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How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

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Mattapoisett, MA
posts: 589
reviews: 17
How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Hi- we are flying into Seattle on a Friday in September this year and will be headed to Snowater Resort near Mt. Baker in Glacier, WA. Our flight arrives at 11:10 a.m. Our check in to Snowater is not until later in the afternoon. I've read that the Chuckanut drive is very scenic and wonder how much time we would have to add to our drive from the airport to the resort to do this drive? Is it worth the detour and are there any other good short stops on our way?

Thanks for any input.

Sue

Renton, WA
posts: 2,238
1. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Just leave the freeway at exit 231 and follow SR-11, which rejoins the freeway further north. It is worth the detour and might add 15 minutes to your trip. Can't think of anything along the way...it is a visual experience.

Edited: 2:30 pm, May 09, 2013
Seattle, Wa
posts: 2,624
reviews: 30
2. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

That is a good detour and really doesn't add much time. La Conner is another nice stop on the way (south of Chuckanut Drive). It may be past lunchtime by the time you get there but if you need a good casual seafood lunch, Skagit's Own Fish Market is right off I-5 and worth a stop.

http://www.skagitfish.com/lunch-menu/

Larrabee State Park is another nice stop, right on Chuckanut Drive. You'll need to pay $5 for parking.

Deception Pass adds a bit of time on, probably a half hour each way, but is another nice detour. Or if you visited La Conner, it would be easy enough to swing by Deception Pass on the way up. Though Chuckanut Drive and Larrabee may be all you need.

Mattapoisett, MA
posts: 589
reviews: 17
3. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Thank you so much! We'll just see how the weather goes, but it's great to have some plans.

Sue

Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
posts: 1,195
reviews: 7
4. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Agreed that Chuckanut will not add much time if you were already planning to take 1-5 to Bellingham, and then the Mt. Baker Highway (Route 542) to Snowater. However, if I was trying to make a beeline for Snowater, I'd get off Exit 230 (Burlington) drive to Sedro-Wooley, and then take Route 9 to where it intersects with the Mt. Baker Highway. I actually love the drive along Route 9. Maybe you should go one way there and the other way back.

Mattapoisett, MA
posts: 589
reviews: 17
5. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Thanks for that idea. I am actually thinking of taking a day to go down 9 to 20 and on to do one of the hikes in North Cascades. I think that would give us the section of 9 you are talking about.

Great idea anyway if we don't do the hike,

Sue

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
posts: 16,764
reviews: 53
6. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

sueoz, though from Boston, I couldn't recall the location of your hometown - until I Googled it. And then Adam from Vt. chimes in. Seems that each summer lots of New Englanders venture to the beautiful PNW.

If you wish to share your itinerary, rather than a piece of it, perhaps advice would be better said. The responses you are getting are helpful, of course, but we really don't know your time constraints.

There's a lot more to see...

Edited: 9:53 pm, May 16, 2013
western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,863
reviews: 14
7. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

You could take the Mukilteo ferry at Clinton, see Deception Pass, then head north and east to Bow, WA to head up the Chuckanut. This would be an easy afternoon drive.

You might want to request a late check in at your hotel.

Burlington, Vermont
Destination Expert
for Burlington
posts: 1,195
reviews: 7
8. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

I lived in Bellingham for 3 years and did a lot of hiking around Glacier and Artist's Point. In fact, I was out for a visit last September and had a beautiful day of hiking up at Artist's Point. The only hiking I've done off Route 20 was around Diablo Lake (Ruby Mountain). It was awesome over there, but honestly if you're in Glacier for even an entire week, you will not come close to running out of hiking options. Happy to give hiking recommendations, or anything else, if requested.

Mattapoisett, MA
posts: 589
reviews: 17
9. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Hi all,

Thanks for all the great replies. We will arrive in Seattle around 11:15 a.m. Basically we have the afternoon to get to glacier. We do want to leave a little time to pick up groceries and may be a bit tired on east coast time, but would like to make the most of our time. So - some extra scenery in the way or a leg stretcher or two would be great. I will look at the maps and try to determine which of the suggestions looks doable for us without crunching time too much.

We are in glacier for a full week. We had thought of taking a day trip in the middle to try to do some kayaking in the San Juan islands, but that is not written in cement. I have been reading a lot about the hikes near glacier and they all sound awesome. I would love suggestions for the best bang for our buck! As we arrive on a Friday, our first two days will be the weekend, which I understand gets pretty busy up there. Would love to know if you have suggestions for great hikes that might not be as congested for the weekend days. Or should we just bite the bullet and do the popular hikes? We will hike anything from one to 8 hours. Can't do the 8 hour ones every day, but can throw in a couple if they are great. Looking for ridge hiking, views throughout the hikes preferably. We may not be able to handle elevations over 3,000.

I had thought to try one of the hikes in north cascades but would that be overkill and too much driving for a day with all the great hikes near mt. Baker?

After our week, we plan to do one day at Mt. Rainier before our flight out. Then we run out of time. That is my very unsure itinerary for now. Open to suggestions and changes.

Thanks again,

Sue.

western WA
Destination Expert
for Seattle, Outdoors / Adventure Travel, Family Travel
posts: 8,863
reviews: 14
10. Re: How much time for chuckanut scenic drive on our way?

Just so you know , it's not busy like "back east" busy, ever. Possibly Pike Place Market at 1pm on an early August Sunday, and waiting for a ferry to (San Juans, Whidbey, Edmonds) on a Friday night or back on Sunday.

The San Juans for a day trip only is too far, I think.

You could do the Whidbey/Deception/Chuckanut on your arrival day pretty easily, or just the Chuckanut via Mt. Vernon.