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Old 05-19-2022, 08:06 PM   #1
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Advice on Washington State routes

Trying to decide best way from Sheridan, Wyoming to Sumas, Washington. Mapquest takes us through Spokane but an alternate route is shown through the mountains. We are not towing but on our way to pick up our new E19, any suggestions would be helpful.
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:15 PM   #2
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I'd check Washington State road advisories and cams. We had snow on mountain passes yesterday.
Got snow tires on that truck?
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:21 PM   #3
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Footnote,
Just received our dinner from "Cowboy Cafe" located in Sheridan, Wy... really good food to our hotel room and looking forward to breakfast tomorrow there.....
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I'd check Washington State road advisories and cams. We had snow on mountain passes yesterday.
Got snow tires on that truck?
No snow tires, but do have 4 wheel drive....
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:40 PM   #5
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Regardless of route, one must go over a pass to get through the Cascades (unless you drop down to the Columbia River). The farther south the pass, the lower the elevation; Washington Pass (Hwy 20), 5453'; Stevens Pass (Hwy 2), 4061'; Snoqualmie Pass (I-90), 3015'. The most direct and fastest route is I-90 due west from Spokane to Seattle and then north on I-5. The most scenic route is Washington Pass, west from Spokane on Hwy 2 then cut up to Hwy 20. Stevens is a distant second with regard to scenery, west from Spokane on Hwy 2. Snoqualmie Pass has little to offer in the way of scenery. Check online with WSDOT for pass information. You'll probably be okay with any of them.
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:45 PM   #6
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Trying to decide best way from Sheridan, Wyoming to Sumas, Washington. Mapquest takes us through Spokane but an alternate route is shown through the mountains. We are not towing but on our way to pick up our new E19, any suggestions would be helpful.
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You have three choices. The safest and fastest is the bottom choice on the map, following I-90 through Moses Lake, Ellensburg and Snoqualmie Pass. You'll turn north in Seattle or Bellevue (big time traffic) and follow I-5 north to Bellingham (my town) the county seat of Whatcom County where Sumas is located.

The most spectacular choice is the North Cascade Route, through the North Cascade National Park. The route is closed in the winter but it's open now and I'd recommend it if you have time and are up for an adventure. 4 wheel drive not at all necessary.

The middle route takes you via US-2 over Stevens Pass. You'll stop in Leavenworth that's been transformed into a faux-Bavarian experience and pass through Baring, Startup, Skykomish and Index, turning north on I-5 at Everett.

In any event, stay in Bellingham the night before you pick up your Escape and enjoy this town situated between the mountains and the sea. If you're a beer drinker, you'll enjoy a few pints at one of our many micro-breweries.
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Old 05-19-2022, 08:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help everyone, will check the weather in am....see you in Osoyoos!
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:05 PM   #8
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No snow tires, but do have 4 wheel drive....
If you donít have snow tires make sure you bring chains. I think itís actually illegal to drive some of these passes without chains or snow tires. We had snow in Washington at higher elevations overnight. You might think about taking the Columbia river route and sticking with I5 North. Not very scenic but fast and snow free.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:12 PM   #9
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If you donít have snow tires make sure you bring chains. I think itís actually illegal to drive some of these passes without chains or snow tires. We had snow in Washington at higher elevations overnight. You might think about taking the Columbia river route and sticking with I5 North. Not very scenic but fast and snow free.
This is good advice for mid-winter, but it's now near the end of May. The North Cascade Highway is now open without restrictions. Download the WSDOT app (Washington State Department of Transportation) and travel worry-free.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:17 PM   #10
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When we picked up our 21, we did the bottom route as we traveled all the up to Montana then over to Spokane n down ( site seeing lol ) lots of nice scenery.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:30 PM   #11
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This is good advice for mid-winter, but it's now near the end of May. The North Cascade Highway is now open without restrictions. Download the WSDOT app (Washington State Department of Transportation) and travel worry-free.
I believe "Driving without due care" would still apply if you needed snow tires and didn't have them, even without regulations.
I suspect we're in for a warm spell though, snow melt flooding and all that.
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkeye Ed View Post
This is good advice for mid-winter, but it's now near the end of May. The North Cascade Highway is now open without restrictions. Download the WSDOT app (Washington State Department of Transportation) and travel worry-free.

I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't hesitate at all to take this route at this time of year...except I can't drive east on 20 because of the drop-off just past Washington Pass (but I can drive west).
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Old 05-19-2022, 09:58 PM   #13
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We made this drive around the same time as you last year - May 28. There was no need for any snow tires anywhere. We got on route 20 around Spokane and took it to Bellingham. Beautiful route, low traffic, peaceful. I would highly recommend it.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:03 PM   #14
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If you donít have snow tires make sure you bring chains. I think itís actually illegal to drive some of these passes without chains or snow tires. We had snow in Washington at higher elevations overnight. You might think about taking the Columbia river route and sticking with I5 North. Not very scenic but fast and snow free.
There is snow on the side of the road. Not on the road itself. We drove it in the late May last year - snow tires would have been poor and chains illegal.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:20 PM   #15
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If you take 20, do take the time to pull off at the Washington Pass overlook and walk to the viewpoint:
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:23 PM   #16
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There is snow on the side of the road. Not on the road itself. We drove it in the late May last year - snow tires would have been poor and chains illegal.
I don't have snow tires. I just pay attention to the weather and advisories and stay put when advisable.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:26 PM   #17
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Hawkeye Ed gave a good rundown on the three choices.

The middle route, Highway 2 through Leavenworth, is worth consideration. It might be the "Goldilocks" choice; not too fast, not too slow. It's a bit slower paced and is more scenic than Interstate 90 without greatly extending the total driving time. Finally, it bypasses Seattle which has pretty awful traffic.
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Old 05-19-2022, 10:32 PM   #18
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WA 20! Beautiful & Awesome. Plus you will end up in Sedro- Wooley where you hang a right on State Road 9 that takes you up to Sumas. You don't wanna do Seattle traffic after the drive from PA. Great bakery at Concrete, btw.
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Old 05-20-2022, 12:36 AM   #19
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I will go hours out of my way to travel Hwy 20 North Cascade.

Hwy 2 going west is a mess most the time from Stevens Pass to Monroe with traffic issues.

If you go Hwy 20 just over the top going west is this spot about a mile. Stop and take it in.
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Old 05-20-2022, 06:32 AM   #20
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Woke up to snow this am, now I know why it is called "Snow........Pass"....not sticking on roads but is still a pretty picture for close to June.
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