Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

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hoops777
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Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by hoops777 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:27 pm

We are driving from Seattle to Spokane the weekend of July 9.Looking for advice on best route.Is it worth it to go on highway 2?How about Leavenworth?We were also going to visit Couer d'Alene for a few hours.We arrive in Seattle Friday afternoon and fly home from Spokane late Tuesday.Thanks!
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Grasshopper
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by Grasshopper » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:54 pm

Route 2 has Leavenworth, 90 has Roslyn, ( Northern Exposure), North Bend, (Twin Peaks), both can be fun towns to exit 90 and drive through. Coeur d'Alene could be a day itself. For an Interstate 90 has some nice scenery, as does 2. If the drive is the experience I may go with 2 and a day in Leavenworth.

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Hayden
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by Hayden » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:58 pm

I think if it were my first time, I would skip route 2 and just get there quickly. I recommend more than a couple hours in Coeur dalene. You might want to go out on a boat on the lake, go hiking, kayaking, biking, etc imho, there's more to do in Coeur d'Alene than in Leavenworth.

hoops777
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by hoops777 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:25 pm

I am thinking leave Seattle Sunday a.m.and get to Spokane in the evening,go to Coeur on Monday for the day and look around Spokane most of the day Tuesday before our flight back early evening.Maybe better to go on 90 if there are nice small towns to see.
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stratton
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by stratton » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:43 pm

hoops777 wrote:I am thinking leave Seattle Sunday a.m.and get to Spokane in the evening,go to Coeur on Monday for the day and look around
Spokane most of the day Tuesday before our flight back early evening.Maybe better to go on 90 if there are nice small towns to see.
I grew up in Eastern Washington.

Allow all day for Highway 2. Quite a bit of it is two lane 50 mph and it's longer distance than I-90. Leavenworth is a charming tourist trap Bavarian village. Lots of fun. Cashmere has the "World famous" Applets and Cotlets factory. Lots of farmland along a two lane road. You could detour slightly off course to visit Grand Coulee Dam.

I-90 is a full four lane interstate at 70+ mph. Snoqualmie Falls just East of Seattle before North Bend. Gingko State Park in Vantage on the West side of the Columbia River has a petrified forest, views of the Columbia and Indian pictographs. If you drive without stopping it's about four hours to Spokane. People speed at 80+ East of the Columbia or even East of Ellensburg. Ellensburg has the Clymer Art Museum with western art and lots of Saturday Evening Post covers.

Paul
...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end.

letsgobobby
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:54 am

If you're interested in getting there quickly, I-90 is the way. It's a pretty long drive so be realistic about how much sightseeing you could really do in a single day.

Leavenworth is definitely worth a stop. We love it despite its hokeyness and go every year as part of a longer trip.

On I-90 there are a lot of accessible hikes between Snoqualmie Pass and the Teanaways. Get a Craig Romano hiking book and find one that fits you rneeds.

Now if you were willing to detour south a bit through Yakima and Prosser, you'd get to the heart of Washington wine country and some incredible tastings at dozens and dozens (hundreds?) of wineries. A lot of the bigger ones have tasting rooms in Woodinville, but if you are interested in small, intimate, one on one tastings without any crowds, Prosser/Sunnyside etc are your ticket.

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GerryL
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by GerryL » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:09 am

Hmmm. I just did the Spokane-to-Portland drive yesterday (after driving to Spokane last Sunday). I was in Eastern Washington on a 4-day bus tour to learn about the geology of the Ice Age Floods. Fascinating stuff. I-90 will take you through Moses Lake. Just south of there is the Potholes Reservoir and the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, where you can see "potholes" scoured out by the mega floods and the Drumheller Channels that were carved out by the rushing water. If you are interested in understanding why the landscape looks like it does, you might want to read up on the Ice Age Floods (aka Missoula Floods) before your trip. Our guide recommended the website http://hugefloods.com/

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stratton
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by stratton » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:25 am

GerryL wrote:Hmmm. I just did the Spokane-to-Portland drive yesterday (after driving to Spokane last Sunday). I was in Eastern Washington on a 4-day bus tour to learn about the geology of the Ice Age Floods. Fascinating stuff. I-90 will take you through Moses Lake. Just south of there is the Potholes Reservoir and the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, where you can see "potholes" scoured out by the mega floods and the Drumheller Channels that were carved out by the rushing water. If you are interested in understanding why the landscape looks like it does, you might want to read up on the Ice Age Floods (aka Missoula Floods) before your trip. Our guide recommended the website http://hugefloods.com/
Heh. I went to the Potholes in the late 70s for high school geology class a couple of times. I think Ancient Lake in the bottom of the Potholes just drained suddenly in the last 20 years.

Paul
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stratton
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by stratton » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:29 am

Just so the OP understands...

The weather East of the Cascades on July 9 is very likely to be hotter than Seattle. Quite likely 95+ degrees. Maybe 100+. Not quite Arizona hot, buts still desert. Hiking around the Potholes will be hot because of all the dark basalt.

Take plenty of water, sun screen etc.

Paul
...and then Buffy staked Edward. The end.

hoops777
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by hoops777 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:03 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions.I want to see Leavenworth but it seems like I 90 is easier and actually has more things to see.
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chx
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by chx » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:12 pm

I second the warning about heat once you cross the Columbia River. I hope the car is air conditioned. Take extra water or coolant for the radiator.

hoops777
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by hoops777 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:23 pm

Maybe a stupid question.....it looks like we have to reverse course and fly to Spokane and drive to Seattle.Does it matter?
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orca91
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by orca91 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:39 pm

Are you planning to make stops and see things, or just look as you're driving through?

The I-90 route is definitely faster and has the mountain pass, Moses Lake, and the Columbia River to see. Those are cool to see. But, prepare for a lot of nothing beyond that, if just driving though. I find it a long boring drive for the most part. Just me though. Maybe others find lots of wide open dry fields exciting? :happy

More to see on the other route, but it would take quite a bit longer. I wouldn't do that unless you plan on making stops to get out and see, and no timeline.

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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by orca91 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 12:40 pm

hoops777 wrote:Maybe a stupid question.....it looks like we have to reverse course and fly to Spokane and drive to Seattle.Does it matter?
Nope, same deal. It all depends on your wants and timeline.

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stratton
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by stratton » Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:53 pm

About 15 or 20 miles East of Leavenworth there is a state highway through Swauk Pass that connects Highway 2 to I-90 at Cle Elum. It's probably about 40 or 45 miles.

Paul
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Fletch
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by Fletch » Sun Jun 19, 2016 5:49 pm

stratton wrote:About 15 or 20 miles East of Leavenworth there is a state highway through Swauk Pass that connects Highway 2 to I-90 at Cle Elum. It's probably about 40 or 45 miles.

Paul
Rt 97 (about 5 miles east of Leavenworth on Rt 2 near Peshastin) and then Rt 970 connects Rt 2 to I-90 near Cle Elum - goes over Blewett Pass. I have family in the Leavenworth area. Leavenworth is very touristy, very crowded during the summer, very pretty, and has lots of good restaurants - German, Italian, Mexican, etc. - and motels. There has been recent blasting near Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 that can shut down the interstate for a while. Check timing before you decide. I have driven both Rt 2 (somewhat prettier and more relaxing) and I-90 (faster and still pretty) between Seattle area and Spokane (and further east) area. Your choice. Oh, and there is a nice Costco in Wenatchee :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Download the WSDOT app to your phone - lots of traffic info (Washington State Department of Transportation).

... Fletch
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hoops777
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by hoops777 » Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:27 pm

Ok.Would it make sense to drive from Spokane to Leavenworth and then head to I90 to Seattle or just stay on 2?My wife will be happy there is a Costco :happy
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by technovelist » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:18 pm

There is likely to be a lot of traffic approaching Seattle on a weekend in July, from my experience as a fairly frequent visitor.
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stratton
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by stratton » Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:16 pm

Warning, construction on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass.

http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/sno ... fault.aspx

This has been going for at least a year or two.

I got caught in the night time blasting where they close the pass at 7.30 pm and don't reopen it until 8.45 or so.

I don't think there is anything on Highway 2 over Stevens pass.

http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/ste ... fault.aspx

Paul
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by SunnySeattle » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:05 am

I'd second the Blewett pass recommendation. It is a gorgeous drive. I just drove it yesterday after rafting the Wenatchee river.

Drive from Spokane to either Ellensburg or on to Cle Elum/Roslyn on 1-90 , then North on 97 to Peshastin/Leavenworth, then Hwy 2 to Monroe, followed by 522 to Seattle. It can be slow on Hwy 2 Sunday afternoon/evenings heading towards Seattle. Other evenings are usually fine. I-90 is pretty from Cle Elum, but the traffic speed (70 mph) detracts from the driver getting much enjoyment from the scenery. Blewett pass and Stevens Pass are far more picturesque.

While you're in eastern Washington, I'd also recommend seeing the gorge at George, Washington (yes that's the city name). It is a beautiful view of the Columbia river especially if you can catch the sunset.

Enjoy your trip!

hoops777
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by hoops777 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:41 pm

Thank you.So it looks like half day Friday and all day Saturday around Spokane and Coure d Alene.Head to Leavenworth Sunday a.m and stay overnight.Head to Seattle Monday and stay overnight.Half day Tuesday and fly home.We have been to Seattle before so that is plenty.
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by barnaclebob » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:15 pm

I'd recommend a quick 1 hour hike along some of the trails at Frenchman's Coulee (Vantage). Its about 5 min or less off the highway and you can do a quick hike to stretch the legs and get some good views. It can be hot and if there is a concert at the gorge that weekend I'd skip it.

letsgobobby
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Re: Driving Seattle to Spokane in July

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:06 pm

There is a nice and easy and pretty hike outside of Leavenworth called the Icicle Gorge River/View loop trail. It's quiet, very pretty, and usually uncrowded. About 4 miles.

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