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Old 10-14-2012, 09:12 PM   #15
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There is no direct route from Astoria to I-5 without swinging south east to Portland and adding a lot of miles. We went north east to Aberdeen then east on 12 to Tacoma. However you are then dealing with traffic through Seattle. Try to time it for mid day or evening, rush hour in that zoo is no fun.
You can get to I-5 at Longview, WA; saving probably close to 100 miles by not going through Portland. Take US-30 to Rainier, OR and take the Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Columbia River. The route to I-5 is well marked through Longview.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:38 AM   #16
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Unfortunately, there's no "easy" way. Your choices are all winding two-lane roads for some of the distance. We recently did a round trip from Anacortes via the NW Meet & Greet near Castle Rock, then to Astoria, Tillamook, Portland and home on I-5. We took Oregon 30 west from Longview to Astoria OR-30 is a winding two-lane and it took 3:30 driving time. The following morning we took 101 to Tillamook (to see the Air Museum). From an overnight in Tillamook, we took OR highway 6 to the western fringe of Portland and then the 405 western ring road onto I-5.
I'd like to correct some misinformation embedded in this post. US-30 (not OR-30) from Longview to Astoria is a well graded US Highway that is quite straight for the entire distance with many passing lanes along the route. Driving time from Longview to Astoria is approximately 1 hour. You can check it on many of the mapping tools on the internet. I used Microsoft's 'Streets and Trips' mapping tool and it says it is 50.9 miles and 59 minutes travel time between the two points. There are some hills along the route but the only curves on the route are about the last five miles as you come into Astoria.

I would highly recommend routing your trip on US-30 from Astoria to Longview then I-5 north to your turnoff to Mount Vernon. US-101 north from Astoria is a very slow route. In Washington you don't even get the benefit of 101 hugging the coastline as you do in Oregon, so you don't enjoy the ocean views you get in Oregon.

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:29 AM   #17
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I looked again at Google Maps and now I see thar route 30 doesn't cross over at I5. Looks like you have to travel south to Portland. Not good. They need a bridge there.
Oops, missed that Lewis & Clark bridge to Longview WA. I think this route is for me I just heard on the RVNet forum that the bridge at Astoria is closed. Don't know if it would have affected me next week though.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:05 AM   #18
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Acutally, 30 crosses the river in Longview, fairly close to I-5, but is a slow winding road, and quite narrow in many places. From Castle Rock, through Longview and out to Astoria on OR-30 took us close to 4 hours.

It connects to I-5 and MP 40 or thereabouts, which means 190 miles to Mount Vernon.

Any of the alternatives will probably need an overnight stop, unless you're OK driving for 7 or 8 hours. It mainly depends on whether you prefer freeway driving and don't mind the extra driving miles on the south-eastward trek along the Columbia.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:40 PM   #19
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Acutally, 30 crosses the river in Longview, fairly close to I-5, but is a slow winding road, and quite narrow in many places. From Castle Rock, through Longview and out to Astoria on OR-30 took us close to 4 hours.

It connects to I-5 and MP 40 or thereabouts, which means 190 miles to Mount Vernon.

Any of the alternatives will probably need an overnight stop, unless you're OK driving for 7 or 8 hours. It mainly depends on whether you prefer freeway driving and don't mind the extra driving miles on the south-eastward trek along the Columbia.
Frank, don't mean to question you but from Astoria to Longview is only 50 miles or so and the road looks good on Google. Why would it take 4 hours? Something I'm not seeing?
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #20
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I'd like to correct some misinformation embedded in this post. US-30 (not OR-30) from Longview to Astoria is a well graded US Highway that is quite straight for the entire distance with many passing lanes along the route. Driving time from Longview to Astoria is approximately 1 hour. You can check it on many of the mapping tools on the internet. I used Microsoft's 'Streets and Trips' mapping tool and it says it is 50.9 miles and 59 minutes travel time between the two points. There are some hills along the route but the only curves on the route are about the last five miles as you come into Astoria.

I would highly recommend routing your trip on US-30 from Astoria to Longview then I-5 north to your turnoff to Mount Vernon. US-101 north from Astoria is a very slow route. In Washington you don't even get the benefit of 101 hugging the coastline as you do in Oregon, so you don't enjoy the ocean views you get in Oregon.

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Frank, don't mean to question you but from Astoria to Longview is only 50 miles or so and the road looks good on Google. Why would it take 4 hours? Something I'm not seeing?
Thanks
DaveAK x2.

We live in Olympia and have traveled a number of years each summer between Olympia and the Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach area. US30 from Astoria to the Lewis and Clark Bridge at Longview over the Columbia River is our preferred route. It is a major two lane highway with added slow lanes on the hills for slower traffic. As DaveAK stated the first five miles or so leaving Astoria east bound is the area that has the most curves. There are a number of 30 mph curves, but after that it is a relatively easy drive with a lot of straight stretches with a few curves and hills thrown in. It is the quickest way between Astoria and any point that puts you on I-5 north. If you choose this route from the Lewis and Clark Bridge take a right turn at the north end of the bridge to Industrial Way, (SR432 truck route) and follow this to the freeway spur, Tennant Way (also continuing SR432) to the I-5 interchange for NB I-5 at MP36.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:38 PM   #21
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Heading out after next week on a 2-3 week adventure from hometown of Pioneer Ca to Mt Vernon to Idaho and back. Have most of the first leg planned out(thanks to fellow members suggestions) but undecided when we get to Astoria about where to stay and see from there to Mt Vernon. Looking for a mid-way stop over point. Any suggestions? While I'm at it, need some suggestions for the route from Mt Vernon to Couer d lane ID ( never could spell that right,sorry) Thanks in advance
Jack
I grew up in My. Vernon. :-) part of my reason for going fulltime is cuz I want to move back. You'll want to take I-5 south to Everette, the take I-405 south to Bellevue. There you connect with I-90 east. Just beware that the traffic through there is hellacious. Morning rush backs up southbound from Everett to Bellevue. Then again before you get to Snoqualmie pass. Roads should be clear for the next few Weeks on the pass.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #22
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Consider US 2

If you want some scenery and stopping points, take US 2 from Everett through Monroe, Leavenworth, Wenatchee etc all the way to Spokane. Much more interesting than I 90 and less hectic. Interesting drive, with a few sharp curves and a couple of steep hills, but it is my preferred route to Spokane from my home in Monroe.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:52 PM   #23
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Jack:

See my PM, sent earlier today. Having driven 30 westbound just three weeks ago, I don't understand the "straight and easy" comments. We left Castle Rock about 09:30, turned off I-5 at Longview, over the Lewis and Clark Bridge and along 30. We didn't stop anyplace until we got to Astoria, and I'm not a particularly slow driver It was close to 13:00 when we reached Astoria.

I was surprised at the distance differences shown by Google Maps. My pre-conceived ideas were blown clear out of the water! I apologise if I steered you wrong.

IMO, I-5 is boring as hell, and can be very messy between the south side of Seattle and Marysville if you hit it at the wrong time. If you're at the Tacoma Dome by 13:00, you'll get through the Seattle mess before it gets too bad. Going 405 through Bellevue doesn't help a whole lot, it can be just as bad between Kirkland and Alderwood as I-5, and it doesn't have express lanes.

BTW, I agree with Monreosilk about Highway 2 being more scenic and there are many more campgrounds. My only caution is that, for several miles approaching Leavenworth, the eastbound lanes are on a ledge overlooking the river. If your right front seat occupant is in any way nervous, looking straight down at a 50' drop into turbulent rapids can be a problem. We travel US2 westbound but eastbound is not acceptable to my front seater! She's a lot happier on either SR20 or I-90.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:24 AM   #24
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Jack:

..

.BTW, I agree with Monreosilk about Highway 2 being more scenic and there are many more campgrounds. My only caution is that, for several miles approaching Leavenworth, the eastbound lanes are on a ledge overlooking the river. If your right front seat occupant is in any way nervous, looking straight down at a 50' drop into turbulent rapids can be a problem. We travel US2 westbound but eastbound is not acceptable to my front seater! She's a lot happier on either SR20 or I-90.
My only caution about Highway 2 is the time of year that you are talking about. Snoqualmie Pass (I-90) is 3000', Stevens Pass (Highway 2) is 4000'. Once the snow starts, that makes all the difference in the world.

The snow can start anywhere from late October to early January, depending on the year.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:01 AM   #25
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We'll be monitoring the weather very closely. I won't commit on a route until day of departure. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I remember when we were flying from CDA to Arlington a few years back, we basically followed Rt 2 and remarked then what a beautiful drive that might be.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:10 AM   #26
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You should certainly consider a trip over Highway 20 through the North Cascades National Park. It goes due east from I-5 just 5 miles north of Mt.Vernon. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the country. It has a lot of turns and a pretty steady climb but well worth it in my book.

I try to go over it at least once a year. Always a great time. But I am usually on a motorcycle. The town of Winthrop on the east side is a good place to have lunch. Enjoy, Joe
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:43 AM   #27
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You should certainly consider a trip over Highway 20 through the North Cascades National Park. It goes due east from I-5 just 5 miles north of Mt.Vernon. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the country. It has a lot of turns and a pretty steady climb but well worth it in my book.

I try to go over it at least once a year. Always a great time. But I am usually on a motorcycle. The town of Winthrop on the east side is a good place to have lunch. Enjoy, Joe
I love Highway 20, but sometime during November or December it will be closed for the winter. Some years it reopens in April, some May, some years it is not until Labor Day.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:13 AM   #28
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IMO, 20 is an easier drive than US2, but it closes relatively early in the winter because of snow. WSDOT usually plows regularly until early November.

The current storm series coming across Washington has a lot of moisture and overnight snow levels down to about 3,000 feet. Even US 2 will get some, as it's over 4,000'. SR20's Washington Pass is at 5200' or so.
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