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Old 01-14-2020, 04:42 PM   #1
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Towing Trailer - North Cascades Route 2

DW and I expect to be travelling from Farragut State Park ID to Gig Harbor WA on June 17 this year. It has been suggested that we take the more northern Route 2 to Snohomish, then south to the Seattle area. The views apparently are much nicer than I-90. I like the idea since I tend to drive 55-60 mph on Interstates and the extra 50 miles won't really make that much difference in our arrival times anyway.

Assuming weather and road conditions aren't an issue at that time, my big question is what is Route 2 like for towing a 30 foot trailer? Are the uphill and downhill pulls really that extreme on the route? Our F-150 has proven to be a really good two vehicle for our 2604ws Rockwood. Is the alternate route worth the driving stress?

Thanks for any input.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:04 PM   #2
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Personally, I try to avoid driving anything in the Seattle-Tacoma I-5/I-405 corridor, especially towing. I might go thru Yakima and over White Pass, thru Packwood and up I-5 approaching the turnoff to cross the Narrows Bridge from the south.

If I wanted to go even more rural, I would take 395 out of Ritzville, thru Othello and then thru Yakima and over White Pass.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfossilman View Post
DW and I expect to be travelling from Farragut State Park ID to Gig Harbor WA on June 17 this year. It has been suggested that we take the more northern Route 2 to Snohomish, then south to the Seattle area. The views apparently are much nicer than I-90. I like the idea since I tend to drive 55-60 mph on Interstates and the extra 50 miles won't really make that much difference in our arrival times anyway.

Assuming weather and road conditions aren't an issue at that time, my big question is what is Route 2 like for towing a 30 foot trailer? Are the uphill and downhill pulls really that extreme on the route? Our F-150 has proven to be a really good two vehicle for our 2604ws Rockwood. Is the alternate route worth the driving stress?

Thanks for any input.
Highway 2 is used by tons of RVs. Some parts are 4 lane but most is two lane.
I90 would be faster and is scenic some.
Are you sure someone wasn't mixed up and thinking of Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway? It is way more scenic than 2 or I90.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:56 PM   #4
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We prefer US 2 or even SR 20. US 2 is higher than I 90 and mostly 2-lane but a lot more interesting. Most of the way from Idaho is rolling hills. Most of the steep parts are down hill going west, so I don't see that as a problem for you.

I didn't notice when? US 2 has been closed since Sunday night with no estimate for reopening because of snow, falling trees, and down power lines.

What route you take on this side, depends on your final destination. If you are headed to Seattle or further south, you can cut off at Monroe on SR522. Just don't do it during rush hour.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:13 PM   #5
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I don't know if the views along Hwy 2 are worth the extra distance add the fact of driving I-5 45 miles south through Seattle I don't think I would. To me both I-90 and Hwy 2 are about the same view and Hwy 2 is about 2 hours longer drive plus another 2 hours or more to get to Gig Harbor from Marysville where Hwy 2 meets I-5.

Hwy 20 (North Cascade Highway) is a lot more scenic but also hours more driving even compared to Hwy 2. We drove Hwy 20 from Burlington, Wa to Spokane and it took close to 9 hours by car. The trip on I-90 is typically 4.5 to 5 at 70 MPH. Another 3 hours from Burlington to Gig Harbor.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:32 PM   #6
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Hwy 20 AKA North Cascades Highway is best enjoyed as either a destination or a couple of days stop off en-route. Wonderful hikes down to the dams and the emerald green reservoirs behind the dams.

If you decide to take I-90 take the Hwy 18 exit to Auburn as this will save you entering Seattle itself. It’s mostly two lane but there are several passing lanes on the steeper parts. (Not excessively steep) I took this route last fall traveling to Mt Saint Helens pulling my 26’ trailer. No problems what-so-ever with traffic.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:50 AM   #7
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Decision made!

Thanks for everyone's input. We're going to stick with our original plan and take I-90. We are seldom able to get out of a campground before 9 am and like to get into our next campground by 5 pm, so anything other than the I-90 route makes things rather challenging. I traveled through Snoqualmie Pass over 50 years ago and remember it being rather nice anyway. We'll save towing miles and use the time saved for TWoT--Touring Without Towing!
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:56 AM   #8
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Hwy 20 AKA North Cascades Highway is best enjoyed as either a destination or a couple of days stop off en-route. Wonderful hikes down to the dams and the emerald green reservoirs behind the dams.

If you decide to take I-90 take the Hwy 18 exit to Auburn as this will save you entering Seattle itself. Itís mostly two lane but there are several passing lanes on the steeper parts. (Not excessively steep) I took this route last fall traveling to Mt Saint Helens pulling my 26í trailer. No problems what-so-ever with traffic.
Thanks Hatchdog,

That's the original route I had planned and I'll be glad to avoid Seattle traffic while towing.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:05 AM   #9
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Route 2 over Stevens Pass is a great road. Stop at Zeke's Drive-In in Gold Bar.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:07 PM   #10
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Hiway 20 over the N. Cascade is closed for the winter.. Too much snow..!
Hiway 90 over Snoqualmie Pass had has widen and is a nice Hiway now.. Be to carry snow chains.. it is the law..
To avoid the Seattle mess on Hiway 90, take the exit to Hiway 18 (just pass North Bend) and go south to Tacoma via Hiway 5.
Gig Harbor is a neat little town.. You can get great food at the "Tides Tavern" on the Bay..
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:25 PM   #11
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Hiway 20 over the N. Cascade is closed for the winter.. Too much snow..!
Hiway 90 over Snoqualmie Pass had has widen and is a nice Hiway now.. Be to carry snow chains.. it is the law..
The OP states in the first post, that their trip is in June.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:03 PM   #12
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If you go Hwy 2 you can jump off in Monroe and take 203 to Snoqualmie. You will drive along the Snoqualmie river valley. It will take you back to I-90. Just make sure you stop in Snoqualmie and enjoy the falls. They can be quite impressive. There are other roads from Snoqualmie as well to avoid Seattle but I don't have a road map in front of me and I have been away from the area to long to remember.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:54 PM   #13
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If you go Hwy 2 you can jump off in Monroe and take 203 to Snoqualmie. You will drive along the Snoqualmie river valley. It will take you back to I-90. Just make sure you stop in Snoqualmie and enjoy the falls. They can be quite impressive. There are other roads from Snoqualmie as well to avoid Seattle but I don't have a road map in front of me and I have been away from the area to long to remember.
Thanks, mdstudey. I'll check to see what does to our travel time--might make for a good rest stop.
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Old 01-15-2020, 08:33 PM   #14
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I did it on my bicycle. You should have no trouble in an RV. ��
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:57 PM   #15
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I did it on my bicycle. You should have no trouble in an RV. ��
That had to be a great trip! The longest bicycle trip I ever took was most of the length of Pennsylvania to see the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg with three teenage friends in 1963. Our hills weren't nearly as extreme, but we still walked the bikes up most of them.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:16 PM   #16
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Route 2 over Stevens Pass is a great road. Stop at Zeke's Drive-In in Gold Bar.
I agree, visit Leavenworth. Awesome town. I would research this before going I-90.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:11 PM   #17
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Stevens Pass is easier than White Pass.
Hiway 20 over the North Cascades is the most difficult depending on the weather.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:25 PM   #18
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Stevens Pass is easier than White Pass.
Hiway 20 over the North Cascades is the most difficult depending on the weather.


Thanks, heading to Washington in April
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