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  1. #1
    KingDavid1145 Guest

    Default Boulder, CO to Vancouver

    I am looking for any advise for a road trip from Boulder, CO to Vancover. Anything including routes, places to stay, things to do, etc. will help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Are you making a quick blitz drive to Vancouver and back, or are you going to be having time to make stops along the way? Some more info on your timeframe, interests, etc. would be helpful. Are you seeking outdoor activities, or cultural, or historic, or the party scene or what?

    I would definitely not do the same route there and back. It's hard to give you ideas for the route without knowing your timeframe. I would drive real different if I was doing a 2 day blitz vs. having 1 week to get there.

    Once in Vancouver, check out:
    Stanley Park
    Capilano Suspension Bridge
    Fort Langley
    White Rock area
    take the ferry to Vancouver Island if you have time to explore Victoria and Burtchart Gardens

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KingDavid1145
    I am looking for any advise for a road trip from Boulder, CO to Vancover. Anything including routes, places to stay, things to do, etc. will help.
    If you have never been to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons, I would highly recommend spending some time at both of those parks. Depending on the amount of time, you might also drive up to Glacier National Park.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    I hope King David doesn't mind...but he sent me a PM about his trip parameters. Since I'd rather answer publicly so anyone can benefit from his questions and the answers he gets, I'm reposting it here:

    Well we want to make it to Seattle, WA in two days, so it will be a pretty quick drive through. We are interested in outdoor activities, cultural places, historic places, and party scene. However driving through so quickly probably won't give us much time to enjoy those things on the way there. Anyways, hopefully this information can help you help us plan a good route to travel.
    I can definitely say that if you only have 2 days for this trip, that you're NOT going to have time for anything but driving. The fastest route that I know of is:
    * North on I-25 to Cheyenne
    * West on I-80 until it merges with I-84 just SE of Ogden, UT
    * North on I-84 through Salt Lake City, Boise, Pendleton until it merges with I-82 just prior to reaching the Columbia River.
    * North on I-82 through Yakima until it merges with I-90 at Ellensburg, WA
    * West on I-90 to Bellevue, WA (just east of Seattle)
    * North on I-405 until it merges with I-5 just north of Seattle
    * North on I-5 to the border with Canada
    * Once in Canada, north on 99 into Vancouver

    This is almost 1500 miles and will take you about 23 hours of driving. So this means you're averaging 12 hours/day driving over your 2 days. And this does not include stops for gas, stretching, eating, restrooms, etc. so you will be on the road for far longer than 12 hours/day. By the time you allow for stops and slow traffic in places, I can see you easily being on the road from about 6am-9pm both days.

    If you go this route, it looks like you might want to plan to stop for the night somewhere around Twin Falls, ID, at the soonest. Or you can press onto Boise. I would suggest, if you have the stamina for it, to press onto just on the west side of Boise. Boise rush-hour traffic can be a real bottleneck. You would be best to go through there at night and avoid getting stuck in it in the morning, imho.

    To get from Boulder to West Boise, if you allow for a 20 minute stop every 2 hours, you will be driving from roughly 6am-9pm. But at least that will make your second day a tad shorter. If you get up and get going at 6am, you could reach Vancouver by 5pm the next day. Then check into the motel and crash for the night so you have energy to enjoy your stay in that beautiful city. :-)

    I've done these kinds of blitz drives. Here's the way I would recommend doing a blitz drive. Adjust as needed to suit your preferences:

    * Get up and leave later than 6am, preferably a tad earlier. (Since I'm not a breakfast person, this works well for me because I'm never hungry until 9-10am). Time to leave may depend on how close you are to urban areas in order to miss the worst of their rush hour traffic.

    * Stop for a quick breakfast break. My breakfasts are usually something like fruit and granola bars when traveling so you can easily bring this in a cooler. Just stop for a nice cuppa joe at any of a million coffee huts and find a park, scenic viewpoint, anyplace with short trails to explore and stop and have a breakfast picnic. And then walk like heck! Get the blood-flowing. Try to focus your eyes on closer up sights to rest your eyes that have been focusing on the distance alll morning. Check out plants, flowers, read informational signs, whatever you can find so that you're resting the parts of your eyes that do the distance work for a bit. This doesn't have to be a long stop. Heck, you can even eat while taking a 15 minute walk to save time.

    * Start driving again and do the same type of thing when you're ready for your lunch and dinner breaks. I highly suggest you avoid sit-down restaurants. Not only because it takes a lot of time for service, and you need every minute on the road you can squeeze out on this type of trip, but you need to MOVE not sit. If you're eating out of a cooler, you can easily make a sandwich, have fruit/cheese/crackers, something simple like that and you're good to go. Or go through a drive-through and take it to a place with room to walk instead of sitting in the restaurant to eat. Walk and rest those eyes!

    * Lots of quick stops, with short walks, are better for you than driving for hours and then doing a longer stop. Experts say to stop at least every 2 hours. I probably do that without thinking about it because I'll see something interesting that I want a photo of so I'll stop, run out of my car to take a photo, maybe walk around for 3-10 minutes checking out different POVs for my photo, and then hop back in the car.

    * It is better to be on the road from 5am-9pm with lots of stops along the way than it is to drive straight without stopping, except for gas, and get to the hotel a bit sooner. Your back, legs, circulation, eyes and so on will definitely appreciate those rest breaks at the end of a long driving day. I rarely have any aches when I make those stops. I rarely have headaches from driving when I make sure to rest my eyes for short periods during the day. Of course, your body may be different?

  5. #5
    KingDavid1145 Guest


    Judy thanks for the great information, it will definately be helpful as we are road trip rookies. And it was not a problem posting on the public forum. Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula


    Glad to help. Post a trip report when you get back so we can share the fun!

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