Your Questions About Pass To Seattle Conditions

Thomas asks…

How are road conditions in Washington state?

I am going to Brewster (from Seattle) on Saturday. And I am wondering how the road conditions are. Because I mean my car doesn’t have any special winter tires or anything.
Should I take US2-US97 or WA20 (which would be a little shorter)

admin answers:

WA 20 is currently closed due to heavy snowfall from the storm on Monday. They will assess this week whether they can continue plowing it or if this is the end of the opening for the year.

WA 20 usually closes due to the weather between the end of November and mid-April or so every year. This route gets too much snow and too high of a chance of avalanches so it just stays closed until the weather warms up again.

I recommend checking the conditions on US2 before leaving. It might be OK without winter gear, but might not – there is definitely snow on the mountains right now. You can be ticketed for driving the pass without traction tires/chains if the state patrol has said they are required (not to mention the risk of getting stuck, spinning out or hurtling yourself over a cliff).

Drive carefully!

Mandy asks…

driving seattle to fairbanks in uhaul in february, thoughts?

My brother and I are going to retrieve a UHaul trailer full of moving things and are planning on driving it from Seattle to Fairbanks in the first week of February next year. I am hoping it will be a great experience but I am somewhat concerned about road conditions/weather. Do you have any experience or thoughts?

admin answers:

The Alcan highway is NOT open in all sections at that time of year. The boarder crossing at „top of the world“ is closed until late May. Several mountain passes in B.C. The Yukon shut down for the winter also.

The Marine Highway is the only way to get a car to Alaska in winter. You must make reservations for that. You will need some information about the U-haul for the ferry. If you are entering Canada, you will need passports & a form from U-haul to let the rental truck in & out.

Google Alaska Marine Ferry, & read about it. Fairbanks to Anchorage is a long ride in winter. Due to weather, this trip could take more then just 1 week. Also, know how much U-haul will charge on this BEFORE you go. My guess is it won’t be cheap.

James asks…

Is there a sunny place in Washington State?

I live near Seattle; I’ve read that Sequim is always sunny but if you look at the reports, it is not. Frankly, I just need to see the stars. I want to go anywhere in December (within 3 hours driving) just to see the stars. Does anyone know where there is a REALLY good chance of this happening?

admin answers:

With good road conditions on I-90 you can reach Ellensburg in 1:45, Yakima in 2:20 or Moses Lake in 2:50, and east of the Cascades will offer your best chance at seeing stars.

You will likely have to deal with snow in the pass so add :30min +/-, you might need chains on your car too, and December is when they get the most amount of days with either rain or snow over there so plan careully or it will be a wasted effort…

Michael asks…

How to become a Washington state resident. We are moving to Seattle.?

My husband and I live in California, moving to Seattle in a week. We need to have residency for a full year before we can start going to school. So how do we become residents? ive been researching, but no one has said exactly what to do.

admin answers:

Moving? Get WA license
By law, you have 30 days to get your Washington driver license once you establish residency in Washington State.

How to establish residency in Washington
You are considered a resident when you do any of the following:

Arrive in Washington and begin establishing a home in the state.
Register to vote.
Receive state benefits.
Apply for any state license.
Seek in-state tuition fees.
How to get a Washington State driver license
If you have a valid driver license from another state
Visit a driver licensing office.
Bring with you:
Proof of identity, including your out-of-state license.
Cash or check to pay the $45 fee for your first Washington driver license ($20 for your application and $25 for your license).
Your Social Security number, which is mandatory to help enforce child support laws. You don’t need to show us your Social Security card. We’ll verify your Social Security number, but it won’t appear on your license.
Complete a driver license application.
Pass a vision screening and demonstration of color recognition.
After completing the steps above, you won’t need to take a knowledge test or a driving test unless you have a medical or physical condition that indicates testing is required.
You must turn in your out-of-state license to us so it can be invalidated.
If you have an expired driver license from another state
You must pass the knowledge test and driving test in addition to completing all the steps above.

If you have valid license from another country
Germany and British Columbia are the only locations that have reciprocity agreements with Washington State.

If you have a valid German or British Columbia driver license, you may get a Washington State driver license by following the steps above for new residents with a valid license from another state.
If you have moved to Washington State from a country other than Germany or a Canadian province other than British Columbia, you must complete all the steps to getting your first license.
If you are visiting Washington State from another country, you may use your out-of-country driver license for up to 1 year.

When you’ll get your WA license
Before you leave the licensing office, you’ll get a temporary license that will allow you to drive for 45 days. Your permanent Washington driver license will be processed and mailed to you within 7–10 days. If for some reason you haven’t received your new license within 30 days, please return to any driver licensing office.

How to get an enhanced driver license
See Steps to getting your EDL/EID to learn how to get a Washington State enhanced driver license, which is an acceptable alternative to a passport for re-entry into the U.S. At land and sea border crossings.

Related laws
RCW 46.20.021: New residents

Donald asks…

What is the best way to avoid snow driving from DC to WA in March?

I’m moving to Washington state in March (south west of Seattle), and will be using my rear wheel drive car to get me there. Can anyone suggest a good route to take to avoid snow over the mountains. If this is impossible in March, when do conditions improve? I’ve never driven across country, so any input would be appreciated. Here is my current route:,39.615970,-119.262650%3B6154796445926031113,42.460747,-123.314835%3B15189850775639637273,44.737770,-123.052510%3B1794969932032278822,46.140700,-122.897560%3B16885158820951587036,46.993130,-123.893940&saddr=S+Washington+St,+Alexandria,+Alexandria,+Virginia+22314,+United+States&daddr=I-80+W+%4039.615970,+-119.262650+to:I-5+N+%4042.460747,+-123.314835+to:I-5+N+%4044.737770,+-123.052510+to:I-5+N+%4046.140700,+-122.897560+to:Perry+Ave+%4046.993130,+-123.893940&mra=pe&mrcr=0&doflg=ptm&sll=42.875964,-100.458984&sspn=34.04612,76.992188&ie=UTF8&t=p&z=4


admin answers:

Now’s the time to experience the joy of driving in the weather – and in March there is a little chance you won’t have any snow.

This year the pass just before Seattle (Snoqualmie) had snow as late as June. Just be patient and you’ll do fine, just like all the other 10’s of thousands of people driving it everyday even in the winter. It wasn’t that long ago that people only had rear wheel drive and they still made cross country trips.

Anyway – I don’t know that there’s an easier (less snow) way to go. If you go south of Seattle to cross then you’ll be going over White pass and that’s worse. But even before WA on 90 you’ll hit a couple nice passes in MT (Lookout pass and 4th of July pass) If you have all the time in the world you can go south from DC and catch 40 and go across through NM and AZ then go north in CA on 5. That might be better but it would add day and days to your trip. I don’t think 70 in the middle of the state will help much either – you’ll be going through the high passes of CO and UT that way.

90 is the way to go – they do a good job keeping as clear as they can – it is an interstate after all. If it gets too freaky just pull over until it clears up.

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