The Cascade Loop

Take the road trip of a lifetime on an adventure that National Geographic Traveler describes as “one of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives.” The Cascade Loop passes through 9 distinct regions of Washington State, offering scenic vistas of lush forests, open desert, the ocean, and breathtaking mountain peaks.

On Route 97 from Pateros, take WA-153 north, then WA-20 west approximately 33 mi (53 km) to the artsy town of Twisp, then continue 9 mi (14.5 km) until you reach Winthrop. This old Wild West town is home to late 19th century storefronts and the largest Nordic Ski trail system in North America.

As you travel along WA-20 into the North Cascades National Park, prepare to see dramatic mountain landscapes, alpine glacier-fed lakes, and cascading waterfalls before entering the green, active farmlands of the Skagit Valley.

From there, connect to the scenic byway spanning the length of Whidbey Island, where its charming communities and natural beauty make it "The Shortest Distance to Far Away®."

Once back on the mainland, travel eastbound on US-2 through the lush forest of Stevens Pass Greenway. Almost 100 mi (161 km) into the journey, you’ll reach the alpine-style village of Leavenworth. With an authentic Bavarian feel and host to festivals and events throughout the year, this lively town is a must-stop when in the area.

Continuing 11 mi (18 km) east of Leavenworth is the beautiful little town of Cashmere. The geographic center of Washington State, it is surrounded by orchards and is well known for its pears.

From there, it’s another 10 mi (16km) back to Route 97 where you can connect to another scenic road trip.

NOT TO BE MISSED

Diablo Lake Overlook

is a roadside attraction featuring bright, turquoise water against the backdrop of the North Cascade Mountain Range.

Shafer Museum

in Winthrop is an award-winning museum housing an outdoor replica pioneer village featuring historical buildings dating back to the early 1900s.

Lake Ann (Rainy Pass) Trail

features incomparable views of the glaciated valley, wildflowers in the summer months, and golden larches in the fall.

KEY ANNUAL EVENTS

Winthrop’s Annual Rhythm & Blues Festival (Winthrop, July)

Leavenworth Oktoberfest (Leavenworth, October)

Christmas Lighting Festival (Leavenworth, December)