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Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

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Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

We are driving from Seattle to Vancouver next Monday 8/21 and wanted to know if there were any good stopping points for some pretty views of the Cascades. We are not in a rush so have all day for the drive, and don't mind veering off from the fastest route for better views. We can also do short hikes if necessary but will have a baby in tow so even just nice roadside viewpoints would be great.

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Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
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Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

Take state route 20 east just when you get up to Burlington, you will pass a shopping mall (going north on the right hand side of the car) and then take state route 9 north to the Sumas border crossing and go west to Vancouver on BC1 from there.It'll be slower but have some decent views.

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Poulsbo, Washington
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2. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

It is a fairly good sidetrack, but if you want views of a lifetime I would drive up to MT. Baker. Look at photos of Picture Lake and Artist's Point to see what I mean. It is heavenly up there. Just get an early start.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

even to maple falls is worth it for some views in my opinion

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

I'll second the Artist Point suggestion. A simply spectacular spot. One of a handful of truly amazing "drive in" viewpoints in the state - along with Hurricane Ridge, Paradise, Sunrise, and the Johnston Ridge Observatory.

It's normally the trailhead for several great hikes - but it STILL isn't close to melting out there. The Ptarmigan Ridge Trail - normally a moderate hike (with amazing views and diverse terrain) is still largely a snowshoe. But the parking area itself is a wonderful vantage point, and I believe the very short hike to Artist Point is quite do-able as the snow that's left is easy to cross with decent shoes/boots.

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Hurricane Ridge
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Olympic National Park, WA
Poulsbo, Washington
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5. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

Dave I am very confused. Snow now at Artists Point. Never hea d f that would n mid August and yes the walk is short and easy

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

I've not been there, but the trip reports say that there is still a bit of a wall of snow around the parking lot (at one point - when they first plowed it - it was a 20 ft+ wall) - and that the rangers are advising people not to hike Ptarmigan yet due to snow in challenging sections of the trail. We'd planned to hike there last weekend, but bailed after reading such a trip report (hit Cascade Pass instead - ... BC smoke, but still great).

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7. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

glaciermeadows--We were up there last year at this time and there was still a lot of snow at Artist Point. Totally surrounding the parking lot, but trails accessible. Lots of kids were playing in it:)

Bellingham...
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8. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

It's not unusual for the Artist Point parking lot to still have snow in mid-August, or for some trails to be under snow at this time of year. Just depends on the year. Last year portions of Ptarmigan Ridge & Chain Lakes had snowfields in early September, so we can assume that didn't melt off entirely before colder conditions set it.

For the OP's purposes, though, I recommend heading up to Artist Point and walk along Artist Ridge for views of Baker, Shuksan, and the North Cascades. The drive up is stunning. Do be aware that it's a long & winding road (lol), so pop a Dramamine if you're prone to car sickness.

Another option is to take the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry and drive up Whidbey Island. Then take Highway 11/Chuckanut Drive north to Bellingham before getting back on the I-5 to head up to the border.

~ Colleen

Edited: 15 August 2017, 23:53
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Chuckanut Drive
Chuckanut Drive
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Bellingham, WA
Bellingham
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9. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

Colleen--We were up there backpacking and like you say, there was still snow in areas on the trails. When we were done with that trip, we drove up to Artist Point and your description is spot on! I can hike on cliffs etc, but put me in a vehicle with drop offs like those and I become a big woose! I did the driving instead of DH so that I could focus and not panic as much lol.

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: Seattle to Vancouver drive - any good stops along the way?

Typically the least expensive gas is at exit 236.

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