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Old Apr 26, 02, 5:00 pm   #1
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Drive time from Vancouver to Seattle?

I can imagine that customs may slow one down, but what is a conservative drive time allowance for the Vancouver to Seattle route?

I also assume that taking 99 south out of Vancouver which becomes 5 in the states is the quickest route?
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Old Apr 26, 02, 5:48 pm   #2
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3 hrs is a good time to expect although 4-5 would be more appropriate if you're planning for an event or flight at the other end. Assuming no heavy traffic, it's about 30-45 minutes from Vancouver to the border and then 1 1/2 hrs to downtown Seattle once you cross the border.

The route you stated is the best route: head south on Oak Street which turns into 99 which brings you to the border.

Border waits depends on time of day and day of week. Southbound, weekends (starting Friday afternoon) are generally the worse times to cross. Early mornings or late at night always seem to be the best.

There are some alternative routes. There are two crossings next to each other with the truck crossing sometimes faster. For this, you take the 8th Avenue East exit (West takes you to White Rock), go to the 1st traffic lights (176th street or is it Avenue?) and turn right. Once you cross the border, go straight and it feeds onto I-5.
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Old Apr 27, 02, 8:02 am   #3
 
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Hwy 99 is the best route south. However, listen to the radio traffic reports on the trip south - they will announce if Peace Arch (the main Hwy 99 crossing) is backing up. If that happens, watch for 16th or 8th Avenue just before the border, and turn left, then go a couple of miles east to 176th Street, then turn South. This crossing is not signed as such, at least not very well, but you should be able to see it on the rental car maps. The crossing is referred to as Aldergrove, and the road South merges back to I-5. Late last year when I came across, the wait at Peace Arch was 2 hours, the truck crossing was over an hour, and Aldergrove was 10 minutes. Just be alert to the radio traffic reports, and enjoy the trip.

[This message has been edited by fcrit (edited 04-27-2002).]
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Old Apr 27, 02, 9:00 am   #4
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by fcrit:
The crossing is referred to as Aldergrove, and the road South merges back to I-5. Late last year when I came across, the wait at Peace Arch was 2 hours, the truck crossing was over an hour, and Aldergrove was 10 minutes. Just be alert to the radio traffic reports, and enjoy the trip.</font>
Bit of an error but you're forgiven since you're not a local. The Aldergrove crossing is quite a bit farther east. It's south of Langley so some 20-25 minutes drive along slow roads (need to make turns as it's not continous). I think the street is 232nd or so. That border can get backed up if there's heavy use.

The road takes you south through Lynden allt he way to Bellingham (Coast Meridian) and you get on I-5 there.

This site gives you a view although it's hard to tell the Peace Arch southbound crossing situation.

http://www.borderlineups.com/allview.htm

This site shows the crossing as WA543 and BC 15.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/regions/nort...ic/bordercams/
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Old Feb 20, 07, 1:08 am   #5
 
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Around noon, Sunday. Downtown Seattle - Downtown Vancouver. I can fly (AS) or drive. Which is faster? Don't care about cost as all will be expensed.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 20, 07, 8:29 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by B-HQC View Post
Around noon, Sunday. Downtown Seattle - Downtown Vancouver. I can fly (AS) or drive. Which is faster? Don't care about cost as all will be expensed.

Thanks.
Driving and flying are probably about the same amount of time, taking into account getting into and out of the airports, through customs (if there is a reasonably short wait at the border driving), and getting into and out of downtown.

Will you have your own car or will you be renting? If you rent, make certain that the rental company knows you are taking the car across the border, to prevent problems once you get to the checkpoint.

It's a beautiful drive if the weather is nice and clear. It can be a slog if it is raining heavily (or worse, snowing).
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Old Feb 20, 07, 2:40 pm   #7
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If cost were no object, I would fly. I would also assume you would get a rental car once you arrive in YVR anyways.
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Old Feb 21, 07, 5:53 am   #8
 
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Fly Fly Fly

In the winter, it gets pretty wet or slippery just south of Bellingham.

If the weather is great, it is a pretty drive.

You did mention money is not an issue then fly.

I totalled my car just south of Bellingham with a freak snow and wind storm.
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Old Feb 22, 07, 1:56 am   #9
 
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
Bit of an error but you're forgiven since you're not a local. The Aldergrove crossing is quite a bit farther east. It's south of Langley so some 20-25 minutes drive along slow roads (need to make turns as it's not continous). I think the street is 232nd or so. That border can get backed up if there's heavy use.

The road takes you south through Lynden allt he way to Bellingham (Coast Meridian) and you get on I-5 there.

This site gives you a view although it's hard to tell the Peace Arch southbound crossing situation.

http://www.borderlineups.com/allview.htm

This site shows the crossing as WA543 and BC 15.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/regions/nort...ic/bordercams/
All good information. One correction, though; it's "Guide-Meridian" not "Coast Meridian." But you're forgiven since you're not a local

I live in Bellingham. The Peace Arch is the main crossing, the truck crossing is sometimes quicker. It depends what time of the day you're crossing. Don't take the Aldergrove crossing. The 25 minutes it takes to drive east will negate any time you make up with a shorter wait in line.

If the weather were nice, I'd say drive from Seattle to Vancouver. The traffic is light on Interstate-5 on Sundays, and Chuckanut Drive -- a beautiful scenic route along the coast that only adds about 15 minutes to your drive time -- is well worth it when it's sunny and clear. We don't expect to have that kind of weather around here for a few more months

As for the roads near Bellingham; they're no wetter than anywhere else in the Northwest.
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Old Feb 23, 07, 10:26 am   #10
 
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Definitely fly. It's snowing right now.
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Old Feb 25, 07, 6:11 pm   #11
 
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Where is chuckanut drive?

As for driving SEA-downtown or vice-versa I enjoy the 99 (viaduct?)

By the way, what are you Seattlites voting for?
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Old Feb 26, 07, 10:00 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by sjefenole View Post
Where is chuckanut drive?

As for driving SEA-downtown or vice-versa I enjoy the 99 (viaduct?)

By the way, what are you Seattlites voting for?

Chuckanute Drive is SR 11. It's a 21-mile road in Whatcom and Skagit counties. If you hop off and back on Interstate 5, it will add about 20 minutes to your trip.

Here are a couple sites with maps and photos.

http://www.chuckanutdrive.com/

http://www.experiencewashington.com/...ay.aspx?bwid=2
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Old Mar 3, 07, 5:42 pm   #13
 
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driving from Seattle to Whistler in mid-April

My friend and I are driving to Whistler from Seattle in mid-April. Do we need 4WD, or are we fine with a regular cheap rental? We're from the east coast in the US and don't know what to expect that time of year.

Thanks.
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Old Mar 3, 07, 5:50 pm   #14
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Welcome to FT!

For mid-April, a normal car is fine. You won't see snow until you go up the lifts.
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Old Mar 3, 07, 5:53 pm   #15
 
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thanks!

Thanks for the info on the car.

Is there anything we need to know about crossing the border in a rental car? I've got a passport and my friend is getting his. We just don't want to be caught off guard when we get up there, because staying in the US isn't as exciting as going to Whistler.
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