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 > Help us plan our trip - Washington State and Idaho

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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 01/11/18 09:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your efforts to use a base camp does not work in my mind. Distances and driving times just makes it nearly impossible.


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myredracer

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Posted: 01/11/18 01:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If towing a TT, stay clear of the Seattle area from around Everett to south of Olympia, including the 405 around the east side of Seattle. Traffic is a total zoo and is tiring, nerve racking, slow and can be hard on a truck & TT. I think CGs close to the Seattle area can be hard to get into because there's a lot of workers living in RVs in them. Check on websites like rvparkreviews.com for possible info.

We're Thousand Trails members. They have a wonderful CG in Chehalis, about 1/2 hour south of Olympia and could get you to/from Seattle for a day trip. Chehalis is within striking distance of the south access to Mt. St. Helens. Have been to a CG in Randle, which is close to Mt. Ranier - very pretty area and away from the madding city crowds.

Gotta drive up the 101 on the east side of the Olympic peninsula. Great scenery and drive, sort of like the Oregon Coast in a way. Lots of CGs there. There's a waterfront CG at Port Townsend, Ft. Worden State park, an old military fort - great location. Also gotta drive up to Hurricane Ridge visitors center out of Port Angeles (hopefully on a clear day). Many excellent CGs along the WA west coast.

Last fall I towed our 29' TT myself from Everett to south of Olympia east of the 405 while en route to Chehalis. Can't remember the exact route - road was quieter, twisty in some spots, scenic and took me through some lovely small towns. Great drive and would do it again anytime, but is a slow route.

Depending on the time of year, wildfires can be a problem in WA (and CA, OR & BC) from about July to Sept. It's possible routes may have to be changed along the way and some CGs may not be accessible. There's been some pretty bad fires in recent years.


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ohhell10339

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Posted: 01/11/18 02:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

alesis wrote:

Thanks for all the suggestions! While I love NPS cgs, they won’t work for this trip because we need the hookups. I do love all the suggestions for stops tho, we’ll try to hit as many as possible!
What about one base camp near Olympic for 3 nights, and one btwn North Cascades and Ranier for 3 nights?


Do you really "need" the hookups? Are you saying you can't survive for a few days without them? Most national park campgrounds will have at most, a dump station and a source of fresh water--but I've seen plenty of people in RVs happily camping there for several days on end. Same with national forest campgrounds.

In the Pacific Northwest, the most beautiful campsites are often dry or minimal service campgrounds. If you restrict yourself to Pay-For-A-Slab RV Resort, not only are you bleeding money, but you're sticking yourself in some of the least attractive locations. The RV parks in that part of the country are overcrowded, noisy, cramped, and hideously expensive. A shame to go there when you can camp in or near a beautiful national park for much less money!

AmasaJulie

Wisconsin

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Posted: 01/11/18 06:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trying to give you suggestions about places to stay on your way thru Washington. Lots of people balk at staying at KOAs, but the ones I mention here we had good experiences with!

We made a trip to WA from WI a couple of years ago. We spent one nite at a nice KOA north of Spokane and visited a cool Ukrainian deli in Soap Lake for lunch. Stop at Lake Lenore Caves after visiting Grand Coulee, short fun scenic hike, no need to unhook. We did another KOA in Ellensburg and visited Roslyn where Northern Exposure was filmed. We also went down to Astoria, Oregon via Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens, both worth it.

Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 01/11/18 09:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Knowing that you need full hook ups.
Spokane to Leavenworth with a stop at Grand Coullee will be a full day, there are two full service camp ground in Leavenworth, Icicle Camp Is our Favorite.
Day 2. Back to 97 north and the north Cascade highway across to Concrete is another day, there are two very nice full service camps just east of Concrete one is KOA the other is private. That's a full days drive.
Day three will be getting to the Olympic Penn. via Highway 20, be certain to have reservations for any ferry you plan on taking. (specially the Key Stone to Port Townsend ) its a smaller ferry and is usually full. If you miss it. there is a very nice camp At Ft.Casey, right next door to the ferry.
The last real town with all the big stores is Oak Harbor, stock up before you cross to Port Townsend. the prices double west of the sound.

OBTW the north end of Whidbey Island has North Whidbey RV park. across the highway from Deception State park (which has no hookups)


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2gypsies

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Posted: 01/11/18 09:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you take the ferry to Port Townsend - a wonderful little town, stay at Fort Worden State Park (hookups). The beach sites are very nice and there are also some wooded sites. Then you can easily do a day trip to the Seattle waterfront area by driving your vehicle down toward Poulsbo and on to Bainbridge Island. Park your vehicle in the lot and take the short ferry ride. It will let you off at the Aquarium area. You can then pick up the monorail which will whisk you over the city to the Olympic Space Needle. Return via the monorail and then tour Pike Market and bring your purchases back on the ferry for your return. It makes for a very nice day and an easy hassle-free way of seeing the Seattle waterfront area.

From Port Townsend you can easily do another day trip to Hurricane Ridge in Olympic Nat'l Park at Port Angeles.

When you're ready to continue your trip from Port Townsend head south toward Poulsbo, Port Orchard and pick up I-5 at Tacoma.

Or you can drive around the Olympic Peninsula via 101 and continue to Astoria and 101 down the coast.

This whole trip is beautiful!


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Veebyes

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Posted: 01/12/18 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trip Advisor, the official state tourism website, individual town websites for attractions & events, Allstays for about every campground there is, RVPR for reviews on many of them. Enough there to keep you researching for hours.


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hotpepperkid

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Posted: 01/12/18 08:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AmasaJulie wrote:

Trying to give you suggestions about places to stay on your way thru Washington. Lots of people balk at staying at KOAs, but the ones I mention here we had good experiences with!

We made a trip to WA from WI a couple of years ago. We spent one nite at a nice KOA north of Spokane and visited a cool Ukrainian deli in Soap Lake for lunch. Stop at Lake Lenore Caves after visiting Grand Coulee, short fun scenic hike, no need to unhook. We did another KOA in Ellensburg and visited Roslyn where Northern Exposure was filmed. We also went down to Astoria, Oregon via Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens, both worth it.


While your experiences have been good with KOA I was never a big fan of KOA's Im less of a fan as we stayed in several this last summer. I will avoid them as much as I can


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alesis

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Posted: 01/12/18 11:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your suggestions have been fantastic!

After all your info on travel, I've decided that we will find a CG near each of the 3 NPs in Washington to facilitate seeing each area. We have 9 nights total to spend. How many nights would you suggest for each location? 3 nights in each or a different combination? We may not visit Idaho at all if it doesn't make sense for this trip. Suggestions appreciated...you guys rock!


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Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 01/12/18 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

alesis wrote:

Your suggestions have been fantastic!

After all your info on travel, I've decided that we will find a CG near each of the 3 NPs in Washington to facilitate seeing each area. We have 9 nights total to spend. How many nights would you suggest for each location? 3 nights in each or a different combination? We may not visit Idaho at all if it doesn't make sense for this trip. Suggestions appreciated...you guys rock!


Just some suggestions :

Mount St. Hellens, is an hours (+) drive off I-5. I suggest you not take your trailer up there. parking at the center isn't that great on busy days.
The whole thing is the drive and the interpretive center. Most of the devastation area is coming back with trees larger than a big Christmas tree. and the weather is a big deal, if it ain't clear you won't see much.

Rainer National Park. unless you into hiking and remote camping there really isn't much to see. Roads thru the trees. more roads thru the trees. Paradise Wa. very large hotel catering to those who hike, didn't leave a great impression on us, but the view of the mountain, awesome! shouldn't require more than one day.

Let us know if you'd like to do a flight see, we can make that happen for ya.

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