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Old 04-22-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
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Pacific NW travel route????

would like suggestions as to which route to take from Salem, Oregon to Vancouver, BC. would rather not take the direct route through Seattle. Have not been any other way 'till now. There will be 2 36' motorhomes and a 32' fifth wheel making this trip. Is there a more "scenic" route that is RV compatiable?
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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My suggestion would be to go west from Salem via Hwy 22 to HWY 101. Then proceed north on 101 to Astoria, OR. There are plenty of sights along the way and a lot of RV parks. From Astoria go across the bridge to Washington and resume on 101 North. Stay on 101 and it will take you around the Olympic Peninsula. Just South of Port Townsend area you can continue more or less Southeast to the Hood Canal Floating bridge and then on through Bremerton on Hwy 3 to Hwy 16. This will take you to Tacoma. At Tacoma you pretty well have to get on I-5 to continue North. I-5 will take you all the way to Vancouver B.C.

The other option is continue on Hwy 101 all the way along the Hood Canal to Olympia, and then catch I-5 North to Seattle and Vancouver.

Either way is a good trip. Be sure to take your time along the coast and enjoy the trip.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:21 PM   #3
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+1 on the 101 thru WA. However, that leaves you dead-ended up in the Olympic Peninsula and as Flossy sez, you'll have to backtrack down around to Tacoma and then up thru Seattle and that's not what you wanted.

If you like VERY expensive ferry rides, go ahead and do the 101 and catch the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria then across again to Vancouver. They'll rape your wallet pretty good with all those linear feet of RVs aboard.

Less scenic but will avoid Seattle and ferries, is to turn East when you hit the Columbia River then North thru Eastern WA and then West on Hwy.2, or better, further up on the spectacular North Cascades Hwy 20.

If you even want to avoid I-5, when you cross over the Cascade range back into Western WA, turn North on Hwy 9 and enter Canada at Sumas, then West to Vancouver.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:00 PM   #4
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+1 on the 101 thru WA. However, that leaves you dead-ended up in the Olympic Peninsula and as Flossy sez, you'll have to backtrack down around to Tacoma and then up thru Seattle and that's not what you wanted.
There is another option to get from the Olympic Peninsula back to the mainland. You can take the Ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island and then drive to Mount Vernon where you can pick up I-5 to go on into Vancouver. The cost for each rig will be about $36.00. It is a nice ride and a fun experience to drive the motor home onto a ferry. A group of us did just about the same drive last summer starting from Eureka CA all the way up 101 very scenic and an easy drive but mostly 2 lane roads.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:10 PM   #5
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Itdave, that's a great drive also. I forgot about that one. We used to live on the Olympic Peninsula south of Port Townsend and took the Whidbey ferry often. That also helps you avoid the vast majority of the Seattle traffic.

If you are going to do it you need to plan ahead. The ferries can get pretty crowded, especially on the weekends.

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Old 04-23-2010, 10:44 PM   #6
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There is another option to get from the Olympic Peninsula back to the mainland. You can take the Ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island and then drive to Mount Vernon where you can pick up I-5 to go on into Vancouver. The cost for each rig will be about $36.00. It is a nice ride and a fun experience to drive the motor home onto a ferry. A group of us did just about the same drive last summer starting from Eureka CA all the way up 101 very scenic and an easy drive but mostly 2 lane roads.
Beginning June1 the fare for under 40' will be about $46, Under 50' will be almost $60 and under 60' will be almost $70. The 5er may fall into the under 60'. The other thing that could delay things is sometime low tide will cancel or delay some runs. There's also the Kingston ferry. I personally will drive through Seattle before paying their rates and wait to get on the ferry. (and live 1 1/2mile from the ferry). On busy days the ferry trafic can be backed up 2 miles out of town. I can drive through Seattle in less time than that and cheaper. I just don't go during comute times.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:09 AM   #7
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Beginning June1 the fare for under 40' will be about $46, Under 50' will be almost $60 and under 60' will be almost $70. The 5er may fall into the under 60'. The other thing that could delay things is sometime low tide will cancel or delay some runs. There's also the Kingston ferry. I personally will drive through Seattle before paying their rates and wait to get on the ferry. (and live 1 1/2mile from the ferry). On busy days the ferry trafic can be backed up 2 miles out of town. I can drive through Seattle in less time than that and cheaper. I just don't go during comute times.
So the rates are going up and it might take 2 hours to make the trip, its still quicker and faster than driving. If you drive from Port Townsend to Mount Vernon it will take at least 3 hours. Traffic in Seattle could add a lot more time if theres a backup on I-5. The drive is 178 miles via Tacoma so diesel will cost about $90 for the trip.
That does not seem to make much sense. You can make advance reservations on the ferries for large rigs so no waiting to get on just arrive at the time they tell you when you make your reservations.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
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That does not seem to make much sense. You can make advance reservations on the ferries for large rigs so no waiting to get on just arrive at the time they tell you when you make your reservations.
I didn't make myself clear. I was talking about the Kingston ferry. It is about 100 miles around, I will use about $25/$30 diesel and when traffic is backed up 2 miles out of town ot takes a least 2 hrs. to get to the ferry (and how much diesel will you use while you inch along for 2 hrs). I can be past Edmonds by then. There are no reservations for the Kingston ferry that I know of and according to the ferry website the reservation for the Keystone ferry are only for cars/pu/suvs and motorclycles.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #9
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Wink

We go around the 'loop' quite often, there are some stops along the way that should be considered.
If you plan on going up the coast thru Forks, Wa. consider some time camping near Lake Crescent. Hurricane Ridge just south of Port Angeles (about 20 miles away) is a really neat day trip with a car. Victoria BC for the day (walk on ferry ride) out of Port Angeles is a must do.
As far as the Port Townsend ferry to Whidbey Island, call DOT ferry system to get their advice on which ferry and best tides to load. Loading on a ferry is easy, just let deck loading team direct you.
State campground near Deception Pass is also nice.
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