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US 2, Washington through Minnesota

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I have a fairly good probability of incorporating most of US 2 into my next vacation. (I will be heading west through Canada, but I already know what I want to do for that stretch.) What road and non-road sights are must sees on my way through all of these states? I am flexible to detour off the corridor, as sights are more important than clinching.

There are some abandoned roads (including old US 281) and maybe abandoned towns.

Let me know when you find these as  I plan on doing all of US 2 from Mackinac to Everett real soon and also looking for ideas. 

IMHO, US 2 west is much, much more of a railroad geeking corridor than a road geeking corridor - it closely follows BNSF's busy ex Great Northern mainline nearly the whole way west of Minot.  The scenery along US 2 in the Rockies and Cascades is truly amazing, too.

The Isaak Walton Inn on US 2 at Essex, MT, a fantastic early 20th century rustic railroad hotel, located along the BNSF's ex GN mainline on the south edge of Glacier N.P. is a destination in itself.

Washington DOT is currently developing a new north-south corridor freeway in Spokane, WA, it may be worth checking out.  Also, the intricate bridging with the highways (I-90, US 2, etc) and the railroads on the west edge of downtown Spokane is an interesting place for road, rail and engineering geeks.

US 2 runs close by two of the longest railroad tunnels in North America (Flathead and Cascade).  The west portal of Cascade is visible from the highway.

I'd also be somewhat interested in checking out the city development (the urban planner interest in me) resulting from the oil development in the area around Williston, ND.



Definitely spend a day or two in Glacier National Park, including a drive over Going-to-the-Sun Road.  And the Izaak Walton Inn, definitely worth a stop for lunch if not an overnight there.  Whitefish and Flathead Lake are also good day-long destinations.  From Kalispell to Sandpoint there isn't much to see, just enjoy the last remaining 70 MPH zone before you hit Idaho and the ISP ensures your compliance with the 55 MPH speed limit leading all the way to Everett.

I do agree with the comment it's more of a railfan corridor...the BNSF ex-Great Northern mainline is itself a marvel and you'll be seeing trains with a regular frequency; I believe it is around 30-40 through trains a day.


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