Because of heavy snow, the North Cascades National Park is only open to through traffic on SR 20 between late April and late November. The Anacortes area is hilly, the roads are curvy, and there is a moderate amount of residential traffic. The 4-lane highway that heads east to the mainland is very busy. After crossing the Skagit River flats, the route starts a long, gradual climb to the Pacific crest of the Cascades. In most places either the roads are wide or the traffic is light. After Washington Pass, the route climbs and descends a pass almost daily until reaching eastern Washington. Once in Idaho the terrain flattens as you wind your way along the Pend Orielle River into Sandpoint.
In 2022 we added a digital-only Curlew Alternate between Tonasket and Kettle Falls, WA. This is due to complaints about SR 20 having more traffic and narrow curves on portions of it. The alternate is only included in the GPX and Bicycle Route Navigator (BRN).
I purchased Northern Tier map sections 1 - 4 to get from Anacortes,WA to Fargo, ND. I found the maps to be very detailed and referred to them constantly during my trip. The information provided, along with the updates, was fabulous. I would recommend anyone planning, or doing, a bicycle trip across the country to purchase these maps. I had previously purchased map sections 9 - 11 and have the same comments.
Jon Heath on 1/23/19
These maps are amazing. The perfect tool for the job. So much detail and mile by mile info. Thank you to the creators and editors. We cannot wait for our trip this summer!
Northern Tier Section 1
Joseph Duncan on 5/4/11
I purchased the first section of the Northern Tier route just to get an idea of the information provided and the level of detail before buying the entire set. I was very impressed on both counts. I won't begin the ride from Seattle to Connecticut until the first week of August, 2011, but I should be able to plan and ride the trip very nicely with these maps. I'll review the whole package once I complete the ride in early October.
Kettle Falls - Anacortes - 11-14 aug 2009
A customer from Grenoble France on 8/24/09
2 bikers with 40 to 50 pounds on the bikes, coming from Jasper and going to Vancouver.
The guide was very useful in the towns and to get rid of heavy traffic, specially in the surroundings of Anacortes.
We must mention three modifications :
-near Winthrop, the camping "Pine Near" doesn't exist any more;
- there is a "Bicycle Barn Camp" 8 miles west of Winthrop.
- It is possible to put tent (free) in Diablo