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Ashford/Mount Rainier - Ape Cave/Mount St. Helens roundtrip

Thought I'd share my experience in case others are contemplating such a journey. We started in Ashford with a full charge (302 ideal miles), drove into Mt. Rainier NP to Reflection Lakes and then Paradise. This climb extracted ~60 ideal miles. As others have noted, regen coming down the mountain is excellent and it cost little to no net range to return to Ashford from Paradise.

From Paradise we drove back through Ashford and on to Elbe, then turned south on SR 7 toward Morton. From Morton, east on US 12 to Randle, then SR 131 south toward Cougar. After rough road and at least two significant hill climbs, we descended toward Swift Reservoir. IIRC, around this time reported range dipped below 150 ideal miles. At the west end of the reservoir, we turned onto NF-83 and followed the signed route to Ape Cave. On this part of the trip I kept to the speed limit +/- 5mph, in an abundance of caution to preserve range.

Despite having less than a full charge at Ape Cave, since we planned to return to Ashford and not re-enter Mt. Rainier NP, I figured we now had some range to spare. I drove normally/aggressively on the return route to Ashford, and arrived with 19 ideal miles remaining. The red/low battery indicator had appeared at ~21 ideal miles remaining.

We used heat and A/C for a portion of the day. Sunny and dry, ambient temps 45-75 deg. F.

Sorry, did not collect any energy usage graphs. Did notice some really impressive regen along portions of SR 131.

Probably not a trip I'd recommend to repeat as is, just in case of unplanned detours, off-season temps or road conditions, etc. An Ashford to Ape Cave round-trip seems comfortably doable without a side trip into Mt. Rainier NP.

A few other side notes perhaps of value: On another day/charge it cost us 62 ideal miles to travel from Paradise to Sunrise (w/o heat or A/C), and 50 ideal miles from Sunrise to Ashford (with heat and ambient temps 45-55 deg. F.)

Hope that helps someone in their trip planning!
 

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