ROAD TRIP! We all know that Washington is full of natural beauty, and the Cascade Loop is a perfect way to experience it. This Scenic Byway stretches for a whopping 440 miles as it winds through valleys, around lakes, and along rugged mountain terrain. So pack up the car, roll down the windows, and take a ride into the wild Washington wilderness.
Described by National Geographic Traveler as “one of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives,” the Cascade Loop is a wonderful way to explore Washington. Along the way, you can bike, ski, kayak, enjoy regional wine and food, or just sit and watch a sunset.
Though you may not feel like driving the full 440 miles, there are nine different regions that make up the byway that you can discover depending on your interests. Start out in the Snohomish River Valley, where you’ll journey along farm valleys and head into the mountains. Follow the Skykomish River as you climb into the Cascades and hit Stevens Pass, affording you breathtaking views. You can even take a little side trip to Lake Wenatchee for some fishing!
After Stevens Pass, you’ll move into the Cascade-Leavenworth Foothills, where you can munch on some German cuisine and go rafting along the Wenatchee River. Then grab a ripe apple in the Columbia River Valley, where you can buy fruit fresh from the orchard, or stretch your legs by enjoying some water sports. Next, check out Chelan, with its pristine lake that you won’t want to leave. In the Methow Valley, make sure to enjoy the quaint towns before you move into the magnificent North Cascades Highway and National Park. Swing through the picturesque Skagit Valley before you finish the loop by exploring the Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands. You can find more information and maps for specific regions here.
Though the options can be a little overwhelming, choose a section that fits your interests, whether its rock climbing in the North Cascades to water skiing on Lake Chelan. Find all the information you need HERE to plan your perfect summer road trip.