The Cascade Loop National Scenic Byway is a 440-mile love letter to Washington praising her natural beauty and charisma. The route contains three of the state’s designated scenic byways—the Stevens Pass Greenway, North Cascades Highway and the Whidbey Scenic Isle Way.
From the waterfront city of Everett, head east over Stevens Pass, where alpine villages welcome and snowy spires beckon.
Drop from pine forests into fertile orchards and take in the pink haze of apple blossoms in the spring. Pick up luscious seasonal fruit from a roadside stand that operates on the honor system then take a dip in Lake Chelan as the sun bakes high desert hills. Play cowboy in Winthrop.
Climb west over more mountains, and then descend into Skagit Valley with its acres of blooming tulips. At last, cross over dramatic Deception Pass to Whidbey Island, where gentle hills and seaside towns offer a soft place to land. If yours is a passing attraction to Washington State, watch out; this byway may turn it into true love forever.
CLICK TO EXPLORE ON MAP to find more things to do, places to stay and eat along this rout
1. La Conner
Situated a few miles south of Highway 20 on the banks of the Swinomish Channel, this cute town is the stuff of dreams for boutique shoppers‚ and has plenty of options for those who just prefer to sit and contemplate life with a frosty local brew in hand. Take a leisurely stroll along the Swinomish Channel to the iconic Rainbow Bridge and explore the many cute shops and restaurants along the way.
2. Deception Pass Bridge & State Park
Deception Pass State Park spans the gap between Whidbey Island and Fildalgo Island. At 4,134 acres, the park has many different spots that are almost parks all by themselves. Crossing onto Whidbey Island over Deception Pass Bridge is one of the region's spectacular driving moments. It's a thrill whether it's your first drive or your thousandth time across.Read More
3. Oak Harbor
Nestled at the water’s edge, Oak Harbor is a vibrant community packed with activity for families of all ages. The unparalleled beauty of Deception Pass boasts expansive views and unforgettable sunsets and serves as a fitting backdrop to the myriad of outdoor adventures that await.Read More
Coupeville is Washington State's second-oldest community and much of downtown harkens back to an era of more than a century ago. Hundred year old buildings tht were once livery stables and barber shops are now wine tasting rooms and bookstores. There are also restaurants and small shops all along Front Street.Read More
Perched on a bluff on Whidbey Island, overlooking the waters of Saratoga Passage and the Cascade Mountains, Langley’s quiet streets are lined with historic buildings, book stores, antique shops, clothing boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Walk the streets of Langley, Whidbey Island’s “Village by the Sea,” and you will know what it’s like to escape from ordinary life.Read More
Mukilteo is a waterfront community situated on Puget Sound in southern Snohomish County, about 25 miles north of Seattle. It is located in the northwestern region of Washington State. This scenic area has views of the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Northern Cascade Mountains to the north and east. Annual precipitation for the region is approximately 35 inches and visitors find moderate weather conditions from May through the end of October.Read More
From a hike through the woods or calm walk by the waterfront to a great show at Everett’s wonderful local theatres, the beautiful and historic city of Everett has a lot to offer. Visitors can enjoy everything from the warm, sandy beaches of Jetty Island to a fascinating trip to Funko, maker of the famous Funko Pop! figures. In the summer months, catch some minor league baseball with the Everett Aquasox, affiliate of the Seattle Mariners or attend an exciting Everett Silvertips hockey game in the fall and winter months. This is just a sampling of what Everett has to offer visitors and locals alike.Read More
Nestled between the waters of Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, Snohomish is the perfect place for family adventures. Once known mainly as the 'Antique Capital of the Northwest' Snohomish has broadened its appeal with a riverwalk, over 40 specialty shops, 30 restaurants and taverns, and a few wineries.Read More
Located in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Skykomish was founded as a railroad town. Grab lunch alongside the rushing river and listen as trains rumble through town and you‚’ll be transported to a time before this byway existed. Enjoy recreational access to the surrounding mountains, including skiing at nearby Stevens Pass.Read More
If you love cute towns you must visit Leavenworth. The architecture is right out of Bavaria but then again, so is the rugged landscape and outdoor recreation. During Maifest in spring, you can see Tyrolean dancers and check out (or enter) the Looking Good in Lederhosen contest. And of course no self-respecting German village would be complete without an Oktoberfest celebration, and Leavenworth's is the largest in the world outside Germany. Whether inside or out, the environment is so authentic you'll feel like you just got dropped into the heart of the Swiss Alps.Read More
Wenatchee is located at the confluence of the Columbia and Wenatchee Rivers and seated by the foothills and towering peaks of the North Cascades. Come see the “Apple Capital of the World” and its many orchards. Other attractions include the Pybus Public Farmers Market, The Apple Capital Loop Trail, Ohme Gardens, Riverfront Park, Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort, Rocky Reach Dam Park and more!Read More
15. Beebe Springs Nature Area
Take a minute to pull over at the Beebe Springs Nature Area to view the metal 3D sculpture of "The Chief" on horseback wearing a feathered headdress hoists a Columbia River salmon over his head. The sculpture was created by Virgil "Smoker" Marchand, a member of the Lakes Band of the Colville Confederated Tribes.Read More
Located in the heart of the Methow Valley, nestled into the foothills of the North Cascades, Twisp is a dynamic center for art, culture and adventure, with a down-to-earth atmosphere and friendly attitude. Swing by Twisp’s downtown art galleries, play in its riverside park, relax at its luxurious spa, or take in an evening of theater. Enjoy Italian fine dining, pizza, burgers, tacos and more – or stop in to enjoy international wine tastings, sip award-winning microbrews from our on-site taproom, or get energized with world-class, locally-brewed coffee.Read More
Welcome to Winthrop - a tiny old Western town with antique boardwalks, great boutiques, restaurants, luxurious to cozy overnight options and every outdoor recreational pursuit you could ask for! The pristine Okanogan National Forest is our backyard and your playground. Winthrop is a year-round wonderland but in the winter is acclaimed for the continent’s largest network of cross-country ski trails. Visit on any day of the year and you are sure to have a great experience.Read More
20. Washington Pass Overlook
Wheelchair accessible, this trail is paved to a lookout on a ledge overlooking Liberty Bell Mountain. This alone is worth the trip from the west side, because of spectacular views, and the myriad hiking trails in the area including access to the Pacific Crest Trail. It is a must-stop photo-op on your North Cascades Highway road trip.Read More
21. Skagit Tours
Come be a part of Skagit history! Seattle City Light has been offering the popular Diablo Lake & Lunch Tour for more than 80 years. Cruise past amazing scenery while you learn about the area's natural and cultural history and the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project which provides clean, low-cost, renewable power to Seattle.Read More
Experience Washington State's rich history in Sedro-Woolley, based on the can-do spirit brought by hard working men and women as they forged their way in the great forests of this valley called Skagit. Visiting Sedro-Woolley’s historic downtown is a trip back in time. Brick buildings, fronted with comfortable wood benches beneath old-fashioned light poles are the backdrop for the numerous chainsaw carvings and murals depicting the city’s colorful past.Read More