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“OUR PREFERRED ROUTE”
Review of U.S. Highway 395

Ranked #45 of 117 things to do in Spokane
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Owner description: A highway between Eltopia and Spokane in Eastern Washington.
Reviewed November 24, 2016 via mobile

Along with the 99 this road was the original western border to border road. Starts out at the Mexican border and terminates at the Canadian border. Most of the road in SoCal is overlaid with the I-15. There are older portions that are still drivable between Escondido, through Temecula/Murrieta. 395 branches off the I-15 in Hesperia, and runs along the base of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. Crossing into Nevada at Topaz lake continues North through Reno until entering California again. Be careful around Minden, NV (speed trap). We departed the 395 in Susanville and continued towards Bend via the 139. The views along the Eastern Sierra are great, even better when they are snow-capped. There is a lot to see and do along this highway. Makes a good option if you want to avoid the I-5. Less traffic and is 4 lane for the majority of the route to Reno.

1  Thank SoCalOregonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"kettle falls"
in 4 reviews
"deer park"
in 6 reviews
"off the highway"
in 3 reviews
"loon lake"
in 2 reviews
"nice mix"
in 2 reviews
"route"
in 10 reviews
"mountains"
in 5 reviews
"socal"
in 2 reviews
"scenery"
in 3 reviews
"vista"
in 2 reviews
"trees"
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Reviewed November 23, 2016

I have lived on the south side of Spokane for more than 20 years, and since my husband is a Canadian from British Columbia, Canada, we travel this highway several times a year in all kinds of weather. Let me say that during those 20 years, many improvements have been made, and the highway has gotten more safe.

We usually gas up at the Fred Meyer at Hastings & HW 395 to start our trip. For most of the trip on Highway 395, the speed limit is 60, and only goes down to 55 during the last part, but watch your speed! It starts to get interesting right away, with the highway opening up right after the Wandermere Golf Course in North Spokane. You go through open farm lands with lots of trees and hills, and mountains not too far away. You can usually see snow atop Mt. Spokane during this part of the trip. Watch carefully going in and around Deer Park, as this has been a place where serious accidents have happened in the past.

Once you are close to the Deer Lake cutoff, start watching for Highway Patrol, as there are an abundance of them from there all the way through Kettle Falls. The scenery starts getting very interesting about here, as the roadway becomes much more hilly. I always get a catch in my throat from the beautiful vista at the top of the hill overlooking the valley right before Chewelah, as it is breathtaking! If gambling is your interest, you can stop at the Casino on the right, but since I don't gamble, I've never been inside. Take it carefully through Chewelah, as it goes from 60 to 35 miles an hour down to 25, and they DO patrol and give tickets. Chewelah has a beautiful park in the middle of town where you can stop and have a picnic. Quite often, there is some function going on at the park where you can stop and get specialty foods or shop at some of the tents. Also there are farmers with their wares usually parked beside the road at the park.

The road between Chewelah and Colville is not overly interesting, but offers some nice scenes of hillside homes and farms, and some industrial areas. Once you get close to Colville, you have to slow down again to 35, then down to 25 through town, and once again, it is patrolled and tickets are given. Once entering Colville, there is a round-about, and if you take a left, you take a shortcut and avoid "downtown Colville". If you go straight, you will take the slower route through downtown. Note, if you are hungry, there is a great sandwich shop beside a bank in this part of town, it mostly has subways, but they are hand made and with much better ingredients than a regular fast food Subway store. We sometimes gas up at the Safeway on this route, as they have a Starbucks inside the store. There is also a very popular Walmart here, as you'll see as many Canadian license plates as you do US.

It is only about 6 miles from Colville to Kettle Falls. Once again, you have to drop your speed down to 25. There is an interesting antique barn here with shops inside and a great health food store, where you can also eat. On the other side of town, there is a popular Chevron gas station/store where you can stop to "use the facilities". It is clean and welcoming, and the store has varied products.

Just beyond the Chevron station is a large intersection where, if you turn right, you will be headed for Trail, British Columbia. Turn left, and you are headed to Republic, WA. But staying on Highway 395, it really starts to get interesting here. First, you start going through parts of the woods that you see many times during this part of the trip. Watch for wild turkeys, as they rove around in as many as 30 in a group! Also deer become more prevalent during this part of the trip. You will cross over the big bridge at Lake Roosevelt, and then you'll be driving a windy road alongside the water, that being the lake or later the Kettle River. The cliff that the road is cut into is quite steep! I like to drive a little slower during this part of the trip and just enjoy the scenery.

If you're driving anytime after 4 pm, watch closely for deer, as they might show up in seconds. I have even seen a bear or two along this road, and of course, the turkeys. If you're driving at night, be very careful, as there are all kinds of wildlife.

From Kettle Falls to the border, the gas stations or places to eat are pretty far between. Plan on eating or gassing up BEFORE you get on this part of the road.
Once you get to the Canadian border crossing, expect to pass through fairly quickly. There is not usually a line up and the agents are friendly enough, although ALL-BUSINESS, so do not joke with them! Once you get through the border, you'll drive a few kilometers and then the road makes a T. To the left is Grand Forks, B.C. (a small town about 15 minutes away), and to the right within about 5 kilometers is the beautiful tiny town of Christina Lake, B.C., a getaway in the winter and packed during the summer!

Enjoy your drive through this beautiful part of the world.
Please see my other reviews.

8  Thank bgrd2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2016

I drove this because it was necessary for my trip. It may be historic, but there is nothing that special to see. If you want historic roads, go to Rt 66 or the Lincoln Highway.

Thank EDWARD E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2016

cant really rate it much higher than 3 stars, as its a road. i guess its a good road, its clean and it doesnt cause no problems, not sure how it would get more stars from me though.

Thank robnkim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 24, 2016

Having traveled much of 395 in California, I couldn't resist taking this northernmost stretch from Spokane to British Columbia. It requires patience nearer to Spokane as you're passing right through the heart of these little towns with their attendant traffic and speed controls, but this is the charm of country driving-rolling hills, small towns, and a quiet two lane road that leads you to a tiny border crossing in the middle of the woods - so cool!

3  Thank MizMaxie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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