Washington peeps - Highway 2 or 20?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by maxattack, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. maxattack

    maxattack Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hello everyone in Washington. I will be coming through your neck of the woods in about three weeks when I head back from Vancouver Island on back to Utah. Which is the better, prettier ride, Highway 20 or 2 to head east?
    #1
  2. StayFrosty

    StayFrosty Mid Life Crisis -Wish it happened 20 yrs ago Supporter

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    I haven't been on 20 but Hwy 2 is pretty boring.
    #2
  3. KLRmit

    KLRmit n00b

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    Hwy 20 definitely. Not as much traffic.
    #3
  4. tombear

    tombear n00b

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    WIthout a doubt .. another vote for Hwy 20. less traffic (safer), great scenery (pull in for a view of Diablo Lake), ice cream in Winthrop. I think Hwy 2 is still rated (unofficially?) as one of the most dangerous (traffic wise) highways around here.
    #4
  5. rkover1

    rkover1 doc

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    20
    #5
  6. tommybelvedere

    tommybelvedere Adv alacarte'

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    20, hwy 2 known as the hwy of death! lots of inattentive drivers in a big friggin hurry. Son rode his 250 dirt bike over a week or so ago on hwy 20, beautiful scenery.
    #6
  7. BruceWA

    BruceWA Been here awhile

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    Highway 20 without any hesitation. Perhaps the most scenic road in Washington.
    #7
  8. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    The Mt. Baker Hwy to Artist Point is probably the most scenic road in Washington, but all three are great.

    Hwy 2 has some nice spots to pull off on the side if you're heading east. You're following a river much of the way, and the sights are pretty cool. On a clear day as you head through Sultan, you can see Mt. Index ahead. It's a nice ride...east bound. I'd never recommend coming west on it. The traffic heading home is horrible.

    Hwy 20 is great as well. The best direction to take it on is west bound, simply because all the places to pull off and look at the scenery are on the left side of the road if you're going east.

    If I had to choose between only one, I'd go Hwy 20. Make sure you stop at the Washington Pass Overlook, NF-500 road. If you blow by that...well, it is your loss, not mine.

    The overlook has a view of Liberty Bell mountain. I'll often bring my lunch with me and stop here to eat it and just take in the grandeur of the view.

    [​IMG]

    Also...plan your fuel stops. Once you pass Marblemount, there is no gas till you're over the pass.

    Chris
    #8
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  9. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Long timer

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    Hwy 20 is a gem, there are other hidden gems to find as well.. if you take the 20 resist the temptation to head south on 153 just east of Twisp, stay on 20 up over Loup Loup and into Omak.. and go on up to Tonasket... drill down into the maps and find the tiny towns of Havilla, Molson, Chesaw, and Curlew... go thataway... you wont be sorry... there is nothing else that compares to this detour..

    Then maybe think about Hells Canyon.... hmmmmmm
    #9
  10. smg571

    smg571 n00b

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    Having travelled both highways, in both directions , with my KLR and also towing a 27ft., 5th wheel I can definitely recommend Hwy. 20. Stops at Diablo Lake, Winthrop and Twisp make the run quite enjoyable. Extending down to Lake Chelan via Pateros then to Wenatchee is a great way to head back to Utah.
    #10
  11. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    HWY20. If you can take it all the way to Spokane east ward even more of a bonus. Nice curvy two lane over mountain passes. For a bonus, take the ferry from Sydney BC to Anacortes, its way cheaper than the BC ferries and you can't beat the views cruising through the San Juan Islands. Can't miss. If you're on a moto, no reservations necessary just ride to the front of the line.

    HWY2 is boring in the eastern section and as someone pointed out the death highway in the western portion, although I prefer to ride it over I-90 any day, especially on a week day. If you can avoid riding any Washington highways westward on a Sunday but it looks like you not so more power and peaceful riding to you.
    #11
  12. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek adventurer Super Supporter

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    We rode 20 about a month ago and although it was a bit rainy, still enjoyed the ride.

    We stopped for dinner at Methow Valley Ciderhouse in Winthrop, WA. Fantastic food/beverages and people. Highly recommend it.
    #12
  13. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    Hey me too! The cider house actually had great BBQ and beer. For us it was hot in Winthrop, mid 90s.
    #13
  14. wetwider

    wetwider Adventurer

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    I highly recommend Hwy 20 and the North Cascades Highway over to Winthrop & Twisp too, 20 to 215 north to Omak, then 156 southeast to Grand Coulee (check out the dam) then work your way down 174 to Wilbur and maybe guys here or in Wilbur will have local knowledge to get you to Lewiston, Idaho, on enjoyable roads, otherwise it's mostly flat, straight farmland (there are some interesting geological formations in there, I just don't know quite where). From Lewiston, I'd take Hwy. 12 up over Lolo Pass (great ride!) and take a hot springs soak near the top if so inclined, then go on a little further and hang a right onto U.S. 93 in Montana south of Missoula and enjoy that great run down through Sun Valley, Haley, etc., along the Salmon River, all the way to Arco, Idaho, where I'd then ask local area riders for the best route to the part of Utah you're headed for.

    Except for some flat, straight slogs across eastern Washington farmland, it's almost all stellar riding roads. By heading to Idaho before turning south you'll avoid a LOT of hot through eastern Oregon & Nevada! You may luck out, though if the coolish air we're getting west of the Cascades fills in eat of the mountains. At least on 93 you can dip into the Salmon River & cool off in lots of places. Plenty of good camping and ma & pa motels this route too. Missoula, Boise and Salt Lake City are good for motorcycle parts & service if you need `em - detours off this route but not terribly far off.

    This assumes you, too, avoid the slabs.

    Happy trails!
    #14
  15. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    Not bad but I think I'd stay on 20 to Newport then 2 to Sandpoint then 200 into Missoula, then go south through Lolo Pass, though Stanley and Ketchum then directly south into Utah. My mom lived in Omak for 20 years, lots of hot, flat, boring riding southeast of there. 20 through Republic is fantastic, curvy mountain roads over Sherman Pass. Wilbur is just more farm lands and prairie. Even my father in law who is from Saskatchewan said it looked like home to him. Not sure how much time the OP said he had to get to Utah.
    #15
  16. wetwider

    wetwider Adventurer

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    I think you're confusing Lolo the community with Lolo the pass, or the fantastic road from Lewiston up to Lolo the town. It goes on and on, mostly by a river, wonderful curve after curve, somewhat similar to Hwy. 20 over the North Cascades. I agree staying on Hwy 20 to Idaho & then south to Misoula is a good ride. Cutting down over the flatland of Eastern Washington is a little boring and sometimes hot, but riding Lolo the Pass seems worth it. Also it's a little shorter or quicker going this way, Twisp to Missoula.

    Another great route is Rattlesnake from just west of Lewiston down to Enterprise & Joseph, OR, winding down to the Snake and east to Cambridge, ID, but getting on over to 93 from there doesn't look easy.

    All this. Presumes the guy likes curves & back roads. Not the best route for a cruiser rider or slab fan.
    #16
  17. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    You're right, Lost trail Pass is what i was thinking but definitely HWY93 south through Salmon, Stanley then 75 through Ketchum/Sun Valley. Then on to the hot flats of southern Idaho but I guess you gotta do it if you're going to Utah.

    Yes Enterprise and Joseph via Snake River Canyon is pretty nice. We camped at Lake Willowa last fall and then on through Walla Walla, really nice roads and scenery. Seems every town has a brewery or beer pub now. Bonus! Unfortunately we were on 4 wheels but thought when I move to Spokane this fall, this area won't be so far away. Easy 3 day weekend on the moto.
    #17
  18. wetwider

    wetwider Adventurer

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    You'll be in pig-heaven for good rides out of Spokane! Enjoy!
    #18
  19. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    I know, I can't wait. If my wife doesn't jump on the back, she won't see me much once we move over! I've been road tripping around there for a long time but very little on two wheels. The Old Pullman Highway starts a half a mile from my house. Northeast Washington, Northern Idaho, eastern BC, central idaho, tons of awesome riding. Even Montana and Wyoming are a lot closer.
    #19
  20. kitsapjoe

    kitsapjoe Adventurer Supporter

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    Hwy 20 hands down....
    #20