Travelling the USA and Canada




Northwest (2)

Back in the wild Northwest

Eight years after our first trip we are back. Top left, just before the Canadian border, in the state of Washington. This time we fly directly to Seattle, the most exciting city of the Northwest.

Only one hour north of Seattle, we visit Boeing’s “Future of Flight Aviation Center” in Everett. On a factory tour you can see how aircrafts are assembled in the world’s largest production hall. A little further north we walk through the Bonhoeffer Botanical Gardens, a beautifully designed park where glass works of art mix with nature. Via Vernon and Sedro-Wooley we reach North Cascades National Park with its dams, reservoirs and the magnificent mountain roads over Rainy Pass and Washington Pass.

For the next 1.000 kilometers we go east through the mountains; the Canadian border is always just one hour’s drive away. Winthrop is a small cowboy town at the end of the Cascades, Okanagan is a good stop for food and gas, while the small gold mining town of Republic is nice for a stroll. Next stop on our way is the Sherman Pass. Colville and Newport follow along the road.

In Sandpoint, already in the panhandle of Idaho, we watch a great 4th of July parade. Beyond Bonners Ferry we cross the border to Montana and climb an awesome suspension bridge near Troy. The next destinations on our way east are the Kootenay Falls, Libby Dam at the huge Lake Koocanusa (Kootenai Canada USA), the small towns of Rexford and Whitefish and finally Kalispell, supply center of the region.

Cities, Nature, Art – Have a look…

Glacier National Park is another highlight of our trip. Logan Pass, 2,025 meters above sea level, is so popular that parking lots are rare even in the morning. Beyond the mountains, the vastness of Montana begins. An ideal location is Great Falls on the Missouri River with its waterfalls and the Black Eagle Dam. From here you can explore the Giant Springs Heritage State Park and the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park.

The next cities on our schedule are Helena, the small capital of the huge state, and Missoula with the University of Montana. Before we leave the state, we visit the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee. The National Bison Range again is a highlight you should not miss. The next three nights we spend in Spokane Valley, now back in the state of Washington.

Coeur d’Alene is a picture book town; public art, parks, trails, water – everything is available. No less interesting is Spokane, the biggest city between Seattle and Minneapolis. We follow US 2 west to the Grand Coulée Dam on the Columbia River, with an installed capacity of 6,800 MW the largest power station in the USA. The Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park is worth a detour; it is a huge canyon with unbelievably steep edges. After one night in Wenatchee, we go ahead to Leavenworth, the Bavarian city, unique in the USA: German street signs, Bavarian style houses, a McDonalds logo decorated with edelweiss. You just have to see it.

Our next destination far Northwest is Olympic National Park, which we reach via Stevens Pass and the car ferry across Puget Sound. Port Townsend is okay for spending the night, Port Angeles is the gateway to the park’s attractions such as Marymere Falls, famous Hurricane Ridge or the Elwha River Restoration, the largest dam dismantling project in the world. Via Olympia and Tacoma – both old friends from our first trip to the Northwest – we finally return to Seattle. This time we take four days to explore the streets and places of this fascinating city – believe us, it’s worth it!

Route Description

01Seattle Airport (SEA)SeaTac000 m / 000 km
02SeaTacSeattle000 m / 000 km
03SeaTacMarblemount125 m / 200 km
04MarblemountOkanogan130 m / 210 km
05OkanoganNewport185 m / 300 km
06NewportKalispell250 m / 400 km
07KalispellGlacier National Park100 m / 160 km
08KalispellGreat Falls230 m / 370 km
09Great FallsGreat Falls015 m / 025 km
10Great FallsGreat Falls015 m / 025 km
11Great FallsHelena100 m / 160 km
12HelenaMissoula130 m / 210 km
13MissoulaSpokane Valley230 m / 370 km
14Spokane ValleyCoeur d’Alene050 m / 080 km
15Spokane ValleySpokane020 m / 030 km
16Spokane ValleyWenatchee205 m / 330 km
17WenatcheePort Townsend180 m / 290 km
18Port TownsendPort Angeles125 m / 200 km
19Port AngelesOlympia120 m / 195 km
20OlympiaSeattle (Bellevue)070 m / 110 km
21Seattle (Bellevue)Seattle (Bellevue)000 m / 000 km
22Seattle (Bellevue)Seattle (Bellevue)030 m / 050 km
23Seattle (Bellevue)Seattle Airport (SEA)030 m / 050 km
Total2.340 m / 3.755 km

The Journey in Pictures