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Doing a short tour from Tacoma WA to Vancouver BC. Route suggestions?

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Doing a short tour from Tacoma WA to Vancouver BC. Route suggestions?

Old 10-15-18, 10:59 PM
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Timequake
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Doing a short tour from Tacoma WA to Vancouver BC. Route suggestions?

Hi. I decided to burn up some sick days at work and take a quick bike trip from Tacoma WA to Vancouver BC. Any suggestions on a route? There's a fairly popular club ride from Seattle to Vancouver called RSVP and I was thinking about just using their route, but I'm interested in other suggestions. I'm pretty comfortable getting from Tacoma to Seattle. Anyone made the trip from Seattle north across the border? Also any suggestions on camping or very inexpensive hotels on the way?

Here's the route from the RSVP ride.
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Old 10-16-18, 01:58 PM
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Hopefully you left today :-) Maybe 70deg in t-town

I've done this 15+ times.

For me, the hardest part to Navigate is either the Everett plateau or the Bothell /Avondale area.

What I typically do now is:
Commuter train Seattle.
Fremont Bridge
Bike Trail/Greenwood Ave into Hwy 99
Blunder through Everett/Marysville hooking into HWY 9.
Home free.

Last edited by escii_35; 10-16-18 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 10-16-18, 02:32 PM
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multi mode

Island hop, WA state Ferries, Make your way to Port Angeles
and take the Ferry to Victoria ?
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Old 10-16-18, 08:06 PM
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If you can get to North Seattle you can do two variants of one route:

1. Just north of Seattle you can hop across to the Olympic Peninsula on the ferry at Edmonds. Head north on Hwy 104/19 to Port Townsend. Cross on Ferry again to Fort Casey. Head north to Deception Pass on Hwy 20.

2. Further north of Seattle hop the ferry at Mukilteo across to Whidbey Island and head north on Hwy 525/20 to Deception Pass (very scenic).

From Deception Pass head N then E on Hwy 20 through Burlington to Sedro-Woolley. Head North on Hwy 9 to either the Aldergrove or Sumas Border crossing.

From there you can do two Fraser River north variants to Vancouver. Cross a bridge at Mission or cross a bridge at Langley.

To me, the easiest is to head north from the Sumas border crossing to Mission via Sumas Way/Abbotsford-Mission Hwy and cross the Fraser River. Then it is a straight shot on Hwy 7 into Vancouver. Most of that route has good shoulders. On the RSVP route you can see they eventually access Hwy 7 way down the road at Pitt Meadows. I really don't understand the reasoning they have for their route selection on the Canadian side as it seems to be the most awkward and convoluted route imaginable.

If you want to go through Fort Langley and cross the Golden Ears bridge, which the RSVP route does, instead of zig zagging through south Langley just head straight up 264th from the Aldergrove border crossing. You can see their route crosses there. 264th heads all the way north to Glen Valley and west to Fort Langley on a road with great shoulders and then low traffic It is a very very popular route for road cyclists here.

Another tangent is to cross the border at either Sumas or Aldergrove and head west on 0 avenue straight into White Rock. From there make your way to Vancouver or catch the Amtrack back home. The only hard part is metro traffic from White Rock on which I can't help with as I avoid that area like the plague.

On those routes I would plan to stop and look around in Port Townsend, Fort Casey, Fort Langley and/or White Rock (by the ocean). Hotels I dunno as I tent. You can camp in Port Townsend, Fort Casey and Fort Langley but may want to reserve phone ahead.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 10-16-18 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 10-16-18, 10:26 PM
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Since wadot upgraded the road to the Mukilteo Ferry. Whidby island -> Deception Pass -> Skagit Flats -> Chuckanut is a solid route. In the 90's that was a freaking scary road.
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Old 10-17-18, 09:11 AM
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For what its worth, I've taken the fairly direct route a few times. It was fine, though occasionally a little busy and not necessarily something to recommend over other routes. Typically going N to S, but my routes have roughly been:

- Surrey BC to cross US border @ Blaine
- Peace Portal Drive to Portal Way (some potholes and narrow; also did section of I-5 shoulder with better surface and more room, but interstate)
- Northwest Drive into Bellingham, enjoyed visiting here
- Along coast via Chuckanut, pretty riding
- Either via Whitney/Edison and onto Fidalgo Island/Whidbey Island to take the Port Townsend Ferry
or via Conway/Stanwood/Tulalip Bay/Marysville/Everett/Seattle
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Old 10-19-18, 11:38 PM
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So I think I've settled on a route. I'm going to go
Day 1: Tacoma > Port Ludlow via Port Orchard/Bremerton Ferry
Day 2: Port Ludlow > Deception Pass via Port Townsend Ferry
Day 3: Deception Pass > Lynden via Chuckanut
Day 4: Lynden > Vancouver

That's about 60 miles a day, which will be a nice easy pace. Thanks for all the advice. I'll post an update when I return.
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