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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    15

    Default 5 day road trip beginning and ending in Seattle in June

    Hi all,

    I need some advice on a road trip I want to take in June in Washington state. I'll have 5 days in which I'll have a rental car and I can't seem to decide on the route I want to take. I'll be leaving on Thursday, June 16th early in the morning from downtown Seattle. I have to be at my SeaTac hotel late at night on Monday the 21st (flying to LAX the next morning). I'll be travelling alone and right now I'm veering towards camping. I already have all the camping equipment, but I might stay at a nice local inn if available.

    My problem is that I can't decide on which area to go. I like to hike and I like to go to secluded places, trying to avoid the crowds. I've been to Washington state three times previous and I've seen Olympic National Park twice (did the Hoh and Quinault rainforests, went to Hurricane Ridge, camped on the beach on the western coast at Chilean memorial, and visited a number of beaches like Ruby beach) and I've also been to Mt. St. Helens twice, once at the visitor center and once to hike up to the crater rim from the south. Besides that I haven't seen much from the state, except the Snoqualmie Falls area and the I-5 from Seattle to Portland.

    I'm split between the North Cascades NP, Mount Rainier NP and going back to Olympic NP (especially the beachcamping). But I'm afraid that both the North Cascades and Rainier areas will still have a lot of snow, thereby limiting the hiking options significantly. Am I correct in assuming that?

    Which areas/route would you recommend that would fit in 5 days? Am I missing other beautiful places that would make a great road trip?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Think Farther Afield

    All the areas and places you've listed are actually within just a few hours of Seattle. With five days at your disposal you can get considerably farther away than just the Coast and Cascades. Just a few of the venues within an easy day's drive (or so) that are worth exploring include the Columbia River Gorge, the Palouse, the Channeled Scablands, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Glacier National Park - even Yellowstone with a little effort.

    Go for it.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    15

    Default Thanks for the advice

    Thanks for the reply Buck.

    I think I'm gonna follow your advice and just go a little farther away. Reading some other threads on this forum reminded just how much I love driving in the US, so I might as well use the time I have.

    The Palouse looks beautiful, I've never even heard of the area, but that definitely looks like an area I'd like to explore. Same with the Channeled Scablands, it looks amazing. I've already been to both Yellowstone and the Columbia River Gorge, but I've always wanted to go to Glacier National Park. The only potential problem I see is that when I'm there the Going to the Sun road might not be fully accessible yet due to snow.

    So right now I'm thinking about going to Glacier NP and checking out the Scablands on the way down there and maybe going through the Palouse on the way back. Would something like the following itinerary make sense?

    Thurs: Seattle - Channeled Scablands - Coeur d'Alene, ID
    Fri: Coeur d'Alene, ID - Glacier NP (part of Going to the Sun road) - Missoula, MT
    Sat: Missoula, MT - Lewiston, ID (close to the Palouse)
    Sun: Lewiston, ID - Portland, OR (along the Gorge)
    Mon: Portland, OR - Seattle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,272

    Default

    Friday looks like it may be just a bit rushed - you could spend the night in the Kalispell/Columbia Falls/Whitefish area instead of trying to make it to Missoula. There's plenty of lodging in the area.

    Tip: Fastest way to Glacier from Coeur D'Alene is I-90 to Exit 33, 135 to 200, turn right (east), turn left (north) on 382, turn right on 28, then left on US-93 to Kalispell, then US-2 to the park. This will take you 5 hours, so if you want to spend any kind of time in the park, get a very early start.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    The Hague, The Netherlands
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Thanks glc, spending the night in the Kalispell area makes more sense I guess. And thanks also for the tip about the fastest way to Glacier. I'm sure I'll have a very early start, I always wake really, really early due to jetlag the first week I'm in the US.

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