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Old 06-19-2014, 08:55 PM   #1
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Routing from Cascades to Olympic NP in 40' MH

We are planning a trip west in August. I'm concerned about the route from the Cascades to Olympic National Park in a 40' motorhome with a toad. It looks like the best way is I-5 to 101. Is this doable in a big rig? I DO NOT want to be duct-taped to my seat by my DH for freaking out
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:41 PM   #2
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I'd suggest going up to Tacoma and taking Hwy 16 north. Cross the Hood Canal Bridge and pick up 101. Either route is "doable," Class 8 tractor trailer rigs handle it, your 40' rig should be no problem.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
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Absolutely. I can't think of any issues. Once you leave the freeways, the roads are mostly two lanes with wide shoulders. You can circle the peninsula either clockwise or counter clockwise.

I don't think the NP campgrounds will handle your rig but that is why you have the toad. There are lots of other options for camping.

BTW you save a lot of miles by taking tbe ferry but it is pricy for a rig your size.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:39 PM   #4
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I live on the OlyPen (Port Angeles) & recommend you take the US101 route up Hood's Canal, very scenic. Be sure & stop at Hamma Hamma seafood (about 1/1 way up) for FRESH dungeness crab & the maple syrup flavored smoked salmon!!!!

About 15 miles west of Port Angeles is a Clallam County Park, Salt Creek Recreation Area off of State Hwy 112. It sits right on the Strait of Juan DeFuca at the narrowest point between the US mainland & Vancouver Island. Knock out views of the Strait, ships, & sometimes US Nuclear Subs. The best part is, $20/night hookups.
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:00 PM   #5
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We live in Sequim and almost always leave and return via US101 along the west side of the Hood Canal. As already mentioned, it's gorgeous scenery and Hamma Hamma smoked oysters are good. Be careful of the bridges near Hamma Hamma. There are two that are very narrow. Peninsula RV here in Sequim has a thriving service replacing mirrors knocked off by one of those bridges. Otherwise the roads are smooth and clear with frequent turn-outs to let those in a hurry get by.

FWIW
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:26 AM   #6
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I'll concur with the above. You'll find no problems on any roads we've found on the peninsula. 101 along the west of Hood's Channel and again, 101 along the south side of Lake Crescent (west of Port Angeles) are both curvy sections that will make for a slower trip, but the views and the trip are well worth it.

There's a NPS campground called Kalaloch, on 101 about 35 miles south of Forks that has spectacular views. Sits on a high bluff directly on the Pacific. Problem is they only have about 4 spots that will accommodate a 40 ft coach (all the others are quite small), and the entire park is no res, FCFS. Its worth a look, just in case one is available.
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Old 06-21-2014, 08:43 AM   #7
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and....if you're a big Twilight fan, you can stop and get all the giant Edward or Jacob cardboard cutouts you want in Forks.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmassmann View Post
We are planning a trip west in August. I'm concerned about the route from the Cascades to Olympic National Park in a 40' motorhome with a toad. It looks like the best way is I-5 to 101. Is this doable in a big rig? I DO NOT want to be duct-taped to my seat by my DH for freaking out
You didn't say where in Cascades is your starting point. If you're on Rt 20 in the north side of the park, continue on Rt 20 to Anacortes then down Whidbey Island to the Coupeville ferry, crossing to Port Townsend, then get on 101. Make reservations online early for the ferry, and plan on arriving at the ferry 45 min early. North Cascades Nat'l Park campgrounds have very few RV sites that will accommodate 40' rigs, but there are a few specifically in Newhalem Creek Campground, Loop 'C', and these are reservable online. If interested PM me for specific sites. Our daughter works at the park, so while we were visiting her I did a drive-thru on Monday and scouted out specific sites to fit our 43'. Also good RV parks in Rockport and in Anacortes, and there's plenty to see and do in each area. We just did this route Monday, in a car, and I would not hesitate to take a 40' with toad onboard the Coupeville ferry. It's a smooth 35 min crossing. Of course it will cost you $200 or so. This route certainly beats driving the M/H thru downtown Seattle traffic(horrendous) on I-5. Have fun!!
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:50 PM   #9
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.......Anacortes then down Whidbey Island to the Coupeville ferry, crossing to Port Townsend, then get on 101.........I would not hesitate to take a 40' with toad onboard the Coupeville ferry. It's a smooth 35 min crossing. Of course it will cost you $200 or so. This route certainly beats driving the M/H thru downtown Seattle traffic(horrendous) on I-5. Have fun!!

Good advice! It would be about 100 miles from the Mt Vernon area just down to Tacoma. Far better to take the ferry. We took the Coupeville- PT ferry (MH & toad) a year or so ago and it was no problem. But lets be honest here-- the fare right now would be only about $85-$90, depending on your exact length with toad, nowhere near $200!!! Our experience was that they just sort of eyeballed it, but they may be a bit more careful now, due to budget considerations.

In any event, if you're starting from the north Cascades you're far better off on the ferry, both in money and time.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:51 PM   #10
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If you do decide to take tbe ferry, unhook the toad. It will save you money. The last time we went we had the PU and 17" trailer. Over height under 40' and the cost was $55, summer rates. That was 2 years ago so the rates will be a little higher.
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:15 AM   #11
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kmassmann, I decided to post my response to your PM, as it might be helpful to others.

North Cascades National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
WSDOT - Ferries
Howard Miller Steelhead Park

East of North Cascades National Park is Winthrop, a western-themed town. Spend at least a day there. Several campgrounds in that area. NCNP Newhalem Creek Campground 'C' loop is reservable online, 'A' and 'B' are not, drive-up only, some are long enough for our 43'. Sites 'C'#74,79,83,88,93,95,98 can fit our 43' plus toad parked sideways in front. Sites #75(or poss 77), 108, 116 are designated 'family', not sure what that means but they are double wide. Might mean for two RVs, paying double? All the others are single wide, enough space for slides out but probably not for awning. All are back-ins, the pull-thru sites are too tight for a large rig. Heavily forested, so no sat, no TV, or sewer hookup. One lane bridge with traffic light entering campground, doable in-out with big rig. I scouted the campground this week while visiting our daughter who works for NCNP. Good Verizon service. CG was mostly empty last Monday, but told was sold out for July 4 weekend. Other NCNP campgrounds cannot handle a 40' rig. Marblemount has 3 restaurants, Buffalro Run, Marblemount Diner(F, S & S only), and Mondo(new, never eaten there), a P.O., two gas stations with a C-store. Stay away from Marblemount campgrounds. 30 miles west to nearest decent grocery, Red Apple. Also about 30 miles west is Howard Miller county park campground, very nice, open air so good sat reception, no res, drive-up only. I prefer Howard Miller over Concrete KOA. Anacortes has a few nice campgrounds(Pioneer Trails), and you could spend a few days there. I would not take a M/H to San Juan Islands, but I would take a day trip with car via Anacortes ferry. Ferry reservations important, at least a day or two ahead, maybe much longer. Easy to drive big rig on-off ferry, and on the roads to-from. The ferries handle semis, RVs, cars, motorcycles, passengers. Unhook toad, it's cheaper. I would arrive 45-60 min ahead of sailing. Coupeville ferry takes 35 min, pets stay in vehicle. Anacortes ferry longer, check website for fares, times and cancelled sailings due to low tides. Port Townsend is a quaint town, you could spend a day there also. Plan on gorging on fresh berries that time of the summer!!
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:33 AM   #12
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olympic penninsula, etc

I just thought that I would throw in my 2 cents worth on this discussion - it may be too late for the original poster:

Kalaloch Campground does take reservations 6/18 thru 9/1/14.Kalalock is best for smaller rigs - they have another CG a few miles to the South It used to be called the Kalaloch overflow area but now it is South Beach - they reccomend smaller rigs but it seems to me that larger ones may fit. No water, power or sewer but the beach is right next to some of the sites.There are reservations available for coupeville - Pt Townsend ferry, anacortes -san juan islands ferry and perhaps anacortes-sydney vancouver island in the future (very soon?)Anacortes has several campgrounds available including the Cap Sante Marina which has about 16 no hookup sites that are right next to the marina. There is a sewage plant real close to the marina that has free RV Sewer dump available 9-5PM at east M-F and possibley sat & sun. I spoke with the marina manager recently and they have plans on the table to increase the number of sites and to add full hookups. It is right in town and walking distance to stores, movie theater and restaurants. It is about a quarter of a mile to Anthony's Homeport restaurant. Right now the marina RV park is a little on the rough side but it is worth trying. I think it is under $20. There is also a casino with RV park heading into town and the Fidalgo RV park (spendy) is close by.[LIST]

The ferry from Anacortes to Sydney 0n Vancouver island has special prices for RVs during the summer season. Be sure to check the WSF website for schedule and fare info.Fare from Coupville to Pt Townsend was $84.05 for under 60 ft combination with 1 Sr Passenger not the $200 someone else stated Unhitching the toad and driving both vehicles on separately would save us about $5.00 - not worth it for us as my wife would be terrified to drive on the ferry by herself and the logistics don't seem to be worth it. Of course it all depends on how your vehicles length fit into the fare schedule. A longer toad would put us in the next fare category. WSF is rather archaic as they go in 10 foot increments rather than by the foot.If you come over the North Cascades (awesome views) and you don't have to go to Everett, Seattle or Tacoma I would suggest the Coupeville - pt Townsend ferry to avoid a lot of traffic problems. If you do the numbers it is probably cost effective to take the ferry rather than driving to Olympia and back up 101 to Pt Townsend.If you take Coupeville - Pt Townsend Ferry be sure to get reservations - it may save you a long wait. We were concerned about getting there too early but if there happens to be space they will put you on an earlier ferry. Sitting at either terminal for an hour is much better than kthe traffic mess thru Everett, Seattle and Tacoma.
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