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Renting car for Seattle, Victoria, North Cascades trip

Renting car for Seattle, Victoria, North Cascades trip

Mar 7th, 2010, 05:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 106
Renting car for Seattle, Victoria, North Cascades trip

We're flying into Seattle in August and want to spend time there, in Victoria BC, and in the North Cascades doing the Hwy 20 loop including dropping down to Holden Village for a couple of nights. We end our trip with a Twins-Mariners game at Safeco Field the night before we fly home.

We've been in the area before: DT Seattle, Olympic NP, Victoria (but only for one night - that's why my wife wants to return), Vancouver, San Juan Islands. This time, we want to focus on the sights and foods of the two cities, hiking and relaxing in the mountains, and then cheering on our dear MN Twins.

I'm trying to judge how many days I would actually need a car. Would it make sense to spend a couple of days seeing the sights in Seattle, take the passenger-only Victoria Clipper round trip to Victoria (3 nights there?), then and only then pick up a car and see the mountains, dumping it off when we return to Seattle to enjoy another 2-3 car-free days and nights once more?

Would some of the costs for the 2 of us getting around (cab to and from airport, longer ferry, hotel to harbor trips, schlepping bags, etc.) negate the cost savings of having no car rental for half of the vacation?

And aren't there restrictions on taking a rental car into Canada anyway?
dknudsen is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
If I understand correctly, you plan to return to Seattle from Victoria on the clipper and rent a car for the North Cascade Loop portion of your trip. That's what I would do.

I wasn't aware of Holden Village, but I discovered it is north of Chelan and accessible only by boat. Perhaps the following will help you judge for how many days you will need a car:

The distance to Winthrop via Darrington and the North Cascades Highway is 190 miles (a 4-1/2 drive not counting stops), and Winthrop to Chelan is only 60 miles.

Chelan to seattle via Stevens Pass (Highway 2) is 175 miles (4-5 hours).

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 02:29 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Curious why Holden Village as opposed to Stehekin? I haven't been to Holden Village but I have been to Stehekin and it's a very cool, gorgeous place to visit with great hiking.

I would also recommend that you go with your plan to only pick up the car for the N Cascades part of your trip.

Just as an FYI, it's generally quite a bit less expensive to pick up a car in dowtown Seattle than at the airport, due to the taxes & fees imposed at airport locations.
NWWanderer is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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I agree with getting the car only for the North Cascades part of the trip.
suze is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,509
And getting downtown to you rhotel from the airport won't cost much at all if you take the new lightrail.
enzian is offline  
Mar 8th, 2010, 06:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Holden is on the agenda on the recommendation of a friend. She worked there in the past and she is joining us for that part of the trip. Probably a night in Chelan, then the boat and truck rides to Holden for at least 2 nights. I've seen her pictures of Holden and have almost planned out all of our hikes. I don't doubt that sure Stehekin is every bit as beautiful.

I will need to check out this new light rail, thanks.
dknudsen is offline  
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