Route 97 boasts several parks that you don’t want to miss. The regional and national parks of the Columbia Cascades region offer visitors a chance to explore the wilds in every season. Many offer overnight camping. There are dozens and dozens of state and provincial parks throughout the route in Washington and British Columbia.
Wells Gray Provincial Park
Wells Gray Provincial Park in BC is home to Helmcken Falls, Canada’s fourth highest waterfall. Wells Gray has volcanic fields, glacier fed lakes, wildflower-strewn meadows, jagged mountain peaks and 39 named waterfalls. Slip your canoe or kayak into the waters of Murtle Lake, North America’s largest non-motorized. Should you prefer, saddle up for a one hour or multi day trail ride. There’s 5,250 sq km (2,027 sq mi) of wilderness to explore in every season.
In the winter you’ll find over 85 km (53 mi) of Nordic ski trails. You can also take a winter waterfall tour where many waterfalls look frozen in time. When waterfalls completely freeze you’ll find huge cathedrals of ice as well as large ice-cones at the base.
North Cascades National Park
The North Cascades National Park in WA has over 300 glaciers. It’s where you’ll find the Stehekin Valley that is only accessible by plane, boat, or by hiking in. Lake Chelan, the third deepest lake in America. It’s also where you’ll find Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park has 22,450 m (73,640 ft) of freshwater shoreline at the foot of Dry Falls, a stark cliff, carved by the Ice Age Floods, 120 m (400 ft) high and 5.6 km (3.5 mi) wide.