Washington/B.C itinerary help needed

Old Mar 20th, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Washington/B.C itinerary help needed

Hi-We are flying into Seattle in mid May and have 8 days on the road. We can't decide whether to drive the Sea to Sky loop (Vancouver, Whistler, Hope, Vancouver) or the Northern Cascades loop beginning about 60 miles north of Seattle, or both.. . We are interested in seeing beautiful scenery, and doing some short hikes (less than 4 miles round trip). Any suggestions for which loops to do and what hikes to do along the way. If we did both loops, do you think we would feel that the scenery is very similar.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Recommended itinerary -

Seattle to Wenatchee via US 2 - lovely alpine scenery; there will be lots of snow in the mountains still (snowing hard today). Have lunch at Leavenworth for faux Bavarian kitsch and some okay restaurants.

Wenatchee to Chelan, then Lady of the Lake boat cruise up to Stehekin. Many hikes possible depending on local conditions.

Chelan to Osoyoos (BC) via the US 97 through the beautiful Okanagon (spelled differently in the two countries) region. Great "old west" scenery, orchards in bloom...

Osoyoos to Hope BC via BC Highway 3. A gorgeous road through gorgeous country.

Hope to Whistler (n. loop.)

Whistler to Vancouver OR - if time permits - to Horseshoe Bay then a detour for a night or two up to the Sunshine Coast - also lovely in May.

Return to Seattle (or you can fly out of YVR if you want to open-jaw.)

So, half of each loop, with some fine old-west scenery between the two. Great trip.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 10:58 AM
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I've been most of the route Gardyloo has suggested and I approve of it but I'd offer an alternate in that you would go farther north of Seattle to Mount Vernon area and take Hwy 20 (north Cascades route) instead of Hwy 2. Both areas are very scenic mountains.
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Thanks so much for your quick replies. Do you think that in mid May we will need advanced reservations at motels along this route(we are not traveling Memorial Day weekend).
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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The fact that you're doing this trip in May when much of the high country is still going to be snowed in leads me to suggest that you might reconsider the mountain loops on this trip in favor of areas where you can do more lowland hikes such as the Olympic Peninsula, San Juans island, Tofino BC just as some examples.

The loops you're thinking of would be much better later in the summer (July on) I think--any chance you can plan on making a return trip at some point and focus more on areas with marine climates this trip if hiking is your priority?
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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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NWWanderer- We have made several trips to Washington and BC in years past-We've toured much of Vancouver Island including Tofino (one of the most beautiful places on the island).We've also been to the Olympic penninsula, Mt St. Helen's, and the Oregon and Washington coasts. We were looking for something new to see which is why I picked the Cascades and Coast Mountains.
If we gave up the idea of hiking and simply did the Cascades and Coast Mountain loops as a driving trip, do you think that would be ok for mid May. We can't change the date of our trip for this year because of family obligations.
We have not been to the San Juan Islands. From my reading in guidebooks, it seems to be a hassle to get to with a car. Do you think there is enough to do there to keep us busy for 2 or 3 days. We like to be on the move doing and seeing things rather than sitting and relaxing.

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Old Mar 20th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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Eh, it's not *that* big of a hassle to get to the San Juans with a car IMO--at least not if you avoid going on a Friday or Sat and coming back on a Sunday, and especially since you're going before Mem Day. I personally find there's plenty to do--and I'm more of a get out and do things type than sit back and relax. Kayaking, hiking and exploring could easily occupy 2-3 days.

Yes, the mountains would be lovely any time, although you'll want to make sure you that Rt. 20 is open if you're going to do the North Cascades (it's scheduled to re-open sometime in mid-May). As a hiker though, I'd just be frustrated by not being able to get out on the trails, LOL!

And I've only been as far as Pemberton past Whistler but I think the scenery is different enough (at least on the Sea to Sky part) that both loops could be worthwhile.

I also like the suggestion of the Sunshine Coast although I think I'd go for the San Juans if you have to make a choice between the two.

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Old Mar 21st, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Thank you to all for your advise. We will plan on 2-3 days at San Juan Islands where we will do our hiking and 4-5 days driving through the mountains for the scenery. I am starting a new thread for guidance on the San Juan Islands part of our trip as we have never been there before. If you see the thread, I'd appreciate any answers there. Thanks again. This has been such a big help in planning our trip.
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