Mountain passes in the West

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MountainDirectoryWestOn our recent RV trip from Spokane to Kelowna, BC,  we crossed several mountain passes, including two  along Hwy 20 cutting through the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington state. Sherman Summit at 5,575 and Wauconda Summit at 4,310.

This was the first long trip towing our “new” 2001 28.5-foot Citation. Up until this journey we always RVed in our 8.5-foot Lance Lite camper snug in the bed of our  2003 3/4-ton Chevy Silverado. Mountain passes were things we never thought much about. Percentage of grade? Not a moment’s extra thought.

No more. Even with trailer brake controls, towing 11,000 pounds gives one a little more to think about when a yellow diamond sign states “6-7% grade, next 10 miles. Trucks use low gears.”

A friend showed me her “Mountain Directory West” (there is also “Mountain Directory East”). It listed details about 400 passes and steep grades in the 11 western states. Information includes “how long and how steep (percent) the grades are, whether the road is two, three, or four lane, if there are sharp curves, switchbacks, escape ramps, or narrow shoulders.”

We don’t plan to travel to the east coast for a couple of years, so I’ve only ordered the West directory through RVBookstore.com. $16.95 plus tax and shipping. Click here for more details about these valuable books for your rig.

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