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All About the Local Area



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The Symposium will be held at the Lakeway Best Western Hotel in Bellingham, Washington, with field trips to the Port Hardy area on northern Vancouver Island in Canada and to the Chilliwack Basin just north of the US Border on the Mainland. Pre- and Post-Symposium Field trips are planned for the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and the Mt. St. Helens area in Southern Washington.


Bellingham is located about 100 miles North of Seattle and about 60 miles south of Vancouver, BC, along the I-5 corridor, in scenic Whatcom County. It's the home of Western Washington University, and is located between Mount Baker and the Straits of San Juan de Fuca, a very scenic location. It's close to the Chilliwack Karst area, which is just over the border into British Columbia, and even has a few local caves and karst areas.

Getting Here

You can fly into Seattle, Bellingham, or Vancouver. From Seattle or Vancouver you'll probably want to rent a car, although there is a train that stops in Bellingham and other public transportation available, including bus and shuttle van. If your timing is right, we may be able to arrange transportation from Seattle or Vancouver.

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The Lakeway Best Western

The Symposium will be held at the Lakeway Best Western Motel, which is located right off I-5 freeway at exit 253. There are prominent signs that will lead you there once you get off the freeway.  If coming from Seattle, you'll take a right at the bottom of the ramp, and go straight ahead into the shopping center when you come to the light.   Keep going straight all the way to the back of the shopping center, take a right, and soon you'll find the hotel.  If coming from the north (Vancouver), turn left at the bottom of the ramp, go under the freeway, and take an almost immediate right into the north end of the Hotel parking lot.

The motel has convention facilities right there. We've reserved a block of 100 rooms, which will be held for you at a special Symposium rate. Be sure to register early, however, as there may not be rooms available if you wait, since at some point we'll have to give them up if they aren't filled. Call 1-800-528-1234 to make a reservation. Be sure to mention the Karst and Cave Symposium.

Other Motels

There are several other motels within walking distance of the meeting site. The Closest is the Valu Inn, just across the street. On the other side of the freeway ( a few blocks walk) there are a number of motels. View a list of all local hotels and B&B's.


Camping will be available at Larrabee State Park, about 10 miles south of Bellingham on scenic Chuckanut Drive. We'll post additional information here as soon as we get it set up. We don't anticipate a large number of campers, but if you are planning on camping, you might include that on your registration form (write it in the margin) so we can make sure we have enough spaces available. There will also be an RV Park available near the airport, within a few miles of the Symposium site.

This page was last updated on 08/26/99

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