The Cascade Loop — Northern WA
644 km (400 mi)
The great American road trip is alive and well on the Cascade Loop. National Geographic Traveler calls it “One of America’s grandest, most spectacular drives.” Join the loop from Wenatchee and take US 2 west, Pateros (Hwy 153 to Route 20), or from Okanogan (Route 20).
Drive the Cascades
From Route 97, take US 2 from Wenatchee towards Leavenworth where Bavarian charm and northwest hospitality combine and where celebrations take on a life of their own. Cool breezes come down from the mountains of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest as you head towards at Everett, home of Boeing’s assembly plant, the largest building in the world by volume.
You can smell the ocean as you wind your way towards Whidbey Island and Deception Pass State Park, 4,134 acres of marine, park, saltwater and freshwater shorelines with old growth forests and sand dunes!
Views That Amaze
US 20 leads you to Mount Vernon, in Skagit County. Come in April for the world famous Tulip Festival. You’ll pass through some of the most spectacular and diverse scenery in northwestern Washington around and in the North Cascades Mountains. This is gawk worthy country as you gaze out at mountain ranges on both sides of the border. This route takes you over scenic Rainy Pass (closed in winter) through North Cascades National Park where you can connect with the Pacific Northwest Trail. Note: portions of US 20 are closed during the winter months.
At Mazama, cross-country ski in the Methow Valley or connect with the Pacific Crest Trail or hike up to Goat Peak to the Forest Service Lookout Tower. Up the road is Winthrop, an old west town with wood boardwalks and western hospitality. The town of Twisp is called the heart of the Methow Valley and is the largest town in the Valley.
Apple Pie Time
Exit the loop at Pateros, home of the famous Apple Pie Jamboree in July, or at Okanogan, just south of Omak.
Entiat, Chelan, and Pateros
Should you decide to join the road trip further north, you’ll love the view outside your window. The green pastures and orchards of the valley floor combine with the rugged cliffs and glacial features for picture perfect vistas. Take 97A along the Columbia River through Entiat to Lake Chelan, the largest lake in WA and third deepest in the United States. Explore vineyards and orchards and sip wine in the fastest growing wine region in WA. In the winter, it’s a great place for Nordic skiing and in the summer, it’s perfect for skydiving.
Just past Chelan is Pateros, where you can drive northeast on Hwy 153 to Route 20 and connect to the Cascade Road Trip. You can also continue another 40 minutes north on Route 97 to Okanogan where you’ll connect directly to Route 20 and travel west on the upper portion of the Cascade road trip and back down to Wenatchee.
Need to Know:
|Loop distance:||644 km (400 mi)|
|Duration of drive:||Seven to eight hours. Most travelers prefer four to five days to explore |
|Best time to drive:||Year round. Snow tires are recommended |
Parts of US 20 are closed in the winter
|Watch for:||Wildlife on and near roads, cowboys, tulips, the ocean, stunning vistas |
Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce
940 Highway 2 Suite B
Twisp Chamber of Commerce
201 HWY 20 South
Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce
101-137 N. Wenatchee Avenue
Toll Free: 1-800-572-7753
Winthrop Forest Service
24 West Chewuch Road
Phone: 509-996-4000 / 509-996-4003