Northwest Cascades is in the North Cascades region of Washington.

Cities edit

Map of Northwest Cascades
  • 1 Anacortes - gateway to the San Juan Islands
  • 2 Bellingham - county seat of Whatcom County and last US city before Canada on I-5
  • 3 Birch Bay  
  • 4 Blaine - major border crossing with Canada
  • 5 Bow - a small coastal village at south end of Chuckanut Drive, near Burlington
  • 6 Burlington
  • 7 Concrete  
  • 8 Ferndale
  • 9 La Conner , famous for the local tulips and historic district
  • 10 Lummi Island
  • 11 Lynden , Dutch heritage and farming center
  • 12 Mount Vernon - county seat of Skagit County a major tulip growing area.
  • 13 Point Roberts - American enclaved community that you have to travel through Canada to reach by land
  • 14 Sedro-Woolley
  • 15 Sumas , border town

Other destinations edit

Artist Point on Mount Baker, a stiff hike to 5140', with a grand view at the top.
Mt Baker Vista at the end of Glacier Creek Road (Forest Road 39)

Commercial establishments edit

Understand edit

This subregion consists of Whatcom County and Skagit County

Get in edit

By plane edit

1 Bellingham International Airport (BLI IATA)   is the primary airport serving the region.2 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA IATA), while located a way to the south of Seattle, is the closest national-grade airport in the USA. 3 Vancouver International Airport (YVR IATA), while across the border in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada, is sometimes convenient.

By train edit

By car edit

From British Columbia edit

To cross this international border, you need an international travel document: a passport, a NEXUS card (see below), a US Passport Card, or certain US and Canadian "Enhanced ID" Drivers Licences. Most of these cards have Radio-Frequency ID (RFID) chips, which detectors can read when you wave the card in front of them. Some US-bound lanes are marked "Ready Lane" or "RFID". In these lanes you may use either a NEXUS card or another kind of RFID card. In the table below, some of the NEXUS hours actually NEXUS and Ready Lane hours.

There are five land border crossing points, between the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, Canada and the Northwest Cascades region of Washington state, USA. They are referred to by different terms in Canada and the US.

Land border crossings between the Lower Mainland and the Northwest Cascades (west to east)
Hours NEXUS open, entering:
Canadian name US name Location Hours open Canada US Comments
4 Boundary Bay   Point Roberts Delta, BC (56th St) – Point Roberts, WA (Tyee Drive) Daily 24 hours Summer daily 7AM–7PM, winter none Daily 9AM–7PM This crossing is only useful for reaching Point Roberts, the US tip of a Canadian peninsula which extends just south of the 49° N latitude. There is no land access from there to the rest of the USA.
5 Surrey (Douglas / Peace Arch)   Blaine (Peace Arch) Surrey, BC (Highway 99) – Blaine, WA (Interstate 5) Daily 24 hours Daily 7AM–midnight Daily 6AM–midnight Primary border crossing point for cars. Foot and bicycle traffic also welcome. No commercial traffic allowed. Best NEXUS lane access. Canadian and US Customs offices here are good places to ask questions.
6 Pacific Highway   Blaine (Pacific Highway) Surrey, BC (Highway 15) – Blaine, WA (WA-543) (From Hwy 99 southbound take exit 2A and go along 8 Ave for 1.5 km to Hwy 15. From I-5 northbound take exit 275 for WA-543.) Daily 24 hours Daily 7AM–midnight Daily 6AM–9PM Also known as "Truck Crossing". Primary border crossing point for trucks and buses. Cars and foot traffic also welcome, with waits usually shorter than at Peace Arch. Canadian and US Customs offices here are good places to ask questions.
7 Aldergrove   Lynden Langley, BC (Highway 13) – Lynden, WA (WA-539, the Guide Meridian) Daily 8AM–midnight Daily 10AM–8PM None Due north of Bellingham. Often has shorter lines than Peace Arch and Pacific Highway, but also less capacity for line-ups. If you are going to or from Vancouver or the western suburbs the longer drive to Aldergrove usually outweighs the shorter lines.
8 Huntingdon   Sumas Abbotsford, BC (Highway 11) – Sumas, WA (WA-9) Daily 24 hours M–F 8AM–8PM, Sa Su, Hol 8AM–10PM M–F 8AM–6PM, Sa Su 8AM–5PM The Canadian side is Abbotsford BC. Less capacity for ine-ups than Peace Arch and Pacific Highway.

Visitors travelling to Vancouver by car across the U.S. border should be aware that there are often lengthy lineups at the border, in either direction. During summer, waits at the border can exceed three hours during peak times.

Inform yourself about the waits, and you can either delay your crossing until the lines subside, or choose the quickest crossing, or at least set your expectations. You can see current wait time forecasts for both directions on the Canada Border Services Agency website , and for US-bound traffic on the US Customs and Border Protection website . Washington State also maintains charts of estimated times towards Canada . It can be helpful to view webcams of the border lineups; Canada-bound and US-bound . Two AM stations give regular updates on border lineups in both directions: News 1130 (1130 on the AM dial) every 10 minutes beginning at one minute past the hour, and AM 730 every 10-15 minutes. Electronic signs near the border on I-5, BC 99, #1 BC-11 and BC 15 give the current wait times at both the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway crossings, allowing you to choose the shorter option.

The NEXUS program lets travellers who fill out an application and pass a security check use express lanes through US-Canada land borders by presenting a NEXUS card. When regular lanes have backups, NEXUS lanes usually have much shorter waits. However, the NEXUS lanes impose many restrictions which regular lanes do not; e.g. everyone in your car must have a NEXUS card.

From other places in Washington edit

From Seattle and Puget Sound edit

Head north on Interstate 5 from Seattle. Mount Vernon, Burlington, Bellingham, Blaine and Ferndale are directly on the highway. Other towns are usually a short drive away on local highways: see the individual Get in sections of the towns.

From Eastern Washington edit

The North Cascades Highway (SR-20) runs from the Okanogan valley area across the Cascades to Burlington and Sedro-Woolley; it is always closed in winter. Two passes across the Cascades further south are usually open all year (except in storms): US-2 over Stevens Pass from Wenatchee and I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass from Ellensburg: when you reach I-5 you will have to turn north to reach this region.

By boat edit

  • 9 Alaska Marine Highway System, toll-free: +1-800-642-0066. A ferry service from Bellingham, Washington up the Inside Passage to Haines, Alaska. Plan your travel early as this service tends to fill up fast.    
  • Washington State Ferries, +1 206 464-6400, toll-free: +1-800-843-3779. The Washington State Ferry system offers once or twice daily sailings from Sidney, BC to the San Juan Islands with continuing service to Anacortes. For security and immigration processing when traveling between the US and Canada, a 60-minute advance arrival is strongly suggested for vehicle traffic. Walk-on passengers must arrive 30 minutes in advance. Service to Sidney has been suspended since the Covid-19 pandemic and the operator has announced that service to Sidney is suspended until at least 2030 due to the lack of available ferries and crew.    
  • Several towns in the region, including Bellingham, Blaine and Anacortes, have marinas for private boats.

Get around edit

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Eat edit

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Stay safe edit

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This region travel guide to Northwest Cascades is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!