Interstate 5 (I-5) is a United States interstate highway that starts at the border with Mexico in San Ysidro, California and runs 1381 miles (2223 km) north through the states of California, Oregon and Washington to the border with Canada in Blaine, Washington. It serves as an important north-south transportation corridor along the U.S west coast connecting the major cities of San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland, Tacoma and Seattle; the three state capitals of California (Sacramento), Oregon (Salem) and Washington (Olympia); and two additional major cities in neighboring countries (Tijuana & Vancouver) just over the international borders.
Interstate 5 (I-5) replaces the former US Route 99, a north-south route along the west coast. The original U.S. Highway 99 was also known as Pacific Highway which ran 1,600 mi (2,600 km) south from Vancouver, BC, Washington state, Oregon and California and then became Mexico Federal Highway 5 in Calexico/Mexicali. Today I-5 ends at the U.S./Mexican border in San Ysidro where it continues another 1,063 mi (1,711 km) from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, through the Baja California peninsula, as Mexico Federal Highway 1/1D, while BC Highway 99 continues another 200 mi (320 km) north from Vancouver, through the Sunshine Coast and Whistler, to Cache Creek. Segments of the old Hwy 99 have been re-numbered as State Route 99 (SR-99) in Washington, Oregon and California. Other segments in Washington state have also have been renumbered as SR-11, SR-529 and SR-530; as SR-273 & SR-66 between Ashland and the California-Oregon state line (Exit #1 of I-5) in Oregon; and SR-111 & SR-86 between Calexico and Palm Desert in California. Other parts of the old Hwy 99 have been decommissioned altogether as a federal and state highway (not numbered) but are still represented by being named "Old Hwy 99", "Pacific Highway" or by another name.
There are no toll segments on the "Freeway".
- See also: Driving in the United States
You'll obviously need to bring a vehicle, but there is nothing really necessary for the route unless you want to eat your own food or you're coming from another country, in which case you might need passports, for example, to get in.
Interstate 5 continues north as BC-Hwy 99 to Cache Creek through Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and Whistler from the Canadian/U.S. border in Blaine, Washington, and south to Cabo San Lucas through Tijuana and Ensenada in the Baja California Peninsula as Mexico Federal Hwy 1 from the U.S./Mexican border in San Ysidro, California. I-5 intersects other major US interstate highways diverging to/from different directions such as I-15 and I-8 in San Diego; I-10 in Los Angeles; I-80 in Sacramento; I-84 in Portland; I-90 in Seattle and various three digit interstates (serving as local auxiliary highways), state and U.S highways in the three states it passes through.
- See also: Air travel in the United States
The Interstate 5 corridor can be accessed by plane through San Diego, Santa Ana, Burbank, Sacramento, Medford, Portland, Seattle, Everett and Bellingham with airports next to or near the freeway. In other cities, such as Los Angeles and Long Beach the airport can be further away (20-40 mi/32-64 km) from the I-5 corridor on another highway. From outside the U.S. the I-5 corridor is also accessed from Vancouver International Airport and Tijuana's General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport.
- See also: Rail travel in the United States
Amtrak operates trains "more or less" along the Interstate 5 corridor serving the major west coast cities. Some segments are further away such as the segment from Emeryville to Oxnard in California while other parts of the route are practically next to the freeway such as the segment between Longview and Centralia in Washington state. The following routes operate along the I-5 corridor:
- Amtrak Coast Starlight runs once daily between Los Angeles and Seattle via Portland, Klamath Falls, Redding, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Salinas, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Simi Valley and Van Nuys. It runs parallel with the Cascades between Seattle and Eugene with the same stops (except Tukwila, Vancouver, Washington, and Oregon City) and between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles with the Pacific Surfliner only with fewer stops. (see below)
- Amtrak Cascades runs between Seattle and Portland four times daily serving Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey (Olympia), Centralia and Kelso in Washington state. They run from Seattle to Vancouver via Everett, Stanwood, Mt Vernon & Bellingham twice daily and from Portland to Eugene via Oregon City, Salem & Albany twice daily. Additional service from Seattle to Vancouver and from Portland to Eugene are provided on the Amtrak Thruway Bus.
- Pacific Surfliner San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Los Angeles & San Diego. The segment of this route closest or parallel to the I-5 corridor is between Simi Valley and San Diego. Passengers continue south towards the Mexican border in San Ysidro on the SDMTS 'UC San Diego Blue Line' Trolley from the American Plaza Station, across the street the Santa Fe Station.
- San Joaquins Sacramento, Merced, Stockton, Fresno and Bakersfield. Some trains on this route will go west towards Emeryville and Oakland from Stockton instead of continuing north to Sacramento. This route is then connected to Los Angeles from Bakersfield and from Stockton & Sacramento to Redding by Thruway buses via I-5.
There are several bus companies operating buses along the I-5/CA-Hwy 99 corridor with Greyhound serving the entire length while others operate buses along certain sections of the I-5 corridor in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon or Washington) or California to make the trip possible without a car:
- Greyhound Lines, toll-free: . Travels along the entire I-5/CA-Hwy 99 corridor between Tijuana, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle,Vancouver BC and several smaller cities/towns in between each of the above cities. Some of their schedules run contiguously between Seattle and Los Angeles while others break up the trip in Sacramento and/or Portland, requiring a layover or transfer. Cruceros USA is their cross-border shuttle connecting Los Angeles to Tijuana via Santa Ana. The exit(s) nearest to a Greyhound bus station or stop will be marked by "" which may or may not be the same stop as the other bus companies.
- BellAir Airporter, toll-free: . Goes up from SeaTac & downtown Seattle to Stanwood, Burlington/Mt Vernon, Bellingham & Blaine on one route and a separate route to Anacortes and the San Juan ferry terminal from Burlington.
- Bolt Bus, toll-free: . They serve the cities along the I-5 corridor between Vancouver, BC and Eugene, Oregon (via Bellingham, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland and Albany) in the Pacific Northwest.
- Cantrail & Amtrak Cascades Thruway Bus, (bus stops) Seattle's King Street Station & Vancouver's Pacific Station. Additional stops at Sandmans Signature Hotel and Pacific Inn in Surrey. No additional stops in the U.S., toll-free: . Operates direct express buses between Seattle and Vancouver, BC $40 for one-way, $75 round trip; discounts for students, military, seniors & children ages 4-11..
- Flixbus, ☏ . Travels along the I-5 corridor between Seattle and Eugene, OR in the Pacific Northwest and from Sacramento to Los Angeles and towards Portland/Seattle, in the other direction, along I-5 or CA-Hwy 99 in California. Some Flixbus routes diverge from the I-5 corridor to San Francisco Bay Area from southern California and from Portland towards Ellenburg, WA in the Pacific Northwest. Check their schedules.
- Fronteras del Norte, ☏ . Connects Pasco, Sunnyside & Yakima WA in eastern Washington (state) to Los Angeles and the Mexican border in San Ysidro via Portland, OR. They travel along I-5 between Portland, Los Angeles and the Mexican border in San Ysidro.
- Hoang Express, ☏ , toll-free: . Travels between SoCal (San Diego, El Monte, Los Angeles, Westminster) and Sacramento along the I-5 corridor. $60-65 to Bay Area; $80 to Sacramento.
- International Bus Lines (formerly Intercalifornias), toll-free: . Buses goes up from Tijuana to San Ysidro, Santa Ana, Los Angeles San Fernando, Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Jose/Stockton (route splits/joins in Madero) along the I-5/CA-99 corridor. Prices vary depending on your destination.
- Lower Columbia CAP, Longview Transit Center, ☏ , . Rural public bus system connecting Longview to Vancouver, WA through Kalama, and Woodland in one direction and to Castle Rock via Lexington in the other. Connections to Greyhound is in Kelso if using this option. $2 Each Way.
- Oregon Point-Cascade Point Line & Amtrak Cascades Thruway Bus (Operated by MTR Western), ☏ . Bus between Portland, Woodburn, Salem, Albany & Eugene.
- Oregon Point-Southwest Point (Operated by Klamath Shuttle), ☏ . Connects Brookings to Klamath Falls via Crescent City, Grants Pass, Gold Hill, Medford and Ashland, etc.
- Quick Shuttle, toll-free: . Runs between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. Stops in Downtown Seattle (outside the Best Western at 200 Taylor Ave N) and SeaTac Airport (at the main terminal near south end of baggage claim, outside door 00, bays 11-16. Provides affordable and reliable transportation from Seatac Airport, Downtown Seattle, Bellingham Airport to Vancouver Airport, Downtown Vancouver and Cruise Ship Terminals. Fares from Vancouver to Downtown Seattle are round-trip; $36 one-way, $65. From Vancouver to SeaTac, fares are $49 one-way, $87 round-trip..
- Rapid Connections LLC, ☏ . Buses goes up to Sacramento via San Fernando, Bakersfield, Fresno, Modesto, Stockton and several other places along SR-99; and down to Tijuana via Santa Ana and San Ysidro.
- Tufesa, ☏ . Connects Los Angles to Sacramento (via Bakersfield, Fresno, etc); to Salt Lake City (via Barstow, Las Vegas, St George, etc); to Hermosillo (via Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales); San Francisco Bay Area; and to Tijuana (via Santa Ana, San Diego/San Ysidro). Prices vary depending on your destination.
There are additional express buses operating as local public transportation that travel along the I-5 corridor at varying distances in different cities and in some rural locales. These options are generally cheaper than Greyhound or other intercity carriers for the same distances. See "By bus" under "Get in" and "Get around" in the article of a particular city or locale and under "Get around" in a state article for an additional list of other bus companies serving the west coast.
Mile markers are statewide mileposts, starting with "0" at the south border of each state which increases as you go north and then starts over at "0" when crossing the state line into the next state. So going south the numbers on the mileposts will decrease and then start over at the highest number (276 in Washington, 308 in Oregon & 796 in California) when crossing a state line. The exit numbers correspond with the mileposts so some numbers may be skipped if the exits are further apart from one to the next. Other exits that are one next to the other or "2 in 1" may have the same exit number followed by an "A", "B" or even a "C" such as "Exit #100A" to get on A St, "Exit #100B" to get on B St and so forth.
The maximum speed limit is 70 mph (112 km/h) for cars & 55 mph (88 km/h) for large trucks on rural stretches and 65 mph (104 km/h) in urban areas or lower if posted otherwise.
- 1 San Ysidro (Mile 0). Border crossing
- 2 Chula Vista (Exits 7A-9). There are five exits for Chula Vista.
- 3 National City (Exits 10-12). There are four exits for National City.
- 4 San Diego (Exits 13A-36). There are over thirty exits for San Diego.
- 5 Riverside (Interstate 15) (Exit 13A). Interstate 15 runs 1,433 mi (2,306 km) north parallel with I-5 from southern California to the Canadian border in Sweet Grass, Montana through Nevada, NW corner of Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Montana. The same highway continues another 108 km to Lethbridge AB as Hwy 4. It is the most convenient route for travelers going to the Inland Empire and Las Vegas and another way to reach the local communities of Miramar, Mira Mesa and Poway and to Escondido in North San Diego County from San Diego (proper). From here the exit is marked as state highway 15 which becomes I-15 north of its junction with I-8.
- 6 Encinitas (Exits 39-41B). There are four exits for Encinitas.
- 7 Carlsbad (Exits 43-51A). There are eight exits for Carlsbad.
- 8 Oceanside (Exits 51B-54C). There are seven exits for Oceanside.
- 1 Aliso Creek Rest Area (Exit 59 (northbound), Exit 60 (southbound) / Mile 59.87). Closed for maintenance Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone, vending machines and RV sanitation station.
- 9 Basilone Road (Exit 71 / Mile 71.3). There are a handful of fast food restaurants, a commissary, and a single gas station on the east side of the interstate, but these lie behind a gate to Camp Pendleton Marine Base and are thus off-limits to non-military travelers. Less than a mile south of this exit, San Onofre State Beach is publicly accessible and is a popular surfing spot that also offers camping. A short distance further south, the now-decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is visible just west of the interstate; the station's twin spherical containment buildings famously inspired Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun to lament that "everywhere I look something reminds me of her".
Orange County and Los Angeles
Past the Camp Pendleton Marine Base the interstate enters the large conurbation of cities in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. This section is multi-lane (3 to 8) in both directions and is busy with traffic at nearly all times of the day. If at all possible avoid driving at peak commuter times. Some drivers may be tempted to take Interstate 405 as an alternate route, but check traffic conditions before doing so as it is often even worse for traffic congestion.
- San Clemente (Exits 73-77). There are five exits for San Clemente. El Camino Real runs almost parallel to the highway and has a number of restaurants, many of which are Mexican.
- Dana Point (Exits 78-79). There are two exits for Dana Point.
- San Juan Capistrano (Exits 81-83). There are three exits for San Juan Capistrano.
- Mission Viejo (Exits 85A-88). There are four exits for Mission Viejo.
- Laguna Hills (Exits 89-92). There are four exits for Laguna Hills.
- Irvine (Exits 94-100). There are eight exits for Irvine.
- 10 Sand Canyon, Old Town, East Irvine (Exit 96 / Mile 96.22). In addition to the chance to have a Knowlwood Burger in a building built in 1900, check out the 19th-century Irvine Bean and Growers Association Building.
- Tustin (Exits 101-103). There are four exits for Tustin.
- Santa Ana (Exits 103-105). There are five exits for Santa Ana.
- Anaheim (Exits 109-113). There are seven exits for Anaheim.
- 11 Buena Park (Exit 116 / Mile 115.71). On Beach Blvd there are a number of chain hotels and restaurants such as Fuddruckers.
- Santa Clarita (Exits 163-172). There are eight exits for Santa Clarita.
- 12 Magic Mountain Parkway (Exit 170 / Mile 170.23). The famous Magic Mountain amusement park is along the western side of the freeway and is home to roller coasters that have held world records for height and speed; freeway travelers will have an excellent view of thrill seekers taking the plunge over one of the many terrifying hills on the park's iconic rides. There are gas stations, chain restaurants and hotels at the exit that cater to park visitors, but expect heavier than normal traffic in the area during the summer when the park is busiest.
The road climbs out of the San Fernando Valley, which although multi-lane will have slow-moving traffic before entering the Santa Clarita Valley. Oddly, at one point the north and south bound carriageways cross and run for a number of miles separate from one another.
- 13 Castaic (Exit 176 / Mile 176.15).
- 2 Tejon Pass Rest Area (Exit 206 / Mile 205.97). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone, vending machines and RV sanitation station.
- 14 Lebec Road (Exit 207 / Mile 206.88). The highway descends at a sharp six percent grade through a curving path within Grapevine Canyon from Lebec down to the Central Valley. The original route was infamous for its accidents until being straightened and widened between 1933-34. This stretch of road is known as The Grapevine and is often closed during storms when driving conditions become treacherous.
Most of this section is two-lane carriageway in both directions, running straight with only small rises though sparsely populated areas. Most of the route here is uninteresting, though in some places small detours reveal points of interest.
- 15 Laval Road (Exit 219A & B / Mile 218.79). The Laval Road exit has undergone dramatic development by the Tejon Ranch Corporation and now offers significant amenities for travelers. The Outlets at Tejon have over 70 outlet stores. Food options include Chipotle, Subway, Starbucks, In-N-Out, Panda Express, Black Bear Diner, and Carl's Jr. Gas options include Shell, Travel America, Chevron, Mobil, and Petro.
- 16 Bakersfield-Fresno (Exit 221). The right lane exit off to the right and crosses over the freeway to form the West Side Freeway which continues north as I-5 while the other lanes of the (original) Golden State Freeway become SR-99. From here SR-99 (Golden State Freeway) and I-5 (West Side Freeway) run parallel to each other at 10-48 miles apart to Sacramento. SR-99 passes through Bakersfield, Madera, Merced, Fresno, Turlock, Stockton and other cities towns of the Central Valley while I-5 goes through Los Banos, Tracy, Jct I-580 and Stockton. The cities along CA-Hwy 99 can still be accessed from I-5 via different east-west roads crossing over I-5. But, it's going to be another 10-48 miles drive east to reach a particular city or town along Hwy 99. This exit is accessed only by northbound traffic while southbound traffic on I-5 merges into the Golden State Freeway (SR-99) which continues south as I-5.
- 17 Bear Mountain Rd (Exit 239). Goes east 30 mi (48 km) to its other end at SR-58, east of Bakersfield and another 107 mi (172 km) east to Exit #179 of I-15 in Barstow on SR-58. This a shortcut to bypass the Los Angeles area from Bakersfield or anywhere north along the I-5/SR-99 corridor to Las Vegas (I-15); Phoenix (I-40/US Hwy 93); the Grand Canyon (I-40), etc through Barstow and to San Bernardino & Riverside (US Hwy 395, I-15, 215) through Kramer Jct and Victorville. There are no (fuel, restaurant, supermarket, lodging, etc) services off the freeway but the next set of services are in the town of Arvin 25 mi (40 km) east along SR-223.
- 18 Buttonwillow & McKittrick (Exit 257 / Mile 257.42). The town of Buttonwillow is actually five miles west of the interstate, but more than enough gas stations, fast food restaurants and even a couple of motels are clustered just off of the east side of the highway. For those heading north, services start to become sparse, so this is a stop worth considering if your gas tank is heading towards empty. Chevron, Mobil, Arco, Shell, and Travel Centers of America are all fuel options, while food options include Starbucks, Denny's, Carl's Jr, McDonald's, Taste of India, and Tita's Pupuseria.
- 3 Buttonwillow Rest Area (Exit 259 / Mile 259.38). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone and vending machines. No RV sanitation station.
- 19 Lost Hills (Exit 278 / Mile 278.29). Just off the highway are a number of gas stations and fast food establishments. The town further down the road only really caters for local agricultural workers.
- 20 Twisselman Road (Exit 288 / Mile 287.62). This exit lacks services, but may be worth a stop between October and March to visit the Kern National Wildlife refuge. The refuge is about seven miles east of the interstate. It is a winter home to herons, cranes, hawks, ducks, and many, many other species of birds.
- 21 Kettleman City (Exit 309 / Mile 308.90).
- 4 Coalinga/Avenal Rest Area (Exit 320 / Mile 320.45). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone and vending machines. No RV sanitation station.
- 22 Lemoore & Hanford (Exit 334 / Mile 333.89). It is in the midst of a long stretch of empty highway; this exit has the Harris Ranch Complex, which sells fuel and food, and has a farm stand, a Tesla Supercharger, and lodging. The main ranch building offers a pretty good bakery, and those seeking out a steak won't be disappointed by the restaurant. If long drives aren't your thing, the location is approximately halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and thus offers a good place to stop and spend the night. The town of Coalinga is 13 miles southwest of this exit and has additional amenities.
- 5 John "Chuck" Erreca Rest Area (Exit 386 / Mile 385.83). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone and vending machines. No RV sanitation station.
- 23 & Los Banos (Exit 403 / Mile 402.76). CA-152 west is the main route through the hills to Gilroy and onward to either San Jose (via 101-N) or Monterey Bay (via CA-156). Los Banos, 6 miles east on CA-152, offers amenities for travelers. One exit west (at CA-33) is a Petro station with reasonable restaurant.
- 24 Santa Nella (Exit 407 / Mile 407.02). This exit has several gas stations and a handful of motels. Food options are plentiful and include a Starbucks and an In-N-Out, and for those who have been seeing the many billboards during hours of travel, this is the northern half of the Pea Soup Andersen's chain and its namesake soup.
- 25 Gustine (Exit 418 / Mile 417.57).
- 26 Patterson (Eit 434 / Mile 433.52).
- 27 Westley (Exit 441 / Mile 440.73).
- 6 Westley Rest Area (Exit 445 / Mile 444.86). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone, vending machines and RV sanitation station.
- 28 Tracy San Francisco (northbound only) (Exit 446 / Mile 446.35). The two right lanes exit from the freeway to continue towards Stockton and Sacramento as the West Side Freeway (I-5) while the two left lanes continue north/northwest as the William Elton Brown Freeway (I-580) towards Tracy and San Francisco through the East Bay. From the the northbound lanes only. Southbound traffic merges into the William Elton Brown Freeway from the right and continue south as the West Side Freeway (I-5).
- 29 To San Francisco (southbound only) (Exit 458B / Mile 458.34). I-205 takes southbound drivers to San Francisco via the East Bay.
- Stockton (Exits 469-481). There are eleven exits for Stockton.
- 30 Sacramento (Exits 512-525). There are fifteen exits for Sacramento.
- 31 South Lake Tahoe San Francisco (Exit 518). US Hwy 50 connects Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe via Jct Hwy 99, Rancho Cordova, Folsom and Placerville in the east. Going west US Hwy 50 goes across West Sacramento and ends at I-80 at Exit #81, 4.5 mi (7.2 km) west of the I-5 corridor. through the San Joaquin Valley begins 2 mi (3.2 km) east of the I-5 corridor from US-Hwy 50 and runs parallel to I-5 at 40-48 mi apart going through the cities of Elk Grove, Lodi, Stockton, Turlock, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Bakersfield, etc in the San Joaquin Valley before rejoining I-5 at MM 221 south of Bakersfield.
- 32 Reno San Francisco (Exit 522 / Mile 522.26). Interstate 80 is the second longest interstate in the country, traveling approximately 2900 miles from San Francisco in the west to New York City in the east. It is the most convenient route to San Francisco for southbound travelers, or for travelers going east to Lake Tahoe. Signed as "East Reno" & "West San Francisco".
- 33 Del Paso Road (Exit 525A). Local access to the northern suburbs surrounding North Natomas Regional Park in Sacramento County. Majority of the services are east of the freeway at Del Paso Rd & E Commerce Way. There are some on the opposite of the freeway at Del Paso and E Centro Rd too.
- 34 Yuba City Marysville (Exit 525B). From here SR-99 and I-5 runs parallel to each other at 5-35 miles apart to Red Bluff. SR-99 passes through Yuba City/Marysville and Chico while I-5 goes through Williams in more remote areas. These cities can still be accessed from I-5 via different east-west roads crossing over I-5. But, it's going to be another 10-35 miles drive east to reach a particular city or town along the SR-99 corridor.
- 35 Sacramento International Airport (Exit 528 / Mile 528). Direct access to Sacramento International Airport from I-5 via Airport Blvd, 10.5 mi (16.9 km) NW of downtown Sacramento.
- 7 Elkhorn Rest Area (southbound only) (Exit 529 / Mile 529.26). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 36 Winters San Francisco (Exit 553). Connects I-5 to Vacaville along the I-80 corridor. I-505 ends at Exit #56 of I-80 in Vacaville. If coming from Dunnigan or anywhere north and going west towards the San Francisco Bay Area on I-80 this would be the route to take without going through Woodland or Sacramento.
- 8 Dunnigan Rest Area (Exit 557 / Mile 556.52). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 37 Colusa & Clear Lake (Exit 578 / Mile 578). SR-20 connects Fort Bragg in the west to Exit #161 of I-80 in Yuba pass, 58 mi (93 km) west of Reno, in the east. SR-20 passes through Willits, Clear Lake, Jct I-5 north of Williams, Yuba City and Nevada City. Travelers coming from Williams or anywhere north and going towards Lake Tahoe or Reno would take this route without going through Sacramento and to avoid heavier local traffic in/around Sacramento. This is also one of two exits for local access into Williams
- 38 Williams (Exit 577 / Mile 577). Go west on 'E' Street into town from the freeway off ramps. The town of Williams, CA is just west of the freeway.
- 9 Maxwell Rest Area (Exit 583 / Mile 583.41). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 10 Willows Rest Area (Exit 608 / Mile 608.00). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone and RV sanitation station. No vending machines.
- 39 Chico & Orland (Exit 619 / Mile 619). The town of Chico is actually 20 mi (32 km) east of the interstate at Orland. There are several gas stations, fast food restaurants, a couple of motels, and a RV campground accessible from highway in the town of Orland. For those coming from north of Red Bluff you can exit off at "SR-36 Antelope Blvd / To SR-99 Chico" at Exit #649 to reach Chico via Hwy 99.
- 11 Lt. John C. Helmick Rest Area (Exit 633 / Mile 632.73). Closed for maintenance Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 12 Herbert S. Miles Rest Area (Exit 656 / Mile 655.66). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- Red Bluff (Exits 647-652). There are six exits for Red Bluff.
- 40 Redding (Exits 675-682). For anyone visiting, Redding and the surrounding has numerous outdoor and indoor activities. Including two lakes and an inactive volcano within close driving distance. Plus many parks, hiking trails, and adequate shopping. There are seven exits for Redding.
- 41 Lassen National Park (Exit 678). SR 44 goes east towards Lassen National Park and west into downtown Redding. Connects to SR 299 at Pine & Eureka in downtown. Sign from northbound side suggests this is the exit to take to go west on SR-299 towards Arcata & Eureka. Mt Shasta Mall is off this exit and is surrounded by various other retail stores, restaurants, hotels and gas station for supplies, food, fuel and or a night's stay off the freeway. .
- 42 Lake Blvd (Exit 680). Going east SR-299 goes up through Modoc National Forest in Modoc County, towards the Nevada state line near Cedarville. Going west SR-299 goes into downton Redding and then go west towards Arcata in the coast.
- 43 Bridge Bay Road (Exit 690 / Mile 690.48). The interstate crosses Shasta Lake, California's largest reservoir, just north of Bridge Bay - the lake level at the crossing provides a quick way to judge the health of the state's water supply. The Bridge Bay Resort is just off of the exit at the marina and offers a restaurant and lodging, but the beautiful scenery will be of more interest to most travelers. Houseboats are a popular rental option on the lake, and over one hundred of them can sometimes be seen docked in Bridge Bay.
- 13 O'Brien Rest Area (northbound only) (Exit 694 / Mile 693.88). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 14 Lakehead Rest Area (southbound only) (Exit 705 / Mile 704.50). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, phone and vending machines. No RV sanitation station.
- Dunsmuir (Exits 730-734). There are three exits for Dunsmuir.
- Mount Shasta (Exits 738-741). There are three exits for Mount Shasta City.
- Weed (Exits 745-748). There are three exits for Weed.
- 15 Weed Airport Rest Area (Exit 753 / Mile 753.43). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 44 Yreka (Exits 773 & 776). There are two exits to Yreka. Pin is at the W Center St at Exit 773 which is the most direct access to downtown Yreka from the freeway. Exit #773 is labeled as "SR 3 Yreka" from the northbound side and "SR 3 Ft Jones Etna" from the southbound side.
- 16 Randolph C. Collier Rest Area (Exit 786 / Mile 785.81). Closed for maintenance Restrooms, water, picnic tables and phone. No vending machines or RV sanitation station.
- 46 Willow Creek (Exit 786). SR 96 cuts through the Klamath National Forest to SR-299 in Willow Creek. If going towards Arcata, Eureka or anywhere in that direction this would be the short cut without going all the way down to SR-299 at Exit 680 in Redding (over 100 miles away).
- 47 Hornbrook (Exits 789 &790). . Hornbrook can be accessed from Exits 789 (Henley Hornbrook) and 790 (Hornbrook Hwy-Ditch Creek)
- 17 Hornbook Inspection Station (Mile 791, 7 miles south of the state line), 14601 I-5, ☏ . Southbound traffic must stop for agricultural inspection. They're looking for fruits, vegetables, firewood, hay, nursery stocks and anything invasive that may be in violation of state and federal quarantine laws.
- 48 Hilt Rd (Exit 796). Local access road to the nearby communities of Hilt, Cole and the surrounding areas.
The maximum rural speed limit is 70 mph (112 km/h) & 60 mph for large trucks which is more relevant along I-84 corridor between The Dalles & the Snake River (Idaho border). The I-5 corridor remains at 65 mph (104km/h) in rural areas and 55-60 mph in urban areas. The stretch of I-5 between Portland & Eugene is also at 55-60mph (88-100km/h) too. Interstate travelers in Oregon should be aware that it is illegal to pump your own gas in the counties through which I-5 passes (although Oregon law changed in 2018 to allow stations in certain counties to offer self-service, I-5 doesn't pass through any of them). When you arrive at a filling station wait for an attendant to come to your car rather than attempting to get out and fill up your car on your own.
- 49 Siskiyou Summit (SR 273) (Exit 1). SR 273 (Old Hwy 99 S) winds alongside of I-5 as a two lane highway in the mountains from Exit #1 to Ashland. Crosses I-5 at Exits #6 and 14 (as SR 66). Accessible from the northbound lanes only, no return to freeway going north. Southbound traffic can only merge into I-5 going south from SR 273. Access to southbound lanes of I-5 only from Exit 6.
- 50 Ashland Summit (SR 273) (Exit 6). SR 273 (Old Hwy 99) crosses over I-5 between Exit #1 and Ashland.Accessible from both directions of I-5.
- 51 Ashland (Exits 11-19). A small town that is home to the Tony award winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival that has productions from February to October. There are three exits to Ashland
- 52 Siskiyou Blvd Ashland (Exit 11). Beginning of OR Hwy 99 which runs parallel along I-5 through Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Grants Pass. Intersects I-5 at Exits 35 and 55.
- 53 Ashland Klamath Falls (Exit 14). SR 66 goes west into town as Ashland St towards Southern Oregon State University and east and then south, parallel, along I-5 as Green Springs Hwy (Old Hwy 99) to SR 273 south of Emigrant Lake. From Emigrant Lake SR 66 continues east towards Klamath Falls while the Old Hwy 99 (SR 273) continues south towards the state line at Exit 1.
- 54 Talent (Exit 21).
- 55 Phoenix (Oregon) (Exit 24).
- 56 Medford (Exits 27 & 30). Southern Oregon's largest and most diverse city, brimming with historical and cultural attractions while offering regional tax-free shopping. Medford is the county seat of Jackson County, and is the commercial and medical hub of southern Oregon. Its autumns tend to be very mild, and dry when compared to the rest of the state.
- 57 North Medford Crater Lake (Exit 30). Access to Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, Rogue Valley Mall and the surrounding retail stores, restaurants and hotels for supplies, food and/or a night's stay. SR-62 continues north and east towards Crater Lake. Immediate left (north) on Biddle Rd from SR-62, follow signs to Airport Rd to reach the airport.
- 58 Central Point Eagle Point (Exit 33). Also another way to access the airport. Go east on E Pine which become Biddle Rd. Follow signs to the terminal
- 59 Grants Pass (Exits 55 & 58). Grants Pass is the county seat of Josephine County and is famous for its white river rafting in the Rogue River. It is also the gateway to the nearby Oregon Caves National Monument 30 miles (48 km) south of the city. I-5 goes east-west from Central Point (Exit #33), through Grants Pass, to Merlin Rd (Exit #61). There are two exits to Grants Pass.
- 60 S Grants Pass Crescent City (Exit 55). Connects the I-5 corridor to Crescent City in the northern California coast. From Crescent City one can go north on US Hwy 101 to reach the Southern Oregon Coast. Locally US Hwy 199 accesses the local neighborhoods in south Grants Pass as Grants Pass Pkwy and Redwood Hwy.
- 61 to Grants Pass City Center (Exit 58). Access into downtown Grants Pass via NE Scoville which becomes NE 6th St. From downtown go north on NE 7th St to return to the freeway. SR-99 passes through downtown Grants Pass as NE 6/7th St and east towards Medford as Rogue River Hwy.
- 62 Merlin Rd (Exit 61). Local road to the town of Merlin.
- 63 Wolf Creek (Exit 76). unincorporated town.
- 64 Canyonville (Exit 98).
- 65 Myrtle Creek (Exit 108).
- 66 Roseburg (Exits 120-129). There are 5 exits to Roseburg
- 67 Oakridge Klamath Falls (Exit 188). From the southbound lanes there's only one exit leaving the freeway towards SR-58 and it splits again towards towards Goshen (SR-99) and "Oakridge Klamath Falls" (SR-58). From the northbound lanes Exit #188A forms SR-58 going towards Oakridge while Exit 188B (a separate exit) ends into Franklin Blvd which goes south into Goshen as SR-99.
- 68 Eugene-Springfield (Exits 189-195B). The second-largest city in Oregon, home to the University of Oregon Ducks.
- 30th Ave South Eugene (Exit 189). From here one can approach Eugene from the south via 30th Ave or continue north on Franklin Blvd into Springfield.
- 69 University of Oregon Eugene Downtown (Exit 192). From the south, downtown can be reached via Franklin Blvd (Hwy 99) which also passes by the U of Oregon campus. This exit is only accessible from the northbound lanes and only goes west into Eugene. Going south SR-99 merges onto I-5 from mile marker 192 and runs concurrent with I-5 to Exit #188 where it forms a separate parallel route through Goshen.
- 70 Eugene-Springfield (Exits 194A & B). This highway connects into downtown Eugene as I-105 and continues east into Springfield as SR-126. Follow Exit/off ramp 194A to Sprinfield and Exit/off ramp 194B towards Eugene.
- 71 Randy Pape Beltline Eugene-Springfield (Exits 195). The Randy Pape Beltine serves as a circular freeway to circle around the Eugene-Springfield area as a way to connect the outer suburbs to each other without going into downtown.
- 72 Corvallis & Lebanon (Exit 228). Corvallis is 11 mi (18 km) west from the I-5/SR-34 junction while Lebanon is 8 mi (13 km) east.
- 73 Albany (Exits 233 & 234) (west of I-5.). The town is know as the "hub of the valley" as it sits at the confluence of the Willamette River and Calapooia Rivers. Albany's streets are lined with historic homes and a carousel museum. Its location in the Willamette Valley, known for its wine, allows the town to offer locally made wine, as well as cider and beer.
- 74 Salem (Exits 249-260B). The capital city of Oregon, traditionally known for being low-key, the downtown area is showing the early signs of rejuvenation.
- 75 Yamhill Valley Wine Country. A world-renowned wine tasting destination. cities in the area include McMinnville, Dundee, and Newberg.
- 76 Oregon City (Exit 288). I-205 goes north to Oregon City, Gladstone, and the Portland International Airport; reconnects with I-5 north of Vancouver, WA at Exit 7 (Washington).
- Tigard, Lake Oswego and Southwest Portland (Exits 290-294).
- 77 (Exit 292). Connects to Tigard (SR-99W); Beaverton and ends at US-26 west. Serves as a partial western bypass for northbound drives to connect with Hillsboro (via US Hwy 26 & SR-8) and the Northern Oregon Coast (US Hwy 26). SR-217 ends east of I-5 where the same road becomes SW Kruse Way leading into Lake Oswego a wealthy suburban enclave.
- 78 Tigard & Southwest Portland (Exit 294). SR-99W crosses over I-5 on its way between Tigard to the west and Southwest Portland to the east. In Tigard it becomes Pacific Hwy while it is Barbur Blvd in Southwest Portland. If you are coming from Southwest Portland or anywhere north and going west towards King City, Sherwood, Newberg and McMinnville, this is the route to take.
- Portland (Exits 294-307). The largest city in Oregon, and a cultural center for the region. Known for its food and music scenes, and counter-cultural attitudes. Thousands of acres of gardens, parks, and trails to explore, as well as a multitude of shops and restaurants spread across several neighborhoods.
- 79 North & West (Marquam Bridge) "To Beaverton" (Exit 299B (from northbound)). Connects to the City Center & Southwest Portland. I-5 crosses the Willamette River on the Marquam Bridge with a view of Downtown Portland. Going southbound (lower deck of bridge) the left two lanes goes into I-405 with access to downtown Portland and US Hwy 26 while the right two lanes continue as I-5 south towards Salem and Eugene. From the northbound lanes the left lane goes into I-405 north (Exit 299B and then Exit 1A "City Center S Waterfront") while the right lane continues onto the Marquam Bridge as I-5 north towards Seattle. The middle lane splits in two, so you have two lanes going towards I-405 and another two continuing as I-5. If going I-405 northbound you will have to exit again at #1A after 299B otherwise this segment of the freeway ends at SW Clay & Front/Pacific Hwy (Hwy 99W) in downtown Portland.
- 80 East The Dalles (Exit 300 (northbound) / 301 (southbound)). I-84 passes through Portland's Eastside and through the Columbia Gorge to Hood River, The Dalles, Pendleton and Boise, ID.
- 81 West Beaverton St Helens (Fremont Bridge) (Exit 302B). Connects to the Northwest Portland; I-405 provides northern access to downtown Portland, while US 30 continues along the Columbia River through the northwest industrial area to Scappoose, Saint Helens and Astoria.
- 82 Hayden Island ODOTS Permits (Exit 308). Access to Jantzen Beach Shopping Center on Hayden Island. There are other restaurants, hotels and retails stores surrounding the Jantzen Beach mall for food, fuel, supplies and/or a night's stay. Exit is signposted "Hayden Island ODOTS Permits" from both directions. ODOTS permits are for commercial truck drivers to travel through the state.
The maximum speed limit is 70 MPH (112 km/h) for cars & 60 MPH (100 km/h) for large trucks on rural stretches and 60 MPH (100 km/h) in urban areas or lower if posted otherwise. Some of the highway rest stops in Washington are also staffed by volunteers from different local religious and fraternal organizations such as the Lions Club or Elk's Club to offer free coffee, tea, water and cookies to travelers. Some even offer home baked goods such as brownies too. A donation of any amount is appreciated in the can provided on the counter. Rest stops in Washington state do not have exit numbers but rather marked with a blue sign rather than the green sign.
- 83 Vancouver (Exits 1A-7). Fourth largest city in Washington and oldest permanent settlement in the Pacific Northwest; not to be confused with Vancouver, BC, Canada.
- 84 East Camas (Exit 1A). Goes through the Columbia River Gorge along the Washington side of the Columbia River to Exit 131 of I-82 in Eastern Washington, north of Hermiston. In town the highway ends at Washington & W 5th St in downtown Vancouver. Exit 1B goes from the northbound lanes to E 6th St & C St. This is also another way to reach the airport. Go east on SR 14 to I-205 and then south on I-205 to NE Airport Way (Exit 24) on the other side of the Columbia River.
- 85 E Mill Plain Blvd (Exit 1C). Major east-west road through town. Access to the Historic Ft Vancouver and the adjacent old military base of the same name just east of the freeway. Going the other direction Mill Plain goes into downtown Vancouver. Exit 1D continues north to 4th Plain, another local east-west road.
- 86 Old Hwy 99 (Exit 3). Old Hwy 99 crosses I-5. Going north past I-205 Old Hwy 99 becomes NE 20th Ave, NE Union Rd and NE 15th Ave and ends at NE 179th at Exit 9. Going south past I-5 the same road becomes Main St ending at E 5th & Main in downtown.
- 87 NE 78th St (Hazel Dell) (Exit 4). Local east-west street with multiple places for Lodging, fuel, restaurants, supplies/groceries (Costco, Fred Meyer, O'Reillys Auto Parts, etc) surrounding the I-5/Trosper Rd Jct.
- 88 NE 134th St Salem (Exit 7). I-205 goes south to the Portland International Airport (via NE Airport Way at Exit #24 from southbound lanes & 24A of the northbound lanes of I-205), East Portland, Gladstone, and Oregon City; reconnects with I-5 at Exit 288 (Oregon) south of Portland. This exit is only accessible from the southbound lanes only. From the Northbound lanes Exit off at NE 134th St/ E WSU Vancouver (Exit 7A) and go east on NE 134th St to I-205.
- 89 NE 179th St (Exit 9). Location of Clark County Fairgrounds at west side of freeway. The Old Hwy 99 is NE 15th Ave running along the eastside of the freeway from NE 179th St. The same road becomes NE Union, NE 20th, NE Hwy 99, crosses I-5 at Exit 3 and becomes Main St.
- 90 Battleground (Exit 11). The town of Battleground is 6 miles (10km) east of the freeway along NE 219th.
- 18 Gee Creek I-5 NB (Exit 11 / Mile 11). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines, RV sanitation station, and electrical vehicle charging station.
- 19 Gee Creek I-5 SB (Mile 12). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines and RV sanitation station.
- 91 La Center Cowlitz Reservation (Exit 16).
- 92 at Woodland (Exit 21). SR-503 goes east through Woodland and connects to FR-90 in Cougar along the southside of Mt St Helens. It is also another way to access Mt St Helens from Portland and Southwest Washington. There are a series of gas stations, restaurants, motels and a couple of groceries stores to stock up.
- 93 Kalama (Exits 27 & 30). Exit 30 goes into downtown Kalama while Exit 27 access the industrial areas south of Kalama (Port of Kalama). Pin is at Exit #30.
- 94 Kelso & Longview (Exits 36-40). Three exits to Kelso; SR-432 (Exit 36) and SR-4 (Allen St at Exit 39) provide access to neighboring Longview west of the Cowlitz River. SR-4 continues west along the Washington side of the Colombia River to US Hwy 101 north of Astoria, Oregon. Likewise travelers can also cross the Columbia River from Longview into Rainier, OR and continue towards Astoria on US Hwy 30.
- Talley Way (Exit 36B). Goes from Exit 36B of I-5 to 3rd Ave and aound town as Industrial Ave to SR-4 west of town. To go into town go past 3rd Ave and continue onto Tennant Way (follow signs) which ends at 15th Ave/Oregon Way, just south of town. Exit 36A diverge into Kelso Dr which is local road that runs parallel (at 35 mph) along I-5 at the east side of the freeway from Talley Way (Exit 36) to Allen St (Exit 39).
- Allen St to Kelso (Exit 39). Allen St is the main road into Kelso from the I-5 corridor and is the beginning of SR-4 which goes out through and past Kelso and Lonview towards Ilwaco & Longbeach out in the coast. There are multiple places for Lodging, fuel, restaurants, supplies/groceries (Safeway, Red Lion Inn, Three Rivers Mall, Target, etc) in the immediate areas. .
- 95 Castle Rock (Exit 49). SR-504 goes 52 mi (84 km) east to the Johnston Ridge Observatory in Mount St. Helens. There is a Visitors' Center closer to the freeway, only 5 mi (8.0 km) east.
- 20 Toutle River I-5 NB (Mile 54). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and visitors info. No RV sanitation station.
- 21 Toutle River I-5 SB (Mile 54). Restrooms, water and picnic tables. No RV sanitation station.
- 96 Jackson Hwy (Exit 57). Jackson Hwy is the segment of old hwy 99 through Toledo, Chehalis and Centralia in Lewis County. Exit is signposted as "Jackson Hwy Barnes Dr" from the southbound lanes. The Old Hwy 99 intersects with I-5 at Exits 82 and 88.
- 97 Toledo Vader Rd (Exit 60). Local road to access the town of Toledo. The other exit for going towards Vader is at Exit 59.
- 98 Winlock Toledo (Exit 63). SR 505 goes across I-5 connecting Toledo to Winlock.
- 99 East to Morton Yakima (Exit 68). US Hwy 12 goes east through the Cascade Mountains between Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens to Exit 31 on I-82 north of Yakima. Travelers can get to Mt Rainier from US Hwy 12 via SR 7 at Morton or SR 123 in Packwood and to Mt St Helens on SR 131/FR 25 in Randle. Going westbound, US Hwy 12 goes north along I-5 from Exit 68 to Exit 88.
- 99 Napavine Onalaska (Exit 71). W Forest Napavine Rd/Main Ave connects Napavine in the west and Onalaska in the east
- 99 Chehalis (Exits 72-79). Chehalis is a small town and the county seat of Lewis County. There are three exits to Chehalis. The pin is at SR-6 / W Main St at Exit #76 which connects I-5 to downtown Chehalis.
- West Pe Ell & Raymond (Exit 77). Connects Chehalis to Raymond and South Bend by Willapa Bay at the coast. The road passes through the town of Pe Ell.
- 99 NW Chamber of Commerce Way (Exit 79). A local NW/SE street in Chehalis where there are multiple places for fuel, restaurants, a strip mall (Grocery Outlet, O'Reilly's Auto Parts, Dollar Tree, Taco del Mar, Starbucks, Wendy's, etc); Wal-Mart, Home Depot, etc for supplies.
- 99 Centralia (Exits 81-82). Founded as a railroad town, Centralia's economy was originally dependent on such extractive industries as coal, lumber and agriculture. It was named in reference to the midway point between Tacoma and Kalama (which were originally the NP's Washington termini), but proved to have longevity when it became the midpoint between Seattle and Portland after I-5 was built. There are two exits to Centralia
- 99 Mellen St City Center (Exit 81). Accessible only from the northbound lanes. From the southbound lanes exit at Harrison Ave (Exit #82) and follow the parallel side road past Harrison, past the merging lane (do not re-enter freeway) to Mellen St. Follow signs. (at Chevron Gas Station).
- 99 Harrison Ave Factory Outlet Way (Exit 82). Accessible from both directions. Harrison Ave is the segment of the Old Hwy 99 going into downtown Centralia where Old Hwy 99 go north-south as Pearl St (SB) and Tower Ave (NB). Going west from the junction, Harrison Ave goes north alongside I-5 to Grand Mound by Exit #88. There are multiple places for Lodging, fuel, restaurants, supplies/groceries (Safeway, Centralia Outlets, Goodwill, etc) in the immediate areas.
- 99 Aberdeen -Tenino (Exit 88). US Hwy 12 goes west towards Aberdeen through Rochester and Elma. US Hwy 12 ends at SR 8 in Elma. If coming from Centralia or anywhere south and going west towards Aberdeen this would be the route take without going through Olympia. If Going eastbound, US Hwy 12 goes south along I-5 from Exit 88 to Exit 68. Old Hwy 99 goes northeast from here towards Tenino and south along the west side of I-5 to Centralia as Harrison Ave (Exit #82). .
- 22 Scatter Creek I-5 NB (Mile 90). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines and RV sanitation station.
- 23 Maytown I-5 SB (Mile 93). Restrooms, water, picnic tables and visitors info. No RV sanitation station.
North of Olympia the interstate enters the large conurbation of cities in Thurston, Pierce, King and Snohomish counties. This section is multi-lane (3 to 5) in both directions and is busy with traffic at nearly all times of the day. If at all possible avoid driving at peak commuter times. Some drivers may be tempted to take Interstate 405 through Bellevue as an alternate route, but check traffic conditions before doing so as it is often even worse for traffic congestion than Interstate 5.
- 99 Tumwater (Exits 99-103). Southernmost city of the Puget Sound Region and the Olympia conurbation. There are four exits to Tumwater from I-5.
- 99 Trosper Rd SW (Exit #102). Capital Blvd runs parallel east of the I-5 corridor which becomes Old Hwy 99 going southeast towards Tenino and back towards I-5 and Rochester at Exit #88 through rural areas. There are multiple places for Lodging, fuel, restaurants, supplies/groceries (Costco, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, etc) surrounding the I-5/Trosper Rd Jct.
- 99 North Aberdeen Port Angeles (Exit 104). US 101 goes west to the third exit, going west from I-5, where US 101 exit off to the right and goes north towards Shelton and around the Olympic Peninsula. The highway itself continues west and becomes towards Aberdeen. There are two additional local exits to Olympia along US Hwy 101 between I-5 and where US Hwy 101 goes north towards Shelton.
- 99 Olympia (Exits 105 & 107). The capital of Washington offers an unusually large and active arts and music scene for a city of its size, and its identity as a city remains distinct despite strong influences from Seattle, Tacoma and Everett to the north and from Portland/Vancouver to the south. Olympia is somewhat of a breeding ground for Pacific Northwest alternative culture having spawned or influenced many of the region's better-known personalities.
- 99 Lacey (Exits 109-111). Suburban city northwest of Olympia. I-5 goes east-west through Lacey, from Olympia to the Nisqually River at the Pierce/Thurston County line.
- 99 Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) (Ft Lewis & McChord AFB, Exits 120-125). a U.S. military installation home to I Corps and 62d Airlift Wing 9.1 miles (14.6 km) south-southwest of Tacoma under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Joint Base Headquarters, Joint Base Lewis–McChord. Joint Base Lewis–McChord is a training and mobilization center for all services and is the only Army power projection base west of the Rocky Mountains in the Continental United States. Its geographic location provides rapid access to the deep water ports of Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle for deploying equipment. There is a visitors center off Exit #120, and another one at Exit #125. A valid DoD ID card or visitor pass is required to enter the installation and is checked for by military police on the roads going into the military base. ID is also checked for those going into the military base by public transportation. There is a gas station and a series of restaurants lined up along Berkeley Ave in Tilicum, outside the military base, and are accessible from Exit #122
- 99 Gravelly Lake Dr Sw (Exit #124). Old Hwy 99 goes parallel west along I-5 from the intersection of Gravelly Lake Dr & Pacific Hwy SW (Exit 124) through Tacoma as Pacific Hwy SW, S Tacoma Way, E 26th & Puyallup Ave.
- 99 Tacoma (Exits 127-135). Washington's second largest city and formerly all industrial. The city center has been beautified, and the city now offers attractions such as the famous America's Car Museum, Museum of Glass, Point Defiance Park, and the Washington State History Museum. There are seven exits to Tacoma from I-5.
- 99 South Tacoma Way (Exit 127). SR 512 goes east towards Puyallup home of the Western Washington State Fair. Second exit from I-5 going east is SR 7 which is the road leading down towards Mount Rainier. Going west SR-512 ends at South Tacoma Way/Pacific Hwy (Old Hwy 99).
- 99 S 72nd St / S 74th St (Exit 129). A local east/west street in South Tacoma where there are multiple places for Lodging, single Valero Gas Station for fuel and Tacoma Place for Food and supplies/groceries.
Due to long term construction activities along the freeway from S 38th through Fife the I-5/SR-16 interchange, the adjacent exit configurations and the freeway lane alignments between Exits 137A-B through 132 are subject to change. Speed limit through this segment is 50 mph. Follow signs closely and prepare for heavy traffic of less than 50 mph through this area.
- 99 West Gig Harbor Bremerton; S 38th St west Tacoma Mall (Exit 132). SR 16 provides additional access to Tacoma before crossing the Tacoma Narrows to Gig Harbor in the Kitsap Peninsula and continues north to Bremerton. There is a toll to cross the Narrows Bridge coming into Tacoma from Gig Harbor (south-east direction) but NOT north-west into Kitsap Peninsula. Access to S 38th St, the location of Tacoma Mall and the surrounding retail venues, is also the same as SR-16 from both directions. Follow signs closely.
- 99 North to City Center & E 26th to Tacoma Dome, South (to East Tacoma via Pacific Hwy) (Exit 133) (Signed as "City Center"). I-705 connects downtown Tacoma and Tacoma Dome to I-5 at Exit 132/133. Going north of downtown Tacoma the road becomes Schuster Pkwy (40 mph) which goes into Old Town Tacoma (N 30th St & Schuster Pkwy) where it becomes N Ruston Way along the waterfront at much slower speeds (20 mph) going towards Point Defiance Park and Point Defiance Ferry Terminal to Vashon Island. Going south SR-7 ends at S 38th St to access the south and east neighborhoods. SR-7 continues along Pacific Hwy which parallels I-5 along the east, going towards Mt Rainier. Old Hwy 99 goes by the Tacoma Dome as E 26th (first exit from I-705) which becomes S Tacoma Way, running north-south, parallel along I-5 along the westside, and ends at Pacific Hwy SW & Gravelly Lake Dr by Exit #124.( in downtown Tacoma, around the Tacoma Dome and along Ruston Way, The , are along E Puyallup Ave, are accessed from E 26th St from I-705 or Portland Ave at Exit 134 of I-5).
- 99 Fife (Exits 136 (Port of Tacoma Rd) & 137 (54th St E)). Suburban city northeast of Tacoma. I-5 goes east-west from SR 16 in Tacoma, through Fife, to the Pierce/King County line at the "Fife Curves". There are two exits to Fife.
- 54th Ave E (Exit #137). begins from 54th Ave E & Pacific Hwy which runs parallel west of I-5 from Fife through Federal Way, Des Moines, SeaTac (and airport) and ends north of Tukwila at SR-518 as Pacific Hwy & International Blvd. There are numerous stores, strip malls, restaurants and hotels/motels along the SR-99 corridor which can be accessed from multiple exits along the I-5 corridor. Location marker for Fife is located at this exit on the map.
- 24 SeaTac Rest Stop I-5 NB (Mile 140). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines and RV sanitation station
- 99 Federal Way (Exits #142B (S 348th) - #147 (S 272nd St)). Federal Way is a suburban city of 90,000 inhabitants and is home to World Vision and Weyerhaeuser. There are three exits to Federal Way. The marker for Federal Way is at S 320th which is the location of the Federal Way commons and the surrounding retail venues, restaurants and hotels (core area of Federal Way and the closest thing to a 'downtown') .
- 99 East Auburn; West S 348th St (Exit 142A). Connects I-5 to Auburn, Maple Valley and Covington in the southeast part of King County. SR 18 ends at Exit #25 of I-90 in North Bend. If coming from Federal Way or anywhere south and going east towards Spokane on I-90 this would be the route take without going through Seattle and Bellevue. SR-18 continues west to Pacific Hwy (SR 99) in Federal Way (accessed from 142B from both directions towards S 348th St). The same road continues west of Pacific Hwy as S 348th St at slower speeds.
- 99 Kent-Des Moines Hwy (Exits 149 (SB side); 149A & 149B (NB side)). Local east-west highway, crossing under I-5, connecting Des Moines in the west to Kent in the east.
- 99 S 188th St (Exit 152). Another way to access the airport in SeaTac. There's a gas station to fill up the tank before returning a rental car and a Motel 6 S 188th St. Additional hotels are further in along International Blvd. .
- Southcenter (Exit 153). Access into Southcenter Mall from the northbound lanes.
- 99 North Bellevue; West SeaTac (Exit 154). The off ramp splits going west into SR-518 towards Burien and Seattle Tacoma International Airport and east into I-405 towards Renton and Bellevue. The airport can also be accessed from S 188th St from Exit #152.
- Seattle (Exits 157-175). By far the largest city in the region. It is the heart of a vibrant metropolitan area and a major tourist destination. There are 18 exits to Seattle proper from the I-5 corridor.
- 99 Tukwila (NB); Interurban Ave (SB) (Exit 156). This exit is only accessible from the northbound (NB) lanes. From the southbound (SB) lanes Exit 156 only goes into Interurban Ave, a local street through Tukwila. SR-599 goes north to Tukwila International Blvd where it continues as , going through Sodo/Georgetown along the Duwamish River and under downtown Seattle through the Viaduct Tunnel. From north of downtown Seattle Hwy 99 goes up through Ballard and North Seattle as N Aurora Ave. It's also another way to reach West Seattle and Whitecenter from the south at the SR 99/509 junction via Highland Park Way SW.
- 99 Airport Way / E Marginal Way (Exit 158). Access to Boeing Field/King County Airport and The Museum of Flight and to Rainier Valley in South Seattle on Ryan Ave.
- 99 West Seattle Bridge & Beacon Hill (Exits 163 & 163A) (Just south of downtown Seattle). West Seattle Bridge closed for repairs. Go on SR-599 from Exit 156 to get to West Seattle.
- 99 East; James St & Deerborne St in Downtown Seattle (Exits 164 & 164A) (Just south of downtown Seattle). Interstate 90 is the longest interstate in the country, traveling approximately 3,020 mi (4,860 km) from Seattle in the west to Boston in the east. It is the most convenient route for travelers going to Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho and another way to cross Lake Washington (without toll) from Seattle to Bellevue and Mercer Island locally. The off ramp from the northbound lanes is at Exit #164A. From the southbound lanes the freeway splits with the two left lanes (Exit #164) going towards "Bellevue & Spokane" via I-90 while the two right lanes continue south towards "Tacoma & Portland".
- E Martinez Dr (164B). Goes onto I-90 West towards its west end at T-Mobile Field. The road forks to the right towards 4th Ave at Century Link Field at Royal Brougham ( ) or to the left towards Martinez and third, south of T-Mobile Field ().
- Downtown Seattle & Capitol Hill (Exits 165 - 168A) (Just south of downtown Seattle). The Seneca St exit is a the left (#165) while the Olive St exit is to the right (#166). Exit 168A also goes into the Capital Neighborhood via Lakeview Blvd E.
- 99 Toll Bridge to Bellevue Kirkland (Exit 168B). SR-520 crosses Lake Washington into Kirkland & Redmond (Home of Microsoft). There's a toll to go across the bridge in both directions. Rather than setting up toll booths to collect toll cameras are installed to read the "Good to Go" tags on the windshields and the license plates of passing vehicles and deduct the toll from the pre-paid account behind the "Good to Go" tag. If there's no money on deposit or no tags installed a bill (for the toll) is mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle. Toll varies from $0 (Midnight to 5AM) to $5.55 (peak weekday travel times).
- 99 Edmonds/SR-104 (Exit 177). SR-104 goes west into the Edmonds Ferry Terminal with ferries going to Kingston
- 99 Lynnwood (Exits 178-181). There are three exits through Lynnwood
- 99 I-405/SR-525 (Exit 182). Jct I-405 from Exit 182 to get to Woodinville, Bothell, Kirkland, Bellevue and Renton east of Lake Washington. Rejoins I-5, 30 mi south at Exit #154. I-405 becomes SR-525 west of I-5 going towards the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal via Paine Field .
- 25 Silver Lake Rest Stop I-5 SB (Mile 188). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines and RV sanitation station .
- 99 Everett (Exits 186-198). Everett is home to the largest public marina on the west coast of the United States and the assembly plant for the large Boeing 747, 767, 777 and the Dreamliner (787) jumbo jets which is open for public tours. Everett is accessed from exits #186 (128th St SW) through #198 (WA-529 West Broadway) along I-5, there are 6 exits to Everett.
- 99 Mukilteo-Whidbey Island Ferry / to Broadway Everett Mall Way (Exit 189). SR-526 goes west from here towards Mukilteo and the Paine Field Airport & the Boeing Factory tours (go south on Airport Rd from SR 526). SR-99 begins from its intersection with SR-526 and Broadway, going southwest through Everett Mall, south Everett, Lynnwood, Aurora Village, Shoreline and into North Seattle as SE Everett Mall Way, Evergreen Way, Pacific Hwy & Aurora. There are numerous stores, strip malls, restaurants and hotels/motels along the SR-99 corridor which can be accessed from multiple exits along the I-5 corridor. Going north from the SR-526 interchange, SE Everett Mall Way becomes Broadway (old Hwy 99) which is a major north south corridor through Everett.
- Broadway & 41st Ave (Exit 192). Local access to south of Everett via 41st Ave which crosses over the freeway. Go west to get to Broadway. Accessible from both directions and goes by Evergreen Cemetery.
- To Pacific Ave City Center (Exit 193). Direct and closest access into downtown Everett. are at the downtown Everett Station.
- 99 Snohomish & Wenatchee (Exit 194). US-2 goes east to Leavenworth and Wenatchee in the North Central Cascades or go west into downtown Everett on Pacific Ave.
- 99 South Broadway & Port of Everett (Exit 198). Going north SR-529 enters into Marysville as State St. Going south SR-529 goes into Everett and spurs around Everett along the waterfront as W Marine Dr and re-connects to I-5 as E Everett St at Exit #193. Old Hwy 99 runs along SR-529 through Marysville (State St), across the Snohomish River to its junction with Broadway in north Everett. Old Hwy 99 continues south through Everett as Broadway, a main north-south corridor, and connects into SR-99 at its intersection with SR-526 off of Exit 189 north of Everett Mall. This Exit is only accessible from the southbound lanes.
- Marysville Tulalip (Exit 199). SR 528 connect the Tulalip Indian Reervation to Marysville. It goes west from I-5 as Marine Dr and east into downtown Marysville as 4th Ave. .
- 26 Smokey Point Rest Stop I-5 NB (Mile 207). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines and RV sanitation station
- 27 Smokey Point Rest Stop I-5 SB (Mile 207). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitors info, vending machines and RV sanitation station
- 99 SR-532 west (Exit 212). SR-532 heads west to Stanwood & Camano Island
- 99 Mt Vernon (Exits 224-227). County seat and primary city of Skagit County, Washington that was voted "#1 Best Small City in America" in 1998 by the New Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities. It is known for its annual Tulip Festival in April.
- Burlington (Exits 229-231). There are three exits in Burlington.
- George Hopper Rd (Exit 229). Local & "big box" shopping outlets such as Best Buy, Home Depot, Walmart Supercenter, etc are located off this exit. Burlington Blvd, a local throughfare through Burlington runs parallel with I-5 from downtown Mt Vernon to Chuckanut Dr, north of town at Exit #231. It goes south of the Skagit River and become Riverside Dr & 4th St.
- Burlington Anacortes (Exit 230). SR-20 goes west to Anacortes, the San Juan Ferry Terminal and Whidbey Island through Deception Pass and east to Okanogan through the North Cascades National Park (also be sure to see more on The North Cascade Loop itinerary article as to what else is there to do and see there). .
- Chuckanut Dr & Bow-Edison (Exit 231).
- 99 Bellingham (Exits 250-258). The home of Western Washington University, the departure point for the Alaska Ferry going up to SE Alaska, and the largest city in this part of the state. It was an industrial town based on coal mining and timber and is now more environmentally conscious culture with environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling and the gateway to outdoor activities. Activities range from skiing on nearby Mt. Baker to whale watching near the San Juan Islands. The Bellingham International Airport is next to the freeway and can be accessed from Airport Rd at Exit #258 while the Alaska Ferry Terminal at the Fairhaven Transportation Center can be accessed from Old Fairhaven Pwky at Exit #250. There are 9 exits in Bellingham.
- 99 SR-539 (Exit 256). Connects directly to the Lynden-Aldergrove border crossing, where it becomes BC-13 in Canada. Also provides access to SR-546 near Lynden, which gives access to the Sumas-Huntingdon border crossing. See Northwest Cascades#By car for more Canada-United States border crossing information.
- Ferndale (Exits 262 & 263). Two exits to access Ferndale from both directions.
- 28 Custer Rest Area I-5 NB (Mile 267). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, visitor info, and vending machines. No RV sanitation station.
- 29 Custer Rest Area I-5 SB (Mile 269). Restrooms, water, picnic tables, vending machines and electrical vehicle charging station. No RV sanitation station.
- 99 Blaine (Exits 270-276). Trucks & buses exit off at SR-543 (Second to the last at Exit #275) and cross through a separate checkpoint, 5 mi (8 km) east of the I-5/BC-99 crossing at Peace Arch Park for going in both directions. SR-543 becomes BC-15 after crossing into Canada. There are 4 exits in Blaine.
When on the road, most of the journey is straightforward freeway driving. If it is winter, it is wise to check the weather conditions at the Siskiyou pass before crossing the border from California into Oregon. Snowy conditions are not uncommon, and officials usually close the road if things become too dangerous. A closure can be waited out in the Shasta or Redding area on the California side, or Ashland and Medford on the Oregon side. It is also possible to detour along the coast.
Alternatives for traveling north/south through California include US-Hwy 101, El Camino Real and the Pacific Coast Highway in the west, or US-Hwy 395 along the Eastern Sierra and east of the Cascades in Oregon and Washington. All of these are more scenic and interesting routes but are much longer and slower and are more of a journey to experience than just for getting from A to B. SR-99, US-395 and US-Hwy 101 are also local streets/roads at slower speeds through some of the towns they pass through.
|Routes through Interstate 5|
|Whistler ← Vancouver ← becomes ← (Peace Arch Park) ←||N S||→ Ferndale → Bellingham → Seattle|
|Los Angeles ← San Diego ← Chula Vista ←||N S||→ (San Ysidro) → Becomes → Tijuana → Ensenada|