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  1. Default Senior Road Trip-west

    Hi, I'm new to the boards , but have looking around for a little while. I'm about to graduate from high school and want to do a special trip before college. I've been saving up for months already to do a 4-5 week road trip around the west in this August and September. I'll be coming from colorado springs, colorado and probably stop near grand junction for a couple days, but the rest is open. I want to go west through utah and nevada (maybe stop in ely) and go into california and up the coast on the 101, maybe go out to the san juan islands or vancouver island, go through vancouver and banff, then south through bozeman, montana and yellowstone and tetons, probably then to cheyenne and I-25. I would appreciate any advice on special hidden things (away from the crowds) to see along the way, or sites to camp/backpack into. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default Congratulations on the upcoming graduation!

    And welcome to the Roadtrip America forum!

    This sounds like a great trip to celebrate such an important event. 4-5 weeks will give you time to explore all these places without feeling too rushed. I'll just say that you have many roadtripping years ahead so if you find yourself making slower progress than expected because you have lingered long in spots you've really enjoyed, so what! You don't have to see it all this trip. Allow yourself some "go with the flow" during this trip. Meander and explore. If I were you, I would explore the areas farthest away from where I'm going to be spending the next few years the most. Closer places are easier to get to with just a week or two of vacation.

    This post takes you to a post I wrote about hiking in "my backyard"...the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. There's a link in that post to some good hikes up here. Most of my hiking has been in Washington. When I'm on a roadtrip I usually don't have time to do too much of that, unfortunately. I always want to pack too much into the limited time I have.

    You can't go wrong with hiking Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Baker areas either. And, of course, beach-hiking most anywhere along the coast is a real pleasure.

    The San Juan Islands are places where people go to do kayaking and other boating trips, like to see the Orcas. Biking is also big there, too. Especially on Orcas Island. But here's a link to some articles that might give you some ideas on hiking you can do there. (I haven't read them but I did a search for hiking there so, hopefully, it will help.)

    Hope this helps a bit. Do you need tips on routes or anything else? If we can help you further, let us know. And, hopefully, others will pop in here with hiking hints in areas they're familiar with.

  3. Default

    Thanks a bunch judy, locals always have much better info than simply looking at a map and a couple books. Route advice would be good too, maybe through washington and BC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default WA Road advice

    Well, there are many roads with great views and hikes near them. I guess it depends on where you decide to go.

    If it were me, I'd go up the Oregon Coast and continue the coast drive through Washington and up-and-around the Olympia Peninula....you will mainly be on 101.

    You might want to veer off 101 to visit the Long Beach Peninsula, then continue north to the Olympic Peninsula. Some of the stops I like the best, with hikes ranging from short to long, are: Lake Quinault, Kalaloch area, Ruby Beach, the Hoh with the Trail of Mosses, Lake Ozette, Makah Indian Reservation with hike out to Cape Flattery (farthest NW place in the US), Hurricane Ridge, Dungeness Spit.

    Take the Coho Ferry from Port Angeles, WA, to Vancouver Island. Enjoy exploring the island. And then take a ferry from Vancouver Island to mainland British Columbia. Then drive south to Bellingham, WA, where you can pick up the lovely Chuckanut Drive which will take you just north of Seattle.

    If you want to visit the San Juan Islands, you will need to leave Chuckanut Drive around Mt. Vernon, WA, and then go west on 20 to Anacrotes where you can take ferries into the San Juans. Or, as an alternative, you can take 20 West but veer south toward the lovely Deception Pass and take the bridge over to Whidbey Island.

    Once on Whidbey Island, you have three major choices: (1) you can drive to the southern part of Whidbey Island and take the ferry over to Everett, WA; or (2) take the ferry over to Port Townsend.

    This will lead you to 3 other choices: (1) go to Kingston, WA, and take the ferry across to Edmonds, WA; or (2) drive to Winslow, WA, and take the ferry to downtown Seattle; or (3) If you don't want to visit Seattle, or even drive through it, you might drive south on 101 to Olympia, WA.

    Yes, I know this might be confusing. Too many choices. But it's hard to give you advise on this because I really think all the choices are good choices. They all offer amazing scenery and some great choices.

    I would actually give you even more options like heading east at Mt. Vernon to cross the spectacular North Cascades Highway (Hwy 20).

    And, at some point in Washington state, I recommend that you make your way to Mt. St. Helens. Truly a magnificent place to visit.

    Have I just confused you more? If you let me know which of these options are most appealing to you, maybe I can help you narrow the choices down.

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