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Old 02-07-2015, 09:54 AM   #1
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Best Route: Bellinham to Osoyoos

For all of you who live in the area or have travelled these roads, is the best route to get to Osoyoos from Bellingham the one that goes through Sumas and Chilliwack, or Route 20 to Omak, WA, then north on 97 to Osoyoos. Having never been there I am clueless. But my preference would be to avoid multiple switchbacks and narrow winding roads. So, which is the better route and why?
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:03 AM   #2
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Cascades Highway (WA 20) is pretty spectacular, and only open in summer. It is also not a difficult drive. I would recommend you doing web search to see what's out there. Then when you get to 97 it is a straight shot up.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:10 AM   #3
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Crossing at Sumas then the TransCanada Highway to Hope, then the Crowsnest Highway to Osoyoos would probably be great. I drove the Crowsnest Highway once years ago and I recall there are some tricky parts, but nothing too bad for towing an RV.

The southern route says it's 246 miles, and the northern route says 229 miles, so distance is pretty much a wash. I like the scenery of the Canadian route better, but the Cascades are beautiful too.

Don't know if there's an advantage to the Sumas port of entry or Oroville, since I've only used Sumas.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:20 AM   #4
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I did the Trans-Canada highway last summer and it's a pretty drive. I don't recall anything on that stretch that would be iffy at all. It's really nice.
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #5
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I've driven both with a RV and personally would take Wa 20. Highway 3 (it's not the Trans Canada) from Hope to Osoyoos is open all winter with heavy trucks travelling it all year and it can be pretty rough in places in the early spring before the highway crews have had a chance to fill all the pot holes and winter breakup. Wa 20 is closed all winter so the road tends to be in better shape and is virtually void of truck traffic even in the spring and summer. If you are making it a multi day trip then Wa 20 has a lot more places to camp along the way whereas the northern route only really has Manning Park, which by the way is spectacular in it's own right. Lots of curves and hills on both routes but nothing to really worry about.

I've crossed the border at both places and one doesn't stand out from the other.

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Old 02-07-2015, 12:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
I would recommend you doing web search to see what's out there. .
Ditto, because they both start at the same elevation, go over a mountain range and end up at the same place. I think the Southern route climbs about a 1000' more but I could be wrong. They're both day drives and whichever way you go you'll find the scenery spectacular.

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Old 02-07-2015, 02:32 PM   #7
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Does anyone know the percentage grades on those routes? I like to know ahead of time since I engine brake a lot. I have noticed in the last couple of years in both California and Oregon there are more percentage grades signs on the major roads.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:35 PM   #8
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Which ever route you pick, check and make sure customs is open when you plan on crossing, some checkpoints are 24 hours, others are not.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:39 PM   #9
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From Bellingham, I vote for Highway 20 in WA State. We have traveled all of the passes across and 20 is amazing.
If you are coming from the south, take I-90 across to Blewett Pass and hook up with 97North to Osoyoos. Most gentle pass to cross of all of them. Only about 3,000ft. elevation.
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Old 02-07-2015, 03:57 PM   #10
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Thank you!
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