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North through Seattle, I-5 or I-405, about noon to 2pm?


Al F

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In about 3 weeks we are leaving from south of Portland heading to Canada and on to Alaska. I am familiar with I-5 or I-205 through Portland and will make that decision the morning of departure based on traffic conditions from our smart phone.

 

Now do we take I-5 through Seattle or do we drive the extra 2 miles and take I-405? I expect we will be in the Seattle area about noon to 2pm.

 

Construction in Seattle?

 

We are planning on an overnight stop at Walmart in Arlington, WA to break up the drive. The 250 miles from McMinnville, OR through Portland & Seattle is more than enough for one day.

 

We are planning on entering Canada at Sumas.

 

Thanks for any insight and recent experience you may have.

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There is no way to tell if I-5 or I-405 is better based on time of day. I run Waze on my smartphone to get real time routing and sometimes it takes one route and sometimes the other based on slowdowns. We have taken both routes mid-day with our motorhome towing a car.

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We are at the point of considering that it might be easier to go across the mountains on Highway 12, then up to Highway 2 and back across to the sound. :P Drastic, but there is just no way of knowing which way to go. And it isn't just Seattle - the bottle neck just north of Olympia at JBLM (think Fort Lewis) comes to a grinding halt at all times during the day.

 

For us, once past Fort Lewis, we get ready to exit on Highway 512 and take that east into Puyallup then curves north across the river and go right onto Highway 167 and head north past Auburn up to I-405. This means you miss Tacoma/Federal Way/Sea-Tac area which can also be a problem.

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Al,

I agree with Bill. There simply is no way to know for certain. We have taken both routes and experienced the same things on both routes. Timing is just a guess at best. Just bite the bullet and hope for the best. I would recommend crossing at Sumas. Not nearly as busy as other crossings. Best of luck. We'll be trying the same thing in July and August! Dennis

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We are at the point of considering that it might be easier to go across the mountains on Highway 12, then up to Highway 2 and back across to the sound. Drastic, but there is just no way of knowing which way to go. And it isn't just Seattle - the bottle neck just north of Olympia at JBLM (think Fort Lewis) comes to a grinding halt at all times during the day.

 

For us, once past Fort Lewis, we get ready to exit on Highway 512 and take that east into Puyallup then curves north across the river and go right onto Highway 167 and head north past Auburn up to I-405. This means you miss Tacoma/Federal Way/Sea-Tac area which can also be a problem.

 

Why would you cross the Cascades TWICE??

 

Highway 97 goes all the way into the Okanagan Valley in Canada. That crossing is now the third busiest crossing on the Washington border, but it is much better than Sumas. Just don't hit it on the last day of a Canadian Holiday. I got out and walked a mile to to the duty free shop to get some cigars and wine. And still had to walk back to the rig....it did not even move a mile in almost an hour. But most days it is much better than the wet-side crossings.

 

It is a good road. If I was real heavy I would tempted to take I-90 to Quincy the back to 97. You can take some county roads and connect with 17 headed north outside of Quincy.

 

On I-5 versus I-405, They are both a mess, but I really hate 405. It is now a toll road for the commuter 3+ lane. I-5 isn't too bad once you get past downtown if you pick low traffic times.

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