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Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

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Adirondack, New York
posts: 3,929
reviews: 88
Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

Is staying in Burlington a night before the ferry departure a good choice? Are there other more convenient and closer to the ferry terminal lodging options? Burlington has Holiday Inn Express which looks fine.

The ferry departs late afternoon. What are outdoor activities recommended in the area? Will have a car but do not want to go sightseeing to Seattle. Any scenic hiking trails near by?

We are traveling in the beginning of July

Adirondack, New York
posts: 3,929
reviews: 88
11. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

VSJC, northwestwanderer and PacificNWAuntiem, thank you for all additional comments and ideas.

Do you think route 20 along North Cascade NP from Winthrop to Burlington can have some sections with snow at the very beginning of July?

Before you suggested taking from Spokane routes I-2, then 174, 155 to 20 I had planned to take I-20 to 174 in Grand Coulee and from there continue on 174 to 97 to 20. I trust your route is more scenic so this is the way we'll go. I made reservations at the Residence Inn in Spokane using my Marriott's points so I think we stay there since this is only an overnight stay and a place to do laundry after a very long day of driving from West Yellowstone, MT. Your suggestions of things to do in Spokane sound great but after driving all day I don't think I would want to drive again in the evening. Residence Inn is located in East Valley on E. Indiana Avenue. What time in the morning we should avoid driving on route I-2 to and through Spokane to avoid the biggest morning traffic?

And now I'm going to check out both lodging suggestions near the ferry.

Thank you again.

Bemidji, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
posts: 2,441
reviews: 9
12. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

For something different, check to see if there is still a boat trip from Chelan to Stehekin. Lake Chelan is a narrow but extremely deep lake that is about 50 miles long. The boat is the only access to the village of Stehekin. I think it takes all day to make the round trip with a couple hours stop in Stehekin.

Adirondack, New York
posts: 3,929
reviews: 88
13. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

RM-MN, thank you for your suggestion. I checked the map and Chelan is not anywhere near Winthrop where we are staying for two nights. It looks like it is about 50 miles between these two towns. Besides I wouldn't want to spend all day on the boat. I bet it is a beautiful lake but I am trying to find descriptions of hiking trails in the area, decide on the most scenic one and then spend all day hiking.

Seattle
posts: 4,398
reviews: 1
14. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

The road itself is unlikely to have snow but given the amazingly high amount of snow fall we've had this year, there will probably still be snow pretty close to the road near the passes even by early July.

But it's hard to say for sure until we see how warm a spring/early summer we have.

Adirondack, New York
posts: 3,929
reviews: 88
15. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

Thank you, northwestwanderer.

Do you know of any website with a decent description of hiking trails for the Winthrop area? I can't seem to find anything. I rather not buy a whole book since I'll be there for a very short visit

Washington - the...
posts: 330
reviews: 14
16. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

Places - your orginally planned itinerary has the benifit of being faster.

For traffic, I used to live in Spokane and I don't remember the traffic being all that bad in the morning on the freeway, but I would ask the desk clerk at the hotel when you check in - they would have the best advice I would think.

I tried the site for Winthrop's visitors bureau but that just takes you to the various campsites. Try searching for the Okanogan Nat. Forest - they are bound to have trail information.

Seattle
posts: 4,398
reviews: 1
17. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

This should get you started:

fs.fed.us/r6/oka/recreation/mvtrailn.shtml

But your best bet is probably to go to the Ranger Station that's just outside of Winthrop as you start to head west from town on Rt. 20--they have a lot of local trail information plus you can get current trail status--they'll be able to tell you which trails are melted out, etc.

Adirondack, New York
posts: 3,929
reviews: 88
18. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

Thank you both for such terrific information. I am checking out the Okanogan National Forest right now and the link you provided seems loaded with helpful facts. My first stop, once we get to the area, is going to be the Ranger Station. I need to stop there anyway to get a permit for hiking, right?

Bellingham WA
posts: 10
reviews: 10
19. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

I agree you should definitely stay in Bellingham (but I'm a little prejudiced!). Burlington has fewer activities. There are numerous hotels in Bellingham so finding one should be no problem. There are also plenty of parks nearby and July is usually beautiful. If you are traveling West through the North Cascades definitely drive up to Bellingham via Chuckanut Drive - great views of the bay and islands. Much nicer than driving up Interstate 5. Chuckanut Drive will take you right into Fairhaven. You can check out the ferry terminal and get a schedule for the whale watch boat trips which depart from the other side of the Bellingham Cruise Terminal. The information center/shop there can direct you to local sights or the Fairhaven Library has lots of information available on hiking trails and local parks. Hope this helps.

Boise
posts: 1
20. Re: Alaska Ferry and hotel in or near Bellingham

how much to go on the ferry?