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Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

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Mesa, Arizona
Level Contributor
278 posts
5 reviews
Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

I posted on the Vancouver forum also.

How long would the drive be from Bellingham to Vancouver?

Where is the best border crossing to avoid the long delays?

Anyone know how reliable the Alaska/Horizon airlines are on consistently flying from Seattle to Bellingham (re: cancelling flights, etc. )

We're flying stand by and wondering if it would be better to fly from PHX to Seattle to Bellingham and drive into Canada. The flights seem to be getting completely booked.

Level Contributor
88 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

See note on the bottom about flying with Canadian airlines to Vancouver as an alternative.

From Bellingham to Vancouver would take a little over an hour, IF you get through the border quickly. The border that is usually the longest is the I-5 Blaine crossing. That also depends on the time of day. Anytime on a weekend it would be long. My wife went that way last Friday and it was about an hour. Others will have good advice, but an alternative coming from Seattle would be to get off I-5 in Bellingham at the Guide Meridian (Bellis Fair is there too, stay in the right lane to get on the Guide) and take Meridian all the way to the border crossing at Lynden.

I must also note that Northbound I-5 between SeaTac and Seattle will be having MAJOR delays in August, as they are doing repaving and will have two lanes shut down. Traffic delays could be epic. This will be from August 10-August 29. If you are planning your trip during that time, I would really think about flying into Bellingham or Vancouver and avoid driving or taking the bus from SeaTac to Bellingham/Vancouver. …wa.gov/News/…10_OneMonthToMajorClosures.htm

I do not have specific information as to Alaska/Horizon, but they have been around a long time and I don't think there are usually any problems.

If you decide not to fly into Vancouver or Bellingham, an alternative to driving would be to take a bus from the Seattle airport into Canada. http://www.quickcoach.com/ You could take that all the way to the Vancouver airport where you could rent a car, or even take a shuttle from there to Whistler. http://www.whistler.com/shuttle/ That way you can avoid the issue of renting a car and taking it to Canada.

You could also fly direrctly to Vancouver if you wanted, perhaps it would be cheaper to do it that way. You could consider a couple of Canadian airlines as well as the usual U.S. airlines. AirCanada has flights to Vancouver for anywhere from $211 to over $300 depending on the day of the week and if there are any sales. WestJet has flights at $211, but they only fly during the winter after Nov. 4th.

Sorry for the long reply, I hope this helps.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Ecotourism
Level Contributor
1,705 posts
78 reviews
2. Re: Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

Border crossings can vary with the time of day, road conditions etc. If you're going north in the morning, most of them should be not too bad. It seems as if more Canadians cross, ie go down in the morning and back north in the aft/evening. If you're travelling at peak hours, the Peace Arch one is often the worst.

The bonus of using the Aldergrove or Sumas border crossings is that you have direct, easy access to Highway 1 without having to drive all the way through Richmond or Surrey with the traffic etc, and can get to the Sea to Sky Highway faster.

A good bet is to listen to AM 730 when you get close enough to the border to pick it up. It has 24-hour traffic including frequent border crossing reports.

Kirkland, Washington
Level Contributor
378 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

There's also Amtrak--a nice scenic trainride (don't know if it goes all the way up to Whistler--doubt it) and the price is usually quite good-plus you get through the border much quicker and those lines can be horrendously long (summertime can have 1-2 waits). If you're driving into Canada from Bellingham, take the Lynden bypass over the border--it's usually quicker, but more and more people are aware of it. I also thought I read something about the Peace Arch border being down to 2 lanes for some work being done on it--not sure if that's currently or for this summer, but you might want to check on that--if so, then I'd definately opt for the train.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
17,576 posts
57 reviews
4. Re: Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

Folks, this is an outdated post: Posted on: 11:25 am, July 19, 2007

5. Re: Bellingham to Vancouver and Whistler B.C.

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