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Bellingham to Leavenworth

Victoria, Canada
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Bellingham to Leavenworth

I will be driving from Bellingham to Leavenworth in early January. I heard from a friend that the road to Leavenworth is quite dangerous. I drive a Toyota Corolla with all season tires. Will I have a serious problem? I heard that once you get into the mountains it is especially bad. Could someone please advise me on this and describe the drive for me.

western WA
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1. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

If you drive a front wheel drive car with good quality all season radials, you should be fine on Highway 2. It is a major highway, and regularly maintained and cleared in bad weather.

Here is web page maintained by the state with Stevens Pass / US Highway 2 road conditions:

www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/Passes/stevens/

It is a mountain pass, so you should be alert. Don't have too much mulled wine in Leavenworth! It is not as easy a drive as Snoqualmie Pass (I-90). You need to be aware of the weather and prepare for it. It is prudent when traveling in the mountains to carry some 10 Essentials (blanket, candy bars, hat, gloves,..) but it is highly unlikely you will need them. To be extra safe, carry chains. I've never used them, though I have bought a set.

If the road directions, posted as you leave Monroe or on the website say "traction tires required", this means "your tires must have at least an eighth of an inch of tread and be labeled Mud and Snow, M+S, All Season, or have a Mountain/Snowflake symbol". Sounds like you're good there.

It is an old-fashioned two lane highway without a lot of street lights all over. it has some curves but is not particularly treacherous. After you cross the summit going toward Leavenworth, most of the curves are behind you and it becomes a divided road for a long stretch. Be sure to stop at Lake Wenatchee State Park for a beautiful view across the lake if it is not foggy!

There is a lot of traffic coming back in to Seattle on Sunday aft/eve, especially between Gold Bar and Monroe. I'd schedule around that.

Don't let somebody psych you out. People drive US2 every day to their jobs up on the pass (when there is snow!) and to the Leavenworth area. Long haul truckers use the road. Northwestern Stage Lines runs a passenger bus daily (you could consider taking it if you really are fearful of the drive).

Have fun and enjoy your winter vacation on the eastern slope!

seattle
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for Seattle
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2. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

hwy 2 is fine but lots of it is shady so you have to watch for ice etc. Its a very scenic road. Most people do opt for 90 then Blewitt pass to Leavenworth 97? however there are the same rodad conditions there. 90 is the lowest elevation pass so it is more widely used.

western WA
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3. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

I think going from Bellingham/Canada down to 90 would just add extra distance (60 miles) and time. I-90 is certainly an easy pass, but then you have to go over Blewett Pass. It gets snowy, too, and is not a nothing. A decent driver can handle Hwy 2.

The train does go from Seattle to Wenatchee -- I don't think it stops in Leavenworth. There is also that bus. But it is not a killer drive.

Victoria, Canada
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4. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

Thank you very much for the helpful information. That was extremely helpful.

I'm not really a nervous driver but just wanted to check because I had been given the impression that I might not be able to drive there at all.

Out of curiosity, would you happy to have a website for that bus company?

western WA
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5. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

They schedule through Greyhound so it is easy to buy a ticket online. www.greyhound.com

You have to go through Monroe to get to Leavenworth, so plan on driving there. There is ample free, safe parking in Monroe if you want to leave a car there for a few days. There is no bus station building there.

They make two trips a day, and the trip takes just under two hours.

Leaving Monroe:

10:40am, 5:20pm

Leaving Leavenworth

09:55am, 1:10pm

It really requires an overnight stay, or you'll only get an hour in Leavenworth! You could easily walk around town without a car if you stay in one of the downtown inns.

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

We intend on driving and we will be staying for one night at the Best Western Icicle Inn.

western WA
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7. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

You'll do fine. Have a good time, and pack those emergency supplies just for good luck!

8. Re: Bellingham to Leavenworth

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