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Old 09-24-2016, 08:54 PM   #1
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US 2 north of Seattle...

Having arrived here in Bellingham, WA and seeing the traffic on I5 and I405 and I90 coming into Seattle, we decided that US#2 exit #194 off I5 and head east to by pass the mess south since we will be towing on the way back. Is Stevens any worse than Snoqualmie which was not an issue with the Ram.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:04 PM   #2
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Also, still have the Mall shooter on the loose up there in the area. Be alert and stay safe.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:30 PM   #3
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Having lived in Seattle for 38 years, and now in Wenatchee, I have traversed US2 many times, with and without our 19' Escape.

There is a LOT of construction going on on I90 over Snoqualmie Pass, and the people are always driving like hell. LOTS of trucks.

On the other hand, US2 over Stevens Pass is a cakewalk, especially during mid-week. True, it's a two-lane highway, a little twisty, but it's lightly traveled, and quite scenic. I'd choose US2 over I90 most any time. Keep in mind, I'm one who likes the journey as much as the destination.

For a REALLY stunningly scenic trip, try Highway SR20, north of US2. This time of year it's drop-dead gorgeous!

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Old 09-24-2016, 10:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by citabria90 View Post
Having lived in Seattle for 38 years, and now in Wenatchee, I have traversed US2 many times, with and without our 19' Escape.

There is a LOT of construction going on on I90 over Snoqualmie Pass, and the people are always driving like hell. LOTS of trucks.

On the other hand, US2 over Stevens Pass is a cakewalk, especially during mid-week. True, it's a two-lane highway, a little twisty, but it's lightly traveled, and quite scenic. I'd choose US2 over I90 most any time. Keep in mind, I'm one who likes the journey as much as the destination.

For a REALLY stunningly scenic trip, try Highway SR20, north of US2. This time of year it's drop-dead gorgeous!

Chuck
Unfortunately, we are going to Chilliwack the 1st or 2nd week of January, do we will have to stick to the west coast, including driving through Seattle up to Bellingham. Just want to fetch the new rig and hightail it to Southern California, where it is warm.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:33 PM   #5
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Anything you can do to miss Seattle I would say go for it. It took us 4 hours to get through there on a Friday afternoon with the new 21. If we would of had reservations where we planned to get, we wouldn't have made it. Loren
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:33 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, we are going to Chilliwack the 1st or 2nd week of January, do we will have to stick to the west coast, including driving through Seattle up to Bellingham. Just want to fetch the new rig and hightail it to Southern California, where it is warm.
If you're coming up I-5, I'd highly recommend taking the 405 while in the Seattle Metro area - and do so no earlier than 9:30 am on a weekday, or better yet, an early Sunday morning.
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Old 09-24-2016, 11:21 PM   #7
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If you're coming up I-5, I'd highly recommend taking the 405 while in the Seattle Metro area - and do so no earlier than 9:30 am on a weekday, or better yet, an early Sunday morning.

Unless you can use the I-5 express lanes that route you separately from the general traffic. We have had better success with those than the I-405 but it depends on the time of day.


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Old 09-24-2016, 11:36 PM   #8
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US 2 north of Seattle...

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Originally Posted by citabria90 View Post
For a REALLY stunningly scenic trip, try Highway SR20, north of US2. This time of year it's drop-dead gorgeous!

I love the North Cascades! We took US2 west from Spokane, through Coulee Dam, Methow, Winthrop and over Washington Pass on SR20 on our way home in early September. It was a great dam drive!

If you take US2 you will pass through Leavenworth which can be a good stop. I have heard good things about Icicle River RV Park though never stayed there. We have always camped at the National Forest sites up the Icicle River road. You can also enjoy the tail end of apple harvest in Wenatchee and Chelan.

US2 and SR20 form the south and north portions of the Cascade Loop. We have done the loop a few times and always enjoy it.

I have only driven I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass twice (both not towing) and it felt like a race track.




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Old 09-24-2016, 11:50 PM   #9
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Unfortunately, we are going to Chilliwack the 1st or 2nd week of January, do we will have to stick to the west coast, including driving through Seattle up to Bellingham. Just want to fetch the new rig and hightail it to Southern California, where it is warm.
I routinely bypass Olympia, Seattle, and Tacoma by detouring onto 101 towards Shelton and taking the Port Townsend Ferry to Whidbey. If you do this you can just continue E. on Highway 20 right to 5, coming in at the N. end of Burlington, and bypassing all the traffic mess of the aforementioned cities. Highly recommended in decent weather. Depends on you if it is raining heavily (though much of it is in the rain shadow) and I'd avoid 101 if snowy or icy (but that's not all that common). It's well worth the ferry fare (get a reservation) to skip the traffic.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:18 AM   #10
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Yeah, the traffic in the Seattle/Everett/Tacoma/Portland area can be quite the bitch to drive, even without a trailer. And it really won't matter what time of day/week you come through. There could be an accident that will booger everything up for miles and miles. Or there could be a sporting event or two or three. Or a protest over some-such that takes to the streets and/or freeway. Or construction. Or ____ (fill in the blank).

When driving through downtown Seattle and you're heading south on 5, don't get in your far right or even second to the right lanes. They merge off. Someone will eventually let you over if you get in the wrong lane. (Just don't say THE 5 - we'll know you're from CA if you say that. Nobody that's native or close to it says "the" in front of 5 up here. ) Don't get in that far right lane south of Tacoma near the military bases - that lane can come to a screeching halt on 5 due to so many getting off there. Dangerous!

Many times 405 isn't any better than 5. Although you could cross over on 90 and say you've driven on a floating concrete bridge.

If you have to go through these areas, I would just plan on it taking quite some time, be patient, have snackies with you, hit the rest stops before getting to these areas for pee breaks and try to admire whatever view you come across. See if you can check off more state license plates on your list. Oh, and have some good tunes on disc/whatever. Don't rely on the stupid radio stations around here.

Be flexible on time and maybe book a site after Seattle, but definitely before Portland. Just don't go to the KOA in Kent - close spots and usually pretty full. You are within walking distance of an Arby's roast beef fast food joint and you can admire the view of the new Amazon fullfillment center. Oh joy!

On this forum I've noticed that a lot of folks (and many not from this area) seem to complain about the traffic around here (Seattle). I know it's not the greatest all the time and it doesn't help in some areas they just can't expand to more lanes. But, I really wonder how we compare to other parts of the country in major metropolitan areas.

I've not driven in other areas for a long time, much less pulled a trailer. But I seem to recall the LA area is a real pain. I got completely messed up in the Dallas area one time. Huge amount of very slow traffic (ie: a parking lot) in the Mpls area once. Chicago. Yeah, I could go on.

Are all the comments mainly because so many do have to pass through here on the way to Chilliwack? Or is the traffic really so much more horrendous than other major cities? I don't believe Seattle is the worst in surveys/rankings, but it's in the Top Ten.

I guess I'm just used to it. I don't like it, of course, but I accept it and I'm prepared with water, snacks, a fairly empty bladder, tunes and lots of time. If traffic is good and I get to wherever early, I've got a good book with me to spend time with.

I would not head anywhere east of the Seattle area during the winter. Snoqualmie Pass/Ryegrass Pass/etc on 90 can be real stinkers, to put it mildly (Stevens Pass usually isn't any better). And yeah, people drive like complete idiots over Snoqualmie. They scare the willies out of me and I know what it's gonna be like. I usually stick in the slow lane when I'm heading west with my flashers on and I'm not even pulling a trailer. Loads of fun.

Oh, and for the Seattle area, listen to KIRO AM 1000 - they have a traffic report "every 10 minutes on the 4". Of course if you don't know the names of the areas, it really won't help you. But you can look 'em up while you're stopped in traffic and learn more of the geography around here.
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