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 > Vancouver or Victoria?

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Delman

Ocean View, Delaware

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Posted: 12/30/09 11:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

heading out of Patterson CA this Saturday on our way north to BC....can I expect any substantial grades on route 5?

We'd like to visit both Vancouver city as well as Victoria on the island. Not sure if it's best to park the 5er on the US side and take day trips with the truck or look for a park on the Canadian side.

I see there's a ferry that runs from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria.....anyone tried this?

Thanks for any advice.


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enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 12/30/09 12:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, the Black Ball ferry runs from Port Angeles to Victoria.
I would check out walking on board the ferry and maybe spending the night over there in a hotel. Easier then taking rig across. The terminal is located in the center of Victoria harbor. They normally have good rates this time of year.
There is some small grades through the Shasta area nad then one medium pull over the Siskiyous into Oregon. From there north pretty level.
If you plan on Port Angeles to Victoria, think about coming south on I-5 to SR 20 to the Whidbey Island to Port Townsend ferry.
http://cohoferry.com/main/
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/info_desk/route-maps/


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Orion

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Posted: 12/30/09 12:27pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Siskyoos (sp?) is the first and highest pass that you will encounter in northern California and southern Oregon. It's a little over 4000' and the ones after than that are all lower, After these, the road is almost flat all the way to Vancouver.
The border can take a little while to get through at times, other times you can drive straight through, only stopping to talk to the border agent. For this reason, I think it better to camp on the Canadian side.
Depending on how much time you have, the ferries to the Island are quite expensive, so if you come with the RV, spend at least a few days here to make it worthwhile.
The Port Angeles -Victoria ferry is a good one to take if you want to see the Island first on your way up, as you leave the I5 at either Olympia or Tacoma to get over to Port Angeles. Or you could leave on this ferry. The problem with this ferry is that there is only one of them, so the timing is quite critical or you could make a reservation.
The BC Ferry, Vancouver -Victoria (Actually Tsawassen-Swartz Bay) runs FOUR ferries in the summer, so there will be one per hour.
There is also a Washington State Ferry that runs Anacortes-Sidney (near Victoria). They have two ferries on this route in the Summer, one stops at all the San Juan Islands, the other is direct.


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Delman

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks enblethen, very helpful info on how to visit Victoria and grades.

Good idea not to take the rig on the ferry to Victoria…..Do ya have any suggestions on RV parks to stay in the Port Angeles area?

Once I park the rig, I can use the pickup, is it better to visit Victoria on foot or by truck.

You're suggesting to take route 5 south to 20 and the Port Townsend ferry if we visit Vancouver first, then Victoria from Port Angeles, right?

Any suggestions on RV parks to stay when we visit Vancouver?

Sorry for all the questions…..We're from the other side of the country (Delaware) and totally unfamiliar with the northwest.

Tom/Barb

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Whidbey (Keystone) to Port Townsend is a very small ferry that requires reservations for larger rigs.

If I were heading to Port Angles by I-5 from the south, I'd cross over at the Narrows bridge to Gig Harbor, then the floating bridge over Hood Canal. You'll have a toll at the Narrows bridge but it won't be a tenth of what the ferry will cost.

I5 to the Canadian border then the Canadian ferry system is a better choice than the WA state ferry system, and cheaper. The border isn't a big problem getting across but have your pass ports rready, and the dogs rabies certificate ready too.

If you are importing fire arms to Canada go to the Canadian fire armes centre and down load the forms read the rules and have those forms and the money ready too.

Going to Canada is no biggy, it's only 60 miles from here. but know the rules of crossing. having pass port takes the hassle out of it


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We did a day trip to Victoria from Washington using a BC ferry from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Vancouver .

We have stayed at Birch Bay State Park near Blaine, Washington twice over the years, used it as a base for going to Victoria & Victoria Island in Canada. Once on the way out of Canada, once before going into it. It is a 194-acre camping park with 8,255 feet of saltwater shoreline on Birch Bay and 14,923 feet of freshwater shoreline on Terrell Creek. The park is rich in archeological significance and offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and Canadian Gulf Islands. Very nice park, neat views, neat seafood in the area. Not too far from Port Angles.

We enjoyed a short stay at Sequim Bay State Park, a year-round, 92-acre marine camping park with 4,909 feet of saltwater coast in the Sequim "rainshadow," just inside Puget Sound on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. The bay is calm, the air is dry and interpretive opportunities await visitors.

To get to Sequim from Birch Bay, we did take a ferry to Port Townsend. Can't remember route at this time. We also took a ferry from an island, which we drove to from Sequim, to Seattle. Bough some fresh pawns at a small country stop & shop and some smoked salmon from some guys selling it from their van along the way. Go some crab boil at a Super Market in Sequim. Oh, was it a feast! We went to the Aquarium in Seattle and rode a tram to close to the Space Needle.

Vancover BC, we really enjoyed visiting the Vancouver Aquarium , but it was in '86. Should be ever better now.

We checked GasTown out in '97, an ok place, lot of tourist shops, multi-national flavor, enjoyed the steam clock.

Also visted an Art Museum & a water front park, near the Aquarium, over looking the bay. We also did a drive up and along the Sound to Squamish which is a very lovely drive, along the way we visited Shannon Falls.

In 1986, we stayed several days in a small private campground (long gone it seems, now part of a neat golf course) by the sound on the way to Squamish, just before getting to Shannon Falls. We also went to Vancouver Island/Victoria, both are neat. Enjoyed Bouchard Gardens & a neat museum in Victoria. I can not remember the name of it now. Attractions We did a day trip, leaving the trailer at Birch Bay State Park in Washington and drove back into Canada to take a ferry. A neat trip.

* This post was last edited 02/16/10 10:47am by DesertHawk *   View edit history


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Tom/Barb

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OBTW, if you leave I-5 at Olympia and take US 101 up the peninsula thru Hoods Port you will see the pretties part of Western Wa. and there are very beautiful state park camp grounds all along the way in the park.

do the google maps thing.

If you do have guns aboard, I'll hold them for you while you are north of the border, if you wish.

Delman

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Orion,
We'll be staying as long as we need to in order to see the sites and enjoy the food.....may never have a chance to visit again!
I'm thinking we will drive to Port Angeles first to visit Victoria....any suggestion on whether to take rt 16 out of Tacoma or rt 101 out of Olympia?

If we do that, it seems a good choice to use the Port Townsend ferry to get back to rt5 and up to Vancouver like enblethen suggested....at that point I guess we'd cross over the border and find a RV park in Canada.....sound reasonable???

Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Delman wrote:

Thanks enblethen, very helpful info on how to visit Victoria and grades.
Sorry for all the questions…..We're from the other side of the country (Delaware) and totally unfamiliar with the northwest.


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Tom/Barb

Oak Harbor, Wa

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Posted: 12/30/09 01:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Delman wrote:

Thanks Orion,
We'll be staying as long as we need to in order to see the sites and enjoy the food.....may never have a chance to visit again!
I'm thinking we will drive to Port Angeles first to visit Victoria....any suggestion on whether to take rt 16 out of Tacoma or rt 101 out of Olympia?

If we do that, it seems a good choice to use the Port Townsend ferry to get back to rt5 and up to Vancouver like enblethen suggested....at that point I guess we'd cross over the border and find a RV park in Canada.....sound reasonable???


Coming from California I'd do it the other way, I-5 up to Olympia 101 to Port Angles, cross the boarder by Ferry out of P/A, and return thru Vancouver to the boarder on I-5. south to Highway 20 and east thru the cascades to eastern Wa, and Idaho. Do Glacier park, on the way back east.

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