 from 101? Looks like there are a couple of choices Hwy 38 from Reedsport or Hwy 20 from Newport. Is one preferable over another or should we avoid both? If avoiding is advised, what's the best way to get to I-5? We'd like to take Hwy 58 from I-5 to US 97.

Some of our stops are to allow for fly fishing. We prefer state parks, NPs or Forestry campgrounds over private CGs.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:49 PM   #2
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1. We have not stopped there but have heard it is nice from friends that have. Another option is Salt Creek County campground. It is a bit further north, a few miles west of Port Angeles. Located right on the Straifht of San de Fuca, it offers great veiws of Canada and shipping traffic as well as pretty good access to parts of the park such as Hurricane Ridge. It is also an easy drive out to Neah Bay, assuming you have a toad. Your MH would make it but the toad wold be preferred.

Salt Creek sis not have online reservations when we were there but they do take reservations by mail up to 2 weeks before arrival. They do have a few pull through spots and easy back ins, all with a view of the water.

2. I do not know about Iron Creek. We have stayed at Taidnapam County park, not far from there. The new section accommodates larger rigs. It is in the same area and is on a lake that has fishing, at least part of the year. One if my friends fishes up there a lot since he live in the area.

This park does have online reservations.

3. I think you are fine on 30. You might consider crossing crossing the river at Longview to avoid the Portland industrial area.

4. 20 or 22 are good options. I do not recall taking 58, so I can't comment. You could take either of these to meet 97 at Bend unless there are some fishing spots on 58 that you don't want to miss. I have been from Lincoln City to Bend via 22 through Salem numerous times, although not with the motor home.

HAve fun and drive safely.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info! I'll check out Taidnapam County park & Salt Creek. I'm leaning toward not going to Olympic though. It's so hard to pick and choose.
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:25 AM   #4
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Have you tried looking at www.rvparkreviews.com ?
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:59 AM   #5
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Kalaloch is a great camp ground right on the ocean. When it's nice weather, wow, really really beautiful beaches, lagoon and peaceful.
Not many like it, camped in the woods, on the ocean.

Some big rig sites, some sites right over the ocean and restaurant and store within walking distance.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:04 AM   #6
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Oh...brother. You guys are making this really difficult! I'm now considering BOTH Salt Creek and Kalaloch. And I keep adding days to the trip AND a ferry trip on the Edmunds-Kingston ferry.

Ramets, use rvparkreviews all of the time! It's a great resource.

I keep adding more questions, too. The ferry trip looks like a great alternative to driving. Is there anything we need to know about taking our motorhome & toad on it?

Also, I find fantastic reviews about Iron Creek CG but cannot find anything about generator usage. I know most primitive campgrounds have hours for generator usage and/or specific area that are generator free. We'd need to crank the gen up for a couple of hours/day for the fridge batts. Does anyone know if gen usage is allowed?

No doubt more questions later....
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:27 AM   #7
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Reference the ferry. Nothing special to know but bring a wheel barrow full of $$
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:36 AM   #8
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Reference the ferry. Nothing special to know but bring a wheel barrow full of $$
I checked the fares and it didn't seem too bad if I figured right. I think it should be around $100 which, IMO, would be worth it to avoid the 100+ mile drive around. If it's much over my calculations, then we may add 100+ miles to our trip but then there's the experience of crossing on a ferry. Maybe not quite priceless but something we've never done and may not ever do again.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:53 AM   #9
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We live just off the highway 20 spur in Anacortes and have done the Olympic Peninsula/Oregon Coast in a single trip a couple of times. If you have the time, I'd suggest the following:

Cross the Cascades west-bound on highway 20 - it's a better road than US2 - most of it is wider, less twisty. It does climb higher - Washington Pass is 5300' compared to Stevens at 4200. You can stay on 20 all the way to the ferry that goes from Coupeville to Port Townsend, then head south on 20 out of Port Townsend and pick up 101 towards the Pacific Coast. It runs along the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and gets to the Pacific coast at Forks. 101 goes all the way down the coast into California, crossing the Columbia at Astoria.

If you have to head back to I-5 early on, Highway 6 from Tillamook to Portland is a good road. Highway 18 from Lincoln City is pretty good, but I'd go towards Portland from McMinnville on highway 99 rather than taking 18 all the way to I-5. We've also done Crescent City to Grant's Pass, which is fine.

We haven't been over US-12 for many years, so I won't make any comment. Interstate 80 from Portland along the Columbia Gorge is very scenic for an Interstate highway. You can cut off north to visit Mt. Rainier and St. Helens.

Sorry to throw more options into your deliberations, but there's so much to see around here, it would be a shame to miss any of it! Of course, doing the above would not get you into Seattle at all!
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdamp View Post
We live just off the highway 20 spur in Anacortes and have done the Olympic Peninsula/Oregon Coast in a single trip a couple of times. If you have the time, I'd suggest the following:

Cross the Cascades west-bound on highway 20 - it's a better road than US2 - most of it is wider, less twisty. It does climb higher - Washington Pass is 5300' compared to Stevens at 4200. You can stay on 20 all the way to the ferry that goes from Coupeville to Port Townsend, then head south on 20 out of Port Townsend and pick up 101 towards the Pacific Coast. It runs along the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and gets to the Pacific coast at Forks. 101 goes all the way down the coast into California, crossing the Columbia at Astoria.

If you have to head back to I-5 early on, Highway 6 from Tillamook to Portland is a good road. Highway 18 from Lincoln City is pretty good, but I'd go towards Portland from McMinnville on highway 99 rather than taking 18 all the way to I-5. We've also done Crescent City to Grant's Pass, which is fine.

We haven't been over US-12 for many years, so I won't make any comment. Interstate 80 from Portland along the Columbia Gorge is very scenic for an Interstate highway. You can cut off north to visit Mt. Rainier and St. Helens.

Sorry to throw more options into your deliberations, but there's so much to see around here, it would be a shame to miss any of it! Of course, doing the above would not get you into Seattle at all!
Very good choice. Driven it. Beautiful scenery.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:01 PM   #11
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Yes, $100 could save a lot of driving and it is a good experience. We took the Alaska Ferry from Whittier to Valdez which saved hundreds of miles and it was a beautiful trip but I think it was about $750. The Washington State Ferry's are not that long of a trip but still scenic. They do count the total length and if you are towing a car it can make a difference in total length to disconnect and fold the tow bar up.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:24 PM   #12
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We live just off the highway 20 spur in Anacortes and have done the Olympic Peninsula/Oregon Coast in a single trip a couple of times. If you have the time, I'd suggest the following:

Cross the Cascades west-bound on highway 20 - it's a better road than US2 - most of it is wider, less twisty. It does climb higher - Washington Pass is 5300' compared to Stevens at 4200. You can stay on 20 all the way to the ferry that goes from Coupeville to Port Townsend, then head south on 20 out of Port Townsend and pick up 101 towards the Pacific Coast. It runs along the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and gets to the Pacific coast at Forks. 101 goes all the way down the coast into California, crossing the Columbia at Astoria.
How do we get to 20 from Thompson Falls SP (western Montana)? North on 97 to Okanogan?

Or... this map? https://goo.gl/maps/6Xdrs

20 looks like a beautiful drive.
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:10 PM   #13
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Just continue up SR 200 to Sand Point, cross into Wa at Newport (on US 2), then head north to SR 20 instead of following 2 towards Spokane. If I remember correctly, the route is well marked but about 2 blocks inside the border you go straight instead turning left on US2.

As Frank said, the route is scenic. You go through several remote towns and there are several great fishing lakes along the route if the season is open when you come.

As you go come out of Coupeville, you will pass about 1 mile from our house. I think the Port Townsend ferry will cost less than Kingston. The last time we took it with our prior TT, it cost $54 for under 40'. The car should be around $15 if you disconecet. Prices change with the season.

Be sure to stay at least one night in our area to enjoy the crafts and the history, AND Toby's Tavern - great hamburgers and local mussels.
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:49 PM   #14
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We've stayed at Iron Creek national forest campground with our 40' motorhome. I don't recall what site we had. I don't recall ever staying in a national forest campground where generators were not allowed. The generator hours would probably be during the non-quiet hours and in the forests that's usually all day. We have solar but the campground is shaded so I don't recall if we had to supplement with our generator.

Here is a good site which shows each campground site. There aren't a lot of big rig sites so a reservation would be advisable.

Iron Creek Campground - Photos, Information, and Reviews

From the campground is a scenic paved road to view Mt. St. Helens area. However, if you can, I'd advise trying to tour the area from the west side, also. That's where the Visitor Center is. Have a good trip!
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