If you are looking at the map and trying to decide where your next adventure will take you, the road trip from Edmonton to Seattle is a journey that blends breathtaking natural landscapes of world-famous national parks with urban charm, and that before you even reach your destination, home of the iconic Space Needle.
The 1,395 km road trip from Edmonton to Seattle will take about 15 hours to drive. On the way, you can visit Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden, Spokane, Kamloops, Vancouver, Miette Hot Springs as well as Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.
You'll cover 1,395 km with roughly 15 hours of driving time. On the way, you'll see highlights such as Jasper National Park, Kamloops, Langley, Vancouver, Wetaskiwin, Calgary, Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Golden, Spokane, and beautiful Seattle.
This journey will take you through some of the world's most beautiful natural landscapes and give you an experience you'll never forget. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, best places to stop, top highlights, and the best seasons to travel.
How far is Seattle from Edmonton, and how long will the road trip take?
|16 hours 30 minutes
The Vancouver Route on the road trip from Edmonton to Seattle is a picturesque journey spans around 1,395 km, with about 15 hours of driving time.
Alternatively, the Banff Route takes you through a different variety of breathtaking sights, covering around 1,560 km and taking about 16 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
You can drive both routes in a couple of days, but with the wealth of natural beauty and must-see destinations along the way, we recommend taking around 5-6 days.
Best road trip route from Edmonton to Seattle
While both the Vancouver and Banff Routes offer postcard-perfect natural beauty and fun highlights to explore, they have their own unique charms. Therefore, the best choice for you will be a personal one depending on which national parks and cities you'd like to visit.
The Vancouver Route is slightly shorter and takes you through the heart of the Canadian Rockies. As you drive westward, you'll have stunning views of snow-capped peaks and endless photo opportunities.
This route lets you stop in Jasper National Park of Canada and the charming town of Kamloops. Making it even more appealing is the scenic coastal drive between Vancouver and Seattle, where you can get unbeatable views of the island of Puget Sound.
And, if you want an exciting detour, the Miette Hot Springs is a relaxing escape, just off the route.
On the other hand, the Banff Route, though slightly longer, traverses through Calgary and leads to the breathtaking Banff National Park. Along the way, you'll see Calgary, one of Canada's liveliest cities.
Banff National Park, nestled in the Canadian Rockies, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like hiking, skiing, and biking, or soaking in the natural beauty. Golden, another stop on this route, is another paradise for skiers and hikers.
The route also takes you around the serene beauty of Lake Louise and the exciting city of Spokane after crossing into the United States. For an additional scenic experience, a detour to Coeur d'Alene can't be beat.
How to drive from Edmonton to Seattle
The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Edmonton and Seattle. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.
Start the Vancouver Route from Edmonton by heading west on AB-16 through the sprawling landscapes of Alberta. Your first major stop is Hinton, a gateway to the wilderness, where the route continues westward towards the breathtaking Jasper National Park of Canada.
Here, immerse yourself in the natural splendour of the Rockies. Take a detour to Miette Hot Springs for a relaxing soak if you have time.
Continuing along AB-16, you'll get to the scenic area of Tete Jaune Cache, before veering south onto BC-5 towards Kamloops. This segment of the journey gives you the chance to explore Pyramid Creek Falls Provincial Park.
Not far from Kamloops, you can visit the BC Wildlife Park and Logan Lake, each offering unique natural experiences.
As you head towards the coast, the route transitions to Trans-Canada Highway. Nearing Vancouver, consider stopping at Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia or exploring the historical Fort Langley National Historic Site and the Canadian Museum of Flight.
Cross the border and continue on Interstate 5 (I-5) S, which will take you directly into Seattle.
Begin your journey on the Banff Route by travelling south on AB-2 towards Calgary. After your visit to this beautiful city, continue west on Trans-Canada Hwy towards the majestic Banff, a jewel of the Canadian Rockies.
The route then takes you west to the serene Lake Louise, an iconic spot known for its turquoise waters and scenic trails.
Next, head west on the highway to Golden, where the thrilling Golden Skybridge awaits. This segment of the journey offers stunning mountain vistas and outdoor adventure opportunities.
From here, merge onto BC-95 South. As you proceed further, consider a soothing stop at Fairmont Hot Springs.
Soon, you'll cross into the United States and drive south towards Spokane, Washington. Here, you can explore the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
The journey continues on I-90 through diverse landscapes, passing by attractions like the Kaniksu National Forest and the scenic Coeur D'Alene Lake. As you near Seattle, take in the breathtaking views of Wild Horses Monument, Mount Si, and Tiger Mountain State Forest.
Best places to stop between Edmonton and Seattle
With so much to see and do on an Edmonton to Seattle road trip, you're going to want to stop along the way. Below are our favourite, adventure-filled stops where you can rest and explore.
A laid-back stay with a scenic backdrop in Jasper
Jasper, Alberta, is an enchanting destination for an overnight break on the Vancouver Route, located just a brief 3 hours and 15 minutes into your drive. The town is renowned for its easy-going atmosphere and prime access to the natural wonders of Jasper National Park.
Adding to the allure, the Jasper SkyTram gives you an opportunity to soar above the Rockies, offering an awe-inspiring aerial perspective of this majestic landscape. This area is also home to Mount Columbia, the highest peak in Alberta and the second-highest in the Canadian Rockies.
For your stay in Jasper, the highly-rated Jasper East Cabins offer a serene retreat, nestled amidst the rolling hills and peaks near the national park.
These cosy cabins provide a perfect escape into the wilderness, complete with the comforts of a gas fireplace, private kitchenette, and queen-sized beds.
During your stay at the lodge, we recommend checking out the Folding Mountain Brewery, where you can enjoy an extensive drink menu and delicious meals against the backdrop of breathtaking mountain views.
Nearby, the tranquil Pyramid Lake, just a 45-minute drive away. Also, the Miette Hot Springs, located a mere 25-minute drive from the cabins, has relaxing mineral-rich waters and stunning scenery.
An outdoor lover's dream in Golden
Golden, British Columbia, is a wonderful stopover on the Banff Route, situated just over 6 hours into your drive. Surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, Golden offers a serene retreat where the air is fresh and the vistas are stunning.
Whether it's hiking, skiing, or simply enjoying the mountainous scenery, Golden provides an array of experiences in the heart of nature.
The Golden Skybridge, a recent addition to the area's attractions, offers breathtaking views and an adrenaline rush for those daring to cross it. It's an experience that combines both the thrill of height and the beauty of the landscape.
For a more relaxed pace, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort nearby gives you a chance to explore the mountain environment, where you can ski in the winter or enjoy mountain biking in the summer.
When it comes to accommodation, the Golden Acres Mountain Lodge is our favorite. This charming, homey lodge, crafted from log and timber, is nestled in the nearby fir and pine forests, offering a blend of comfort and immersion in the wilderness.
With elk, bear, and deer as your occasional neighbours, it provides an authentic mountain experience. It also has amenities such as a fabulous outdoor hot tub, delicious homemade breakfasts, and BBQ facilities.
Just a short drive from Golden, the lodge is ideally situated to explore the area further. The Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge and Whitetooth Brewing Company are both about a 20-minute drive away, offering cultural and local experiences.
Where to stay when you reach Seattle
Nestled in the Pacific Northwest on Puget Sound, Seattle is a harmonious blend of urban charm and natural beauty, surrounded by waters, mountains, and lush evergreen forests.
A visit to Seattle wouldn't be complete without experiencing the Space Needle, a world-famous structure that gives you panoramic views of the city's dynamic skyline and natural surroundings.
For a taste of local life and flavours, Pike Place Market is a must-visit. It's home to a variety of vendors and is located near the birthplace of the globally renowned Starbucks brand.
In the heart of this urban oasis, the luxurious and beautiful Inn at the Market stands as the only downtown Seattle hotel located directly in Pike Place Market. Overlooking Elliott Bay, this boutique hotel seamlessly blends into the energy of the market, giving you an immersive Seattle experience.
The hotel's accommodations are a blend of modern luxury and functional elegance. Many rooms offer stunning city views, and you will have access to the rooftop deck, a perfect spot to absorb the beautiful Seattle skyline. There are also four restaurants and a highly-rated bar on site.
Things to see on a road trip from Edmonton to Seattle
On your way from Edmonton to Seattle, you'll have endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. To help you plan this ultimate road trip, we've included our favourite highlights below.
- Miette Hot Springs - Nestled in Alberta's Fiddle Valley, Miette Hot Springs are renowned for their relaxing thermal waters and picturesque mountain views, offering a serene retreat amidst nature.
- Jasper National Park - A UNESCO World Heritage site, Jasper National Park is a stunning expanse of untamed wilderness, featuring diverse wildlife, crystalline lakes, and the breathtaking Columbia Icefield.
- Tete Jaune Cache - A historic waypoint in British Columbia, Tete Jaune Cache boasts a rich gold rush history and serves as a gateway to the scenic splendours of the Robson Valley and Mount Robson.
- Pyramid Creek Falls Provincial Park - This park showcases the magnificent Pyramid Creek Falls, offering a scenic viewpoint and tranquil picnic areas amidst the lush forest surroundings.
- Kamloops Museum and Archives - Located in the heart of Kamloops, this museum offers a deep dive into the region's rich cultural and natural history, featuring diverse exhibits and historical collections.
- BC Wildlife Park - A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, this park houses a variety of indigenous and rescued animals, providing an educational and interactive experience in a natural setting.
- Logan Lake - Known for its tranquil beauty and outdoor activities, Logan Lake is a popular destination for fishing, hiking, and golfing, surrounded by picturesque landscapes.
- Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park - Famous for the Othello Tunnels, this park offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty, with its dramatic canyon views and historic railway tunnels.
- Harrison Hot Springs - Situated along the shores of Harrison Lake, this resort town is famous for its therapeutic hot springs, sandy beaches, and a tranquil environment perfect for relaxation.
- Abbotsford Castle Fun Park - A family-friendly amusement park in Abbotsford, offering a variety of attractions including mini-golf, go-karts, and an arcade for endless fun.
- Fort Langley National Historic Site - This historic site offers a glimpse into Canada's fur trade era, featuring restored buildings, engaging reenactments, and picturesque riverfront views.
- Canadian Museum of Flight - Located in Langley, this museum showcases Canada's aviation history through an impressive collection of aircraft, artefacts, and interactive exhibits.
- Vancouver, British Columbia - A vibrant, cosmopolitan city known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse culture, and plethora of attractions ranging from Stanley Park to Granville Island.
- Larrabee State Park - Washington State's first state park, offering a blend of recreational activities with its sandy beaches, hiking trails, and breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands.
- Big Cedar Stump - An iconic roadside attraction near Snohomish, Washington, the Big Cedar Stump is a remnant of the region's logging history, offering a unique photo opportunity.
- Reynolds-Alberta Museum - Located in Wetaskiwin, this museum is dedicated to celebrating Alberta's mechanical heritage, showcasing vintage vehicles, aircraft, and agricultural machinery.
- Sylvan Lake - A picturesque town in Alberta known for its vibrant lakeside community, offering recreational activities like boating, fishing, and beachside fun.
- Calgary Zoo - One of Canada's largest zoos, located in Calgary, offering an array of global wildlife exhibits, botanical gardens, and a prehistoric park.
- Canmore - A charming mountain town in Alberta, Canmore is a gateway to outdoor adventures, with stunning views of the Canadian Rockies and a thriving arts community.
- Buffalo Nations Museum - This museum offers a profound insight into the history and culture of the First Nations peoples of the Canadian Rockies, with extensive exhibits and artefacts.
- Cave and Basin National Historic Site - The birthplace of Canada's national parks, this site in Banff National Park features natural thermal mineral springs and interactive exhibits.
- Lake Louise - Known for its turquoise waters and stunning mountain backdrop, Lake Louise in Banff National Park is a must-visit for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities.
- Banff National Park - Canada's first national park, offering a spectacular array of natural wonders from hot springs and glaciers to wildlife and hiking trails.
- Golden Skybridge - The newest attraction in Golden, British Columbia, featuring Canada's highest suspension bridge for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and river.
- Fairmont Hot Springs - A popular resort in British Columbia, known for its large hot springs pool and a range of recreational activities set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains.
- Kaniksu National Forest - This expansive national forest in Idaho offers a serene natural setting, ideal for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
- Coeur D'Alene Lake - A stunning lake in Idaho known for its crystal-clear waters, recreational activities, and the scenic city of Coeur D'Alene on its northern shore.
- The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture - Located in Spokane, this museum offers a rich exploration of the region's history, culture, and art with interactive exhibits and collections.
- Wild Horses Monument - Overlooking the Columbia River in Washington, this unique sculpture installation offers striking views and a tribute to the region's wild horse heritage.
- Tiger Mountain State Forest - A popular hiking and mountain biking destination near Seattle, featuring dense forests, rugged terrain, and panoramic views.
Best time to go on a road trip from Edmonton to Seattle
Seattle is the perfect year-round destination. However, each route has its own challenges and highlights, depending on the season.
During winter, Seattle experiences cool and wet weather, with average temperatures ranging from 4 to 10 degrees Celsius. If you're driving from Canada, especially on the Vancouver Route, be prepared for variable conditions.
The beauty of Jasper National Park and Banff National Park Park in the snow is unparalleled, but remember to check their holiday hours and visitor centre availability.
Spring brings milder temperatures, ranging from the high 10s to mid-20s Celsius in Seattle. The city blooms with colours and events such as the Seattle International Film Festival or the Seattle Maritime Festival in May.
On the Vancouver Route, you can include the Kamloops Wine Festival in May, giving you a taste of local wine.
Seattle's summers are splendid, with temperatures reaching the high 20s Celsius and clear. If you're taking the Banff Route, consider timing your summer trip with the Calgary Stampede in July.
Autumn in Seattle sees temperatures from the mid-10s to the low 20s Celsius. The Banff Route's forests like Kaniksu National Forest and Tiger Mountain State Forest turn into a paradise of fall colours.