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  1. Default Touring the NW national parks, Oregon, Washington and Montana

    My husband and I are planning to fly from Michigan to Spokane, Washington. From here we hope to go to Glacier National Park and stay there a few days. Then we will go back to Spokane to drop off a friend and then go on to Yellowstone National Park. After we have seen this, we are thinking of driving over to the Coast of Oregon and driving up the Coast to Seattle. Has anyone done this trip? What highways do you suggest and how long will this take us? We are thinking of taking two weeks. Then we will fly back to Michigan. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Accommodation a priority.

    Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    You do not say when this trip is taking place, but if it is this year, get onto the Yellowstone NP site and see if you can still book accommodation. If it is all booked out, you could check back frequently and see if you can pick up a cancellation. People's plans change and cancellations do from time to time come up.

    You may find the surrounding towns just as difficult to get accommodation, as the Yellowstone season is short and many come to visit. It can be a way to drive into and out of the park each day, which I have never found a burden, but apparently lots of people do. Allow multiple days for Yellowstone. It is a large park. With two weeks you might consider exiting Yellowstone via the Great Tetons, and check them out as well. Then cross to the coast from around Jackson. (But I will leave that up to others.)


  3. #3

    Default Lots of back and forth

    Just be aware of the great distances you're talking about in terms of Glacier-Spokane-Yellowstone and Yellowstone-Oregon coast-Spokane. Those of us from the East Coast and the Midwest often fail to realize how far it is to drive diagonally across most of Montana, for example. You can easily spend 2 days on the Glacier-Spokane-Yellowstone transit, another 2 days just reaching the Oregon coast from Yellowstone, and another day returning to Spokane from the Oregon coast. Add a flying travel day on each end of the two weeks and you've got 7 out of 14 days traveling. You may arrange for more time visiting National Parks by eliminating Yellowstone (save it for another trip dedicated to Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and nearby attractions) and replacing it with the Cascades, Crater Lake, or even Olympia NP.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    I agree with Foy in that it's a big area and if you are planning on spending "a few days" in Glacier with a friend before dropping them off back at Spokane and then going to Yellowstone, a big chunk of your time will be gone. Yellowstone and the Tetons really demand 3 to 4 days just to get around the main attractions, the park is huge and the going is slow, but boy what a place ! I would consider just going to Yellowstone, exit via the south to the Tetons and Mormon Row and then perhaps visit Craters of the Moon, Shoshone Falls and meander back to Spokane through McCall and Riggins.

  5. #5


    If possible, would you be able to fly out of Portland instead of Seattle?

    Spokane to Seattle to Mt Everest to Aberdeen to Hwy 101 (coast hwy) Long Beach to Astoria, OR continue down Hwy 101 to Florence to Hwy 126 to Eugene (OR down to Coos Bay to Hwy 42 to head over to Crater Lake) back up I-5 corridor.

    I am familiar with what to see in Oregon, if you give ideas of the type of attractions/activities that you like. The Oregon lighthouses are great. Just being on the coast and wave watching.

  6. Default

    Foy, thanks for the good advice. We are going to see someone at AAA this week, so our trip may be altered or extended, depending on what they tell us. As of right now, we have plans to fly into Spokane and pick up a friend. Drive up to Glacier and stay 3 nights, then go directly to Yellowstone for 3 nights. Then we will drop our friend off at Spokane. The next day we plan to to go Seattle, making a quick stop at Leavenworth on the way. We don't know how long we will stay in Seattle. Then we will take the coastal road down through Washington and Oregon and into California to see the Redwoods and fly home from here. We will not go back to Spokane. We love the ocean and will just enjoy the coastline and stop where we feel like it. It could take us 3 weeks. We are retired and have the time, and will probably never get back this way again. If there is anything along the coast that is a "must see", please let us know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Be aware, if you start your trip in Spokane, but fly home from somewhere else, you're likely looking at a very expensive one way drop fee. It will probably be even higher than normal because of the relatively small size of Spokane.

    You might want to look at doing a loop trip, which could start in Spokane, but might also be cheaper and easier to start from a more major city like Seattle or Portland.

  8. Default

    We have completed our plans. Thank you all for your help. We will be flying into Seattle and returning from Seattle, driving to Glacier, Yellowstone, down the Oregon/Washington coastline. 16 days should do it. AAA routed us, so we're good. Have a great summer everyone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Enjoy !

    Have a great time and p!ease drop by and share some of your experience's.


  10. Default

    Will do Southwest Dave. This has been fun.

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