Scenic Byways

A good wool sweater is almost always in order here. So are binoculars, a change of shoes and pants that can be rolled up to escape the crashing waves as you walk along the beach.

The Cascade Loop Byway is a 440-mile love letter to Washington praising her natural beauty and charisma. From the waterfront city of Everett, head east over Stevens Pass, where alpine villages welcome and snowy spires beckon.

Cascade Valleys Heritage Corridor

Published: 02/21/2012 by Anne Erickson Day Trips

This convenient ramble follows SR-202 from Woodinville along the fertile Snoqualmie River valley.

The Chinook Scenic Byway runs from the rolling fields of Enumclaw west of the Cascades, to the Naches Valley east of the range. Along the way, this two-lane pass wraps around the northeastern flank of iconic Mt. Rainier.

A premier byway sometimes referred to as Washington’s Big Sur (perhaps Little Sur would be more fitting), the route hugs the sheer sandstone cliffs of the Chuckanut Mountains.

The Columbia River cut this dramatic gap between the Cascade Mountains on its way to the Pacific Ocean eons ago. Lewis and Clark explored this path centuries ago. Today, modern travelers are awestruck at the natural beauty of the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Byway.

What’s a coulee? In this part of the country, it refers to the dry canyons gouged out by the Glacial Lake Missoula floods that roared through here several times up until around 13,000 years ago. This breathtaking landscape will leave you wondering if the rest of the world really exists.

This byway is named in honor of the tiny red berry, which once grew wild in the region and was farmed by Finnish immigrants over 100 years ago.

Prepare to compose your thoughts and write your next novel. The shadows are deeper in this part of the world, and the power and beauty of the ocean invite introspection.

This grand, 280-mile, pear-shaped route is perfect for drivers who love sweeping curves of roadway and prefer snow-dusted mountains and deep river gorges for company instead of traffic. It also provides a taste of international travel as it meanders from Washington State into British Columbia, Canada, then back down into the U.S. via Idaho, encircling the Selkirk Mountains.