We are from So Cal and have taken trips to Ore and back, and Yellowstone and back, but never to Glacier. We've had medical setbacks past couple years but God willing will try next year to go up the coast through Ore (Gold Beach) and then on to uncharted (for us) Glacier, Cour d'Alene, and down to beautiful Yellowstone.
We are wondering what you folks recommend by way of the best Gold Beach to Yellowstone a. route and b. full hookup parks for a couple old sissy campers like us.If possible I'd like to get in some fishing as well.
Anyone have some favorite roads and places along there?
There are lots of options:
- northern most (without entering Canada): US101 into Washington and around the Olympic NP to Port Townsend. Ferry to Whidbey Island, WA20 east through N Cascades NP to eastern Washington, US2 rest of way to Glacier
- southern route: OR42, 138 past Crater Lake NP, US20 across Oregon and Idaho, US93 north to Montana and on to Glacier.
- a middle route: 101 or I5 north to Portland, I84 through the Columbia Gorge, US395 to Spokane, Cour d'Alene, and US2 to Glacier.
Overall going north and then east along 20/2 is most scenic. 101 up the Oregon coast gets a lot of discussion (with the obligatory south-to-north advisory). Washington Olympics are also popular, though some will claim that a lot of Washington is boring (too much logging). They seem to prefer the sights along I5! There are, of course, things to see along I5, both in Oregon and Washington (including Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier).
WA20 is one of the most scenic highways, especially the western part as far as Winthrop/Twisp. But all the highways across the Cascades in Oregon and Washington have their sights.
US20 between US97 and US93 is pretty flat. There have been threads debating US20 v US26 across Oregon. Plus lots of threads about I84 through the scenic Gorge.
Both US95 and US93 north through Idaho are scenic. 95 has some ups and downs as it crosses major river valleys (Snake and Salmon). 93 has one major pass, on the ID/MT border.
US2 is the most recommended route from Spokane/CdA to Glacier, though ID/MT200 has its fans. US12 from Lewiston to Missoula has also been discussed a number of times.
paulj gives excellent advice on routes. I would also advise that in visiting Glacier, you should spend 1/3 of your time on the west side, and 2/3 on the east side where there is more to see. Take Hwy 2 around the park--an easy drive--and there is good hookup camping at St. Mary KOA which is a great home base. To get to Yellowstone from Glacier, take 287 south from Browning as it rolls over the prairies with outstanding views of the Rockies to the west.
Family that loves to camp as often as we can! Two kids, 16 and 13