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Old 05-10-2018, 07:00 PM   #1
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Washington State US-12 Yakima to I-5

Looking for comments and experience driving Motorhome with Toad (or other similar RV combo) on US-12 from Yakima WA to I-5. My consist is FR3 30DS and Focus. Grades, road conditions, etc.

As part of a June cross country trip, DW and I will be entering WA on I-84 headed to the Olympic Peninsula on the segment I'm asking about.

My routing software wants me to take I-90 to Snoqualmie then through Tacoma, Olympia, etc. Seems a long way around. Also, we've done I-84/Columbia River previously and would like something new. US-12 looks interesting.

Thanks for all ideas.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:20 PM   #2
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US-12 is interesting and I think it is still closed for the winter. It does take longer and is slower.
I-82 to I-90 is an easy run over the pass.
If on I-90 and west of the pass, I would take #18 south to Tacoma.
I drop one gear down going over Snoqualmie Pass.
Gorgeous country this time of year.
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p.s. We will take the RV up #20 on Saturday, which opens for the summer this Friday.
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:38 PM   #3
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Hwy 12 from Yakima to I-5 is a scenic road, many curves and grades to climb. Steven's Pass is not bad at all, you will be traveling at a lower rate of speed than the freeway for sure but really enjoying some very nice scenery. I can't speak for the road surface, outside of being ordinary state highway. Maybe someone living closer and having been over it this spring might have an up to date report on conditions.
You will come out at the 68 mile post (68 miles north of Portland, Ore.) on I-5 which would put you south of Tacoma-Seattle. You would be having to travel north to get out on the Olympic Peninsula but avoiding much of the worst I-5 traffic.
Not knowing where you are going on the Peninsula,I put in Forks which is about as far out as you can get. Google maps lists the times and mileages about the same either way, Hwy 12 or I-90 & I-5. Vacationing I'd take 12 from Yakima!
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Old 05-10-2018, 07:42 PM   #4
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Here's the latest road conditions for Steven's Pass.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:46 PM   #5
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I was over both Snoqualmie and Stevens passes this weekend and both were clear and dry. Highway 12, as stated, is very scenic with some grades. It usually stays open during the winter, but 410 has not opened yet. Personally, I would prefer it over the freeways and to avoid city congestion for your destination.

If you do decide to come north, you would end up passing near my house and taking the ferry to Port Townsend, also a scenic adventure.
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:14 PM   #6
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I do everything I can to stay off of I-5. My choice after crossing over on 12 and heading north on I-5 is to return to 12 at Grand Mound, take that to Elma, then decide if you want to head on 12 to Aberdeen or head over 8 to just north of Olympia (actually I like 108 that takes you to Kamilche) then take that arm of 101 along Hood Canal.

Know you didn't ask about that part of the trip, but I got hives when thinking about you heading up towards the masses!

Have a great trip!
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Old 05-11-2018, 05:27 AM   #7
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Thank you all for these responses. Very valuable info. Our destination on the OP is Sol Duc Falls so we do have to get to the NW side of the park. Again, thanks!
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:57 PM   #8
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I live in Yakima, pull a 40 foot Cardinal 3450 RL. Highway 12 has curves and inclines, but nothing to be concerned about. As you go West from Yakima, watch for the turnout/viewing point for Mt. Rainer, (on the left), if it is a clear day the mountain is worth a couple of minutes to pull over and have a look/photos. Much nicer that I90
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:09 PM   #9
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Highway 12 (White Pass) is open all year and is a very good road but not a freeway but there are passing lanes and turnouts. For a MUCH more scenic alternate is Highway 410 (ChinookPass) it starts off as the same road as 12 heading west out of Yakima for about 20 miles then 12 splits off, 410 continues on straight and has much better views of Mt Rainier as it passes through the shoulder of the national park (no entrance fee on 410) it is a steeper pull but there is a lot of RV traffic and it is a good road but only open summer months..
CHINOOK PASS SR410

Elevation: 5430 ft / 1655 m
Temperature: Not Available
Conditions:
State Route 410 Chinook Pass is closed for the season. Due to spring snow storms and a construction project in the Mount Rainier National Park, Chinook Pass will not reopen to traffic until June 11. Chinook Pass is closed between Crystal Mountain Boulevard, about 12 miles northwest of the summit, and Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit.

WHITE PASS US12

Elevation: 4500 ft / 1372 m
Temperature: 48F / 9C
Conditions:
Seasonal weather reports have ended for this winter. Traditionally weather is reported on this page from November 1 to April 1. Should adverse weather or other incidents occur that will impact travel, updates will be provided as information is available.
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