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  1. #1

    Default northwest roadtrip

    April holiday in the USA - 2 adults (49 & 50). We've undertaken 2 previous USA road trips, though this time we are without our 3 boys!!!

    Basically have our itinerary in place, though it isn't set in stone as will be dependent on weather conditions, impacting on road and accessibility.
    We are going to hire a car, utilising hotels along the way. There is national parks and cities in our itinerary. We are fully aware the time of year to access the national parks is limited and we need to keep updated by looking at their website prior to making the drive. I'd like our itinerary looked at as my main concern is if any of the roads chosen will have any chance of being snowed in and what is the best sites to visit to determine what roads are open, ie Department of Transport within each state. I know you have had a very cold winter and this will likely impact in to April.

    March 30 - Arrive Los Angeles midday. Pick up hire car and hope to reach Coalinga, avoiding Los Angeles traffic congestion (Hwy 5)
    March 31 - Coalinga to Crater Lake (Hwy 5, 97, 62). Weather conditions will determine if we stay at Fort Klamath or Klamath Falls
    April 1 - Crater Lake
    April 2 - Crater Lake to Hood River (97, 197, 30)
    April 3 - Hood River to Portland (30, 84)
    April 4 - Portland
    April 5 - Portland to Seattle, via Mt Rainier (5, 12, 7, 706 then on to Seattle 706, 7, 5)
    April 6 - Seattle
    April 7 - Seattle
    April 8 - Seattle to Vancouver (5)
    April 9 - Vancouver
    April 10 - Vancouver
    April 11 - Vancouver to Couer d'Alene (5, 405, 90)
    April 12 - Couer d'Alene
    April 13 - Couer d'Alene to ?? (suggestion please) (Hwy 90)
    April 14 - ?? to Jackson (90, 15, 26, 26/89)
    April 15 - Jackson (Grand Tetons) - unfortunately Yellowstone is a no go.
    April 16 - Jackson to Salt Lake (don't need to stay in Salt Lake as only a stop-over heading to Las Vegas) (26/89, 26, 15)
    April 17 - Salt Lake (or alternative stop-over) to Las Vegas (15)
    April 18 - Las Vegas (20 year wedding anniversary)
    April 19 - Las Vegas
    April 20 - Las Vegas to Los Angeles
    April 21 - Los Angeles
    April 22 - Los Angeles (50th birthday)
    April 23 - fly home

    Some distances we know are long and, having road trip experience we'll know at the time if it is doable or time to stop, and it is interspersed with some short distances.
    Any advice or forums I can read for further information would be appreciated (I've already read a few).

    Thanking you in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    The only thing that will be open at Crater Lake is the road from OR-62 to the Rim Village. Both the west and east rim roads and the north entrance will still be closed for the winter.

    The best way from CdA to Jackson is I-90 to I-15 to ID-33, use the US-20 bypass around Rexburg back to ID-33 to WY-22. Depending on how far you want to drive the first day, you can spend the night in Dillon or Rexburg. On your way through Driggs, stop and check out the Spud Drive-In.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Starting out differently.

    I think you need to alter the start so you don't end up fatigued half way through your trip. After your long haul flight touches the runway it's going to be at least another 5-6 hours before you reach Coalinga by the time you have cleared customs, collected your car and so on. Then the next day you have a 500 mile drive while your body clocks are still trying to adjust to the time change. I would drop a day from one of the City's (or use one of your LA days planned for the end of the trip) and chill out in an airport hotel or around Venice beach when you arrive. On day 2 you would have time to take it easy to start and still make it as far as Sacramento which (in my opinion) would set you up nicely for the rest of the trip. Another option I would look at, that would need a little more time freed up, is to visit Zion NP between Jackson and Vegas to balance the City v nature aspect a little.

  4. #4


    Thank you Dave and glc. Have been debating staying in LA the night or driving out to avoid traffic as already experienced the congestion. May just even get out of LA itself and then stop, relax for the night without over doing it. Have already been to the beautiful Zion NP and seeing it again would be a bonus if time permits.
    From Vancouver, can anyone advise the suitability of highway 2 to Spokane. As it is April and it is thru mountain ranges I'm thinking it wouldn't be ideal as there could be snow/ice on the road. Thanks again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I wouldn't see a problem with at least getting out around Six Flags (Santa Clarita) for the night. This would put most of the LA traffic behind you.

    I don't think you would have a problem with US-2 in April, but it won't save you any time over taking I-90 unless you hit Seattle at rush hour. Reserve your decision till you get actual road and weather reports. If the weather is good and you get near the Everett area, if the traffic is bad go ahead and take US-2. It's a very scenic drive but it's definitely not Interstate quality. Stevens Pass would be the only questionable section.

    From Wenatchee, you can take WA-28 and WA-281 to I-90 or stay on US-2.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by angaard View Post
    From Vancouver, can anyone advise the suitability of highway 2 to Spokane. As it is April and it is thru mountain ranges I'm thinking it wouldn't be ideal as there could be snow/ice on the road. Thanks again
    I done trip in the month of May couple times. For April time-frame can have spotty snow at high altitude depending on a weather at the time. The good thing about it in Washington state is snow can cleared more frequently due to continuous weather pattern changes. I would also recommend US20/US395 near Mt. Vernon to Spokane WA however similar situation with snow may impact the road conditions. Either-way it's well worth the drive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    US-20? You mean WA-20? It closes for the winter and probably won't be open yet in early April. Historical opening dates:

  8. #8


    You are correct. Typo on my size it's Wash 20. Also, it may be closed in April like you indicated but it's an option in case there is a warmer weather in April 2018.

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