Forum Index » Pre-Trip Planning » 7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking)


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Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking) on 04/14/2013 11:42:41 MDT Print View

I'm taking 7 teens (and 1 other adult) on the West Coast Trail, flying in and out of Spokane and renting a van for the entire time...but besides hiking the trail we are ALSO spending an extra week in the area.

So...HOW DO I SPEND A WEEK IN WASHINGTON STATE? (Or SW Canada)

I'm not necessarily thinking of extensive hiking for this leg of the trip, though dayhikes would be great. None of these kids have been to the area before. They range from 16-18 years old. What are the must-sees of the area, including city-life?

Trip is in July.

P.S. Most of this gang have only seen snow a couple of times in their lives. Is there any accessible snow left in July?

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking) on 04/14/2013 12:04:21 MDT Print View

My first question is "why are you flying into Spokane?" I would think it would be much cheaper to fly into Seattle, YMMV.

Well on your way over/back you could take the long way and stop by Grand Coulee Dam, and then another side trip to Mt. Rainier, but you might have to hike for snow in later July (a long day hike will get you to Camp Muir, one of the base camp for hiking Rainier and always has snow)
Many things to see in Seattle- just Google what to do when visiting Seattle and you will have more than you will have time for.
Mt. Baker is also on your way (though out of the way a bit).

You should/will have a great trip, enjoy.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: 7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking) on 04/14/2013 12:18:46 MDT Print View

I was also wondering about Spokane. A day hike up the Railroad Grade on Mount Baker would get you to snow -- but you need to use some good judgment so you don't end up on a glacier. Seattle -- go to the REI store and climb the climbing wall...

Daryl Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: 7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking) on 04/14/2013 13:02:49 MDT Print View

I would drive over the North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) as you go east or west on your trip. You can stop along Highway 20 and do any of a number of day hikes within the North Cascades National Park. No admission charge to drive through or to day hike. You need a free permit for overnight backpacking.

You should be able to day hike up to snow and probably will see it along the road just east of Washington Pass on Highway 20.

Just by driving through the park you will see some of the most spectacular terrain in the world and it is on your way. It will also allow you to avoid some of the traffic around Seattle.

Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Thanks...keep the ideas coming...and why spokane on 04/14/2013 13:02:52 MDT Print View

Believe it or not, it is a little cheaper to fly into Spokane, especially counting the fact that my flights are with Southwest--2 bags fly free. But the real kicker is this: Avis always has great rental vehicle deals out of Spokane (at their downtown site--not the airport). I'm renting the 12 passenger van for two weeks for less than $1100. Can't find anything close to that price anywhere else.

The cheap car rentals out of Spokane seem to be a consistent thing; I had planned--but not taken--a trip out of Spokane last year and found similarly extra-cheap deals on cars.

John - I will definately hit the REI store climbing wall. This is a budget trip and that sounds like some cheap fun for everybody. The kids can climb the walls (which comes naturally to them at their age)...and I can shop. I live nowhere near any hiking stores.

Edited by HotTub on 04/15/2013 17:54:39 MDT.

M G
(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
Re: 7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking) on 04/14/2013 13:04:39 MDT Print View

Take a ferry north to the Queen Charlotte Islands!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: 7 days, 7 teens, 1 van in Washington State - ideas? (not necessarily hiking) on 04/14/2013 16:00:56 MDT Print View

I haven't been to Vancouver Island, so . . . there's that. However, I have some ideas:

Are you taking the ferry from Seattle or from Port Angeles? Are you taking the car or leaving it wherever you board the ferry?

If you return to the US at Port Angeles, then you can explore the northern and eastern sides of Olympic (if you've done the WCT, then you probably don't need to drive the long distance to see the Hoh Valley or the ONP coast areas). You could backpack into one of the valleys (Dosewallips or Duckabush) or just day-hike from Hurricane Ridge.

Then ferry back to Seattle and spend one day in downtown: tour Pikes Place Market & around there. Might be a Mariners game to attend. Stay in a hotel or leave and drive to Leavenworth, WA.

Camp in NF campgrounds along Icicle Creek Road south of Leavenworth. Day-hike up to Lake Stuart & Colchuck Lake, staring up at Aasgard Pass into the Enchantments. Hang out in Bavarian-themed Leavenworth. From there, you could drive up to Lake Chelan and take the ferry to Stehekin and camp there. Or drive up to Glacier Peak Wilderness and hike into Spider Meadow or the Napeequa Valley.

On the way back towards Spokane, you could stop by Dry Falls State Park to see the cliffs that were once the world's largest waterfalls during the Missoula floods (Hey, gotta get some teaching moments in, too!). Then back to Spokane.

Bryan Oliphint
(HotTub) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Texas
Thanks...keep the ideas coming... on 04/15/2013 17:59:51 MDT Print View

It'll take a little time for me to sort through everyone's suggestions...working 7 days a week right now.

But if anyone else wants to jump in and keep adding to it, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Not having been to the area, it's really hard for me to visualize my options, even with the internet and its wonderful Google Earth tools. If I were traveling alone, I would likely just rent a car and drive, asking people as I went.

Ian Van Halen
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
+1 Steven's suggestions on 04/20/2013 11:00:27 MDT Print View

That's a pretty awesome itinerary!

Day 1 Victoria; nice Nat History Museum and charming town overall.
Day 2 Ferry to Port Angeles and drive up to Hurricane Ridge
Day 3 Drive or Ferry to Seattle - Pike Place Market/REI/etc
Day 4-5 Drive to Rainier - paradise lodge and day hikes
Day 6-7 Drive to Leavenworth then on to Spokane Charming Bavarian town with numerous day hikes

I'm planning on hiking the West Coast trail in 2014. Looks like a lot of fun.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/21/2013 23:39:31 MDT.