I was curious if anyone has traveled (with trailer) to the Island, and up any length of the coast.
I have only taken a car on ferry to Victoria from Vancouver, but I was thinking if we did it with trailer we would cross at Port Angeles, WA across, and drive up the East coast.
Anyway, I know how far, and long it takes to get to Bellingham, WA from Portland, just curious if any of you have driven and towed up the island to any extent, how long it took, the roads (hilly = more gas, etc.)
This is just preparatory EARLY planning and estimating. Still not even sure exactly what time of year we would go yet.
Anyway, any info, insight, experience, suggestions welcomed !!!
2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 4.7L
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It's high speed divided limited access from Victoria to Campbell River. North of CR it is two lane, but traffic is light. North of Nanaimo, the fast route runs some distance inland, with distant views of the shore. You could also take the old coastal highway if you want to take your time, and stop along the way (and switch back and forth between them).
There's a good Backroads Mapbooks volume that covers the whole Island (with comparable detail to the American Delourme and Benchmark Atlases). You can get this, and other guidebooks, online, or at the ferry giftshop.
It's actually Port Angeles where the ferry goes to Victoria. From there to Olympia where you join the I5 it is a 2-3 hour drive, no hills to speak of but quite twisty & narrow in places.
We live on the Island and when traveling south nearly always take BC Ferries to Tsawassen, Nr Vancouver & then cross the border at Blaine. When coming back we always take the BC Ferry as with only one ferry on the Victoria-Port Angeles run, it is tricky to catch one that you can actually get on.
As for the Island itself, most of the highway on the east of the Island is mainly four lane with only one low hill(1100') just after you leave Victoria.
We have never RV'd north of Campbell River. Some really like it up there, I have worked up there a few times and it did not ring my bell!
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The north Vancouver Island is fabulous. You will love Telegraph Cove.
A few years ago we decided to take all of September and "Do the Island" Well we were gone all of September but never got past Campbell River which is only half way up.
This September we headed directly to Port Hardy and spent the month heading south to Campbell river. Saw lots of Killer Whales, some Humpbacks, lots of Eagles feeding on Salmon and with a trip out of Telegraph Cove to Knights inlet saw about 6 Grizzlies catching Salmon.
There are 3 ways to get to Vancouver Island. BC Ferries, Washington State Ferries and the Coho.
BC Ferries, for our 5th wheel is about $50.00 cheaper than the Coho on the Port Angles run.
In the summer you can take the Washington State ferry from Anacortes and they have a special for RV's which can make them cheaper and it is a beautiful trip.
If you decide to Ferry hop over to Port Townsend and then to Port Angles for the Coho, it is a really nice drive and Port Townsend is a fun Funky town.
We usually take the Port Angles/Victoria ferry (Coho) because we prefer 101 to I5.
The less you plan the more options you have.
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If you're going as far as Bellingham first, I would just continue up I5 into Canada and take the Tsawwassen/Swartz Bay ferry. Explore the island, I would suggest checking out the Tofino area if you have time. Then you could take the Sidney ferry back to Anacortes. From there down 20 thru Deception Pass to the Keystone ferry to Port Townsend.(about $70 is you're around 50ft total) Fort Warden State Park in Port Townsend has a great campground on the beach.
Tsawwassen to Duke Point is a good choice if you are headed up island. It skips the Victoria area. After a short spat of stop lights (and shopping options) on the outskirts of Nanaimo, it is non stop driving to Campbell River, or alternatively west to Port Alberni and Tofino (much slower driving on the way to Tofino).