I am planning a trip from Michigan to Seattle along i90, Tips?

  • Hi Guest, you may choose a LIGHT or DARK theme that works best for you with the "Style Chooser" button at the bottom left on this page!
  • HTML tutorial

Bluewater Overland

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
Goodells, Michigan
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Woolman
Member #

21139

i am looking to make the most from this trip and this is the first time i have gone west of Chicago so i am looking for any places to see and camp along the way, i have a feeling once i get to the Pacific Northwest i will not want to come home
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neal A. Tew

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY
i am looking to make the most from this trip and this is the first time i have gone west of Chicago so i am looking for any places to see and camp along the way, i have a feeling once i get to the Pacific Northwest i will not want to come home
You are correct in thinking you will never want to leave the PNW... I took I90 west back in ‘13 with the intentions of coming to Oregon for a few months, then head back east to Colorado via I84,80, and 25... while I have made the journey East 4 times in the past 7 years I have also made the return journey west every time as well.
Things to see along the 90... corn fields of Nebraska, corn Fields of Iowa, The oil mines of North Dakota, then when you finally get to Wyoming, Montana and Idaho the options really open up For camping and exploring.
 

oldmopars

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,865
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
Member #

20486

Western Montana, Idaho and Washington are all wonderful with a ton of places to stop. The problem is that there are so many nice places, you would need 3 months to see them all.
I really love the section from Western Montana through the mountains to Spokane Wa. After Spokane it is fairly flat till Ellensburg (150 miles?), but then you climb the mountains up and over the pass and down into hell, I mean Seattle. :laughing:
I live in Yakima and have traveled east several times and I have been in the other states along the way, and the best parts are in the PNW.
 
  • Like
Reactions: M Rose

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY
Western Montana, Idaho and Washington are all wonderful with a ton of places to stop. The problem is that there are so many nice places, you would need 3 months to see them all.
I really love the section from Western Montana through the mountains to Spokane Wa. After Spokane it is fairly flat till Ellensburg (150 miles?), but then you climb the mountains up and over the pass and down into hell, I mean Seattle. :laughing:
I live in Yakima and have traveled east several times and I have been in the other states along the way, and the best parts are in the PNW.
I do agree with you... although the New England states are also very pretty and I would love to go back and explore them even more. South Central US is neat as well... I like the deserts of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. I want to see more of those as well.
But back on topic, I grew up here in the Northwest. And haven’t even come close to exploring my whole back yard in the very north eastern tip of the state of Oregon. Let alone the rest of the state. I made my first trip into central Western Washington two weeks a go. And next week will be my first trip up to Spokane. I am very excited to be getting out more this year and exploring further from home. Meeting new people from a crossed the region. And most importantly spending time with my wife and daughter during our explorations.
 

MrWilsonWJ

Rank V
Member

Member III

1,691
Kennewick, WA
First Name
Dustin
Last Name
Wilson
Member #

23384

What time of year are you planning this trip? Out here that can really determine not only the places that you can get to but also what is cool to check out. I can't speak for all of 90 but once you get to the PNW the list is endless of places to go, I'm from WA so I only now here and a little bit of northern ID. After you get over Lookout pass from Montana into Idaho stop in Kellogg ID, the gondola ride up to silver mtn. is kind of cool if you've never been and I think the Lodge is open year round if you want to grab food. Plenty of places to get lost and camp around there also has a mining museum in town. From there to Spokane you could probably spend a week in the woods. If you're not in a hurry turn on highway 97 on the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene and head south, it's a nice drive with camping and trails all around the area. Off 97 you would head west via highway 6/227/26 until you hit Vantage WA and meet back up with 90. If you wanted to stick to 90 through Spokane for time a couple stops to see would be the Ancient Lakes outside Quincy WA and the Columbia Gorge around Vantage. Also look up the Gorge Amphitheater in George WA, if they happen to have a concert you like at the time you're passing through it's awesome. Again if you're not in a hurry I would suggest heading south at Ellensburg to Yakima and cross the mtns. via 410 (if it's open) or 12, it's a longer drive but lots of things to see places to camp and trails. Don't get me wrong there is tons of stuff from Ellensburg to seattle along 90 but that area is becoming more for Tourists and rich people with "cabins" now days you have to travel further off the highway to get away from the crowds. If you wanted to throw some gravel in the mix you could even head south out of Ellensburg on section 2 of the WABDR until it runs into highway 12 then head west into Seattle. These ideas aren't even scratching the surface of places to go and things to see in the PNW, you might just lurk around some of the threads for trip planning and the regions you'll be traveling through and see what places people are talking about to get more ideas. And of course any question about the places I mentioned fire away!
 

Bluewater Overland

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
Goodells, Michigan
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Woolman
Member #

21139

What time of year are you planning this trip? Out here that can really determine not only the places that you can get to but also what is cool to check out. I can't speak for all of 90 but once you get to the PNW the list is endless of places to go, I'm from WA so I only now here and a little bit of northern ID. After you get over Lookout pass from Montana into Idaho stop in Kellogg ID, the gondola ride up to silver mtn. is kind of cool if you've never been and I think the Lodge is open year round if you want to grab food. Plenty of places to get lost and camp around there also has a mining museum in town. From there to Spokane you could probably spend a week in the woods. If you're not in a hurry turn on highway 97 on the east side of Lake Coeur d'Alene and head south, it's a nice drive with camping and trails all around the area. Off 97 you would head west via highway 6/227/26 until you hit Vantage WA and meet back up with 90. If you wanted to stick to 90 through Spokane for time a couple stops to see would be the Ancient Lakes outside Quincy WA and the Columbia Gorge around Vantage. Also look up the Gorge Amphitheater in George WA, if they happen to have a concert you like at the time you're passing through it's awesome. Again if you're not in a hurry I would suggest heading south at Ellensburg to Yakima and cross the mtns. via 410 (if it's open) or 12, it's a longer drive but lots of things to see places to camp and trails. Don't get me wrong there is tons of stuff from Ellensburg to seattle along 90 but that area is becoming more for Tourists and rich people with "cabins" now days you have to travel further off the highway to get away from the crowds. If you wanted to throw some gravel in the mix you could even head south out of Ellensburg on section 2 of the WABDR until it runs into highway 12 then head west into Seattle. These ideas aren't even scratching the surface of places to go and things to see in the PNW, you might just lurk around some of the threads for trip planning and the regions you'll be traveling through and see what places people are talking about to get more ideas. And of course any question about the places I mentioned fire away!
i have a couple of week s off the beginning of April and again i have never been west of Chicago but i have friends in Seattle so we are going to camp and explore all around there but i just dont know what to expect beginning of April i hope that this warm winter may make it a little nicer
 

Bluewater Overland

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
Goodells, Michigan
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Woolman
Member #

21139

I do agree with you... although the New England states are also very pretty and I would love to go back and explore them even more. South Central US is neat as well... I like the deserts of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. I want to see more of those as well.
But back on topic, I grew up here in the Northwest. And haven’t even come close to exploring my whole back yard in the very north eastern tip of the state of Oregon. Let alone the rest of the state. I made my first trip into central Western Washington two weeks a go. And next week will be my first trip up to Spokane. I am very excited to be getting out more this year and exploring further from home. Meeting new people from a crossed the region. And most importantly spending time with my wife and daughter during our explorations.
We have friends in Seattle and their story was they came out for a visit then back for another visit then that was it they moved and never looked back so for the limited time ill have i really want to explore as much of NOT the city as i can and i feel that this road trip will be like no other
 

oldmopars

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,865
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
Member #

20486

Expect non-stop rain as soon as you cross over the Cascades into the Puget Sound area. East of there you will mostly see sunshine.
Bring rain gear and plan for it to be very wet. It could rain every day you are in the Seattle area. Other than that there is a ton of cool stuff to see. Be sure to visit Mt. Rainier., a trip over 410 to Yakima or the other way is well worth it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Billiebob

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY
We have friends in Seattle and their story was they came out for a visit then back for another visit then that was it they moved and never looked back so for the limited time ill have i really want to explore as much of NOT the city as i can and i feel that this road trip will be like no other
Sounds like my Mother’s family... they were driving from Fresno to Alaska on a family vacation... they didn’t make it to Alaska that year... the bought the farm instead... lol
 

Jeff B

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,306
Putnam County, New York, USA
Member #

14747

I took a trip on that route this past summer. Minnesota seemed pretty barren on places to stop and things to see on the Western side.The next time I drive that way, I will probably try Iowa instead. South Dakota has a bunch of things to see; Badlands, Custer State Park, the Black Hills, Mt Rushmore. Then in Wyoming, Bighorn Nation Forest seemed like it could be nice to explore, although I only drove through it. It really depends on what kind of stuff you want to see along the way.
 

trikebubble

Rank V
Member

Advocate I

2,522
Penticton, BC
Member #

1969

I'd ditch I90 in Missoula and head to Lolo then take Hwy 12 West. Depending on the time of year (and it may be too early in April), but I'd at least check to see when the North Cascade Hwy opens (Hwy20 from the Okanagan Valley over to the PNW).
 
  • Like
Reactions: M Rose

Bluewater Overland

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
Goodells, Michigan
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Woolman
Member #

21139

I took a trip on that route this past summer. Minnesota seemed pretty barren on places to stop and things to see on the Western side.The next time I drive that way, I will probably try Iowa instead. South Dakota has a bunch of things to see; Badlands, Custer State Park, the Black Hills, Mt Rushmore. Then in Wyoming, Bighorn Nation Forest seemed like it could be nice to explore, although I only drove through it. It really depends on what kind of stuff you want to see along the way.
Ive been looking on campsites and i am definitely going to camp and check out the badlands but yea other than a green giant statue there does not look like too much until South Dakota
 

Bluewater Overland

Rank I
Member

Member I

233
Goodells, Michigan
First Name
Dan
Last Name
Woolman
Member #

21139

Whos from out west that could fill me in on what the weather is usually like the beginning of April im thinking rain but Michigan has little as far as elevation so i have a feeling you all are going to tell me theres 2’ of snow still that early in Spring
 

M Rose

US Northwest Region Director
Benefactor
Member

Explorer I

5,171
La Grande, Oregon, USA
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Rose
Member #

20990

Ham Callsign
KJ7MFV
Service Branch
US ARMY
Whos from out west that could fill me in on what the weather is usually like the beginning of April im thinking rain but Michigan has little as far as elevation so i have a feeling you all are going to tell me theres 2’ of snow still that early in Spring
There’s 1-4’ of snow in the higher elevations until July... but you never know... right now the snow line for my valley is at about 3,500 feet or so.
 

Jeff B

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,306
Putnam County, New York, USA
Member #

14747

Ive been looking on campsites and i am definitely going to camp and check out the badlands but yea other than a green giant statue there does not look like too much until South Dakota
The Badlands has a campground and there are a bunch around the Black Hills/Custer State Park/Mt Rushmore. I don't recall any in Minnesota. We found a hotel there. The Green Giant is cool, but only if you are going that way.
 
  • Like
Reactions: M Rose

JackA

Rank I
Member

Contributor II

271
Orondo, WA, USA
First Name
Jack
Last Name
Anderson
Member #

22064

No matter how you travel it, the central prairie is just that, prairie. You will gain an appreciation for those who made the trip in wagon trains. One route you might find of interest is to travel on I94 West to Glendive, MT. then take Hwy 200N and Hwy 13 to join Highway 2 West. Following Hwy 2 West will take you through the Blackfeet Nation and Glacier National Park with lots of pretty good places of interest in between. At Sandpoint, ID you could turn South to on Hwy 95 to Lake Coeur d'Alene (a sight worth taking in). A short run on I90 West to Spokane, WA then North on Hwy 95 to Kettle Falls, WA where you can pick up Hwy 20 West and stay on it all the way to the coast of Washington. Western Montana to the Washington coast is filled with geological, historic and scenic attractions. Check this site for some ideas: Route 97
We just returned from a road trip to Denver using I90. It is really one beat up high traffic corridor that I intend to avoid for ever more...
 

Mr. Nelson

Rank IV
Member

Contributor III

894
Brandon, South Dakota, USA
First Name
Kirk
Last Name
Nelson
Member #

20863

Ham Callsign
KE0ZZK
Coming through South Dakota there isn't much to see on the Eastside of the state. You can stop in Mitchell for the corn palace for an interesting sight and a bit of historical significance inside. Beyond that there isn't much to stop and look at on the Eastside. Crossing the Missouri and heading to western South Dakota you have the minuteman silos dotted throughout the countryside, Wounded Knee, and of course the Badlands are a must, and the Black Hills. There are hundreds of miles of trails to explore in the Black Hills and you will need to purchase a trail pass to do so, but worth it in the long run. There are multiple places to look at in the Black Hills from your typical tourist destinations and off the beaten path places like old ghost towns, mines, and the lot.
 

Old Griz

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

1,721
North Idaho
First Name
Bill
Last Name
Clisham
Member #

9810

i am looking to make the most from this trip and this is the first time i have gone west of Chicago so i am looking for any places to see and camp along the way, i have a feeling once i get to the Pacific Northwest i will not want to come home
You may not want to go back at first but the first all green fall season you will really want to go back
Bill 9810