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Author Topic: Seattle to Minot  (Read 1576 times)

sbeaver44

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Seattle to Minot
« on: June 01, 2016, 01:36:42 PM »

Hi all,

So the wife and I are flying to Seattle in June and taking a rental car one-way to meet up with a friend in Minot, drop off the rental, and proceed to Minneapolis for a few days, then flying home.  Loosely, I plan to do a bunch of US 2 and ID/MT 200.  We also plan to do at least some of Going-To-The-Sun Road through Glacier.  Any fun experiences or places you'd recommend checking out along the way?

Also, I have a few decisions to make, namely:
1) Which road to take across the mountains in Central Washington:
-US 2 - Stevens Pass
-I-90 - Snoqualmie Pass
-WA 410 - Mount Rainier area

2) Which side of the river to drive up from Wenatchee, if we go there:
-US 97 on the East Side
-US 97 Alt on the West Side

3) If there is a possible way to work in WA 14 from Maryhill to I-82 and/or US 730 from I-82 to US 12.

Thanks!
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle to Minot
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 02:31:35 PM »

Forget US 2 and head up to the North Cascades Highway on WA via Washington Pass.  If you head up that way take a side detour to Big Four Ice Caves.  I would recommend sticking with WA 20 through Omak and taking WA 155 to Grand Coulee Dam before heading down to US 2 via WA 174.  WA 20 is a lot more fun of a driving road and prettier IMO than US 2 is going over the Cascades.  There is also a little gold town called Winthrop you'll pass through as a bonus.

If you are going to Mount Rainier it's probably worth the investment of your time to head to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park.  Mount Rainier is frequently fogged over while Hurricane Ridge is almost a guarantee clear.  If you head up towards Olympic the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and Hood Canal Bridge (floating bridge) will be on your way as well.  Port Gamble is a couple miles from the Hood Canal Bridge is a neat old logging town.

Through Idaho you might want to consider taking I-90 so you can stop through the mining towns of Wallace and Kellogg before heading back to towards Kalispell and Glacier.  Since you didn't mention a time frame I would recommend taking US 287 down to Yellowstone and passing through Virginia City on the way.  Loop Yellowstone and take the Bear Tooth Highway (US 212) to get back to the Interstates.  From there you can reach Little Bighorn near the I-90/I-94 interchange and take I-94 into North Dakota to reach TDR National Park. 

At minimum change up those plans for US 2 in Washington, you won't regret it.

Edit:  Grabbed a picture of Liberty Bell Mountain showing Washington Pass and WA 20.  I'll have to figure out how to attach some of my photos on here since I don't want to use image URL links to my stuff:

« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 08:16:02 PM by Max Rockatansky »
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sbeaver44

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Re: Seattle to Minot
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 10:05:48 AM »

Ok, definitely doing at least WA 20...wow...thank you!  Yellowstone would be nice but we will see if time allows.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Seattle to Minot
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 01:44:13 PM »

Ok, definitely doing at least WA 20...wow...thank you!  Yellowstone would be nice but we will see if time allows.

No problem, I just wish that I could attach a picture I have of the same pass covered in snow last May.  Regardless you are going to see some kick ass country and mountains.

Sykotyk

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Re: Seattle to Minot
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 05:11:40 PM »

If you want to do Yellowstone, try to do it in a time where you don't have to rush. My ex-wife and I did Yellowstone over 2 days many years ago, and that alone wasn't enough. YOu can't drive fast in the park. It's a BIG park. And there's way too much to stop and see and hike, etc. And spotting animals will grind traffic to a halt. Especially herds of mule deer, elk, and bison.

As for Us97. I've been on the stretch from Wenatchee to Brewster. US97 runs the east side until Chelan and then goes back to the west side and meets with US97 Alt. US97 is basically a non-stop road from what I can remember. I dont' even remember a light where US2 branches east (for N to E traffic, it's a ramp). For pure travel ease, the east side is faster. US97Alt runs through the town of Chelan.

And for WA20/US2/I-90, I've only ever been on US2 and I-90. 90 is 90. It's scenic, but it's not something to inspire awe. US2 was a fun drive. WA20 was closed when I was up there. So, if you get a chance to drive it when it's open, take the opportunity and rework your trip.
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