Cascade Loop National Scenic Byway

by Allen Cox May 28, 2024 Updated May 29, 2024

Encompassing the peaks of the North Cascades, the wine and orchard country of North Central Washinton and bucolic islands in the Salish Sea, the Cascade Loop Scenic Byway has it all. With nine distinct regions making up the 440-mile loop, you can take this route in shorter chunks or as one epic road trip. Just don’t be in a hurry—there’s more to see and do on this route than you can imagine.

The journey begins in Everett, about 30 miles north of Seattle, and climbs Stevens Pass into the Cascades where you will definitely want to spend some time in the charming town of Leavenworth, Washington’s Bavarian-themed village. From there, explore the wine country surrounding Lake Chelan before continuing on through the Methow Valley, stopping to browse the town of Winthrop with its Old West vibe. From there, ascend into the North Cascades—be sure to pull off at the Washington Pass overlook to admire the jagged peaks of Liberty Bell Mountain. If time allows, stop for a day hike on one of the many trails in North Cascades National Park before you descend into the Skagit Valley and cross the Deception Pass Bridge onto Whidbey Island. Take your time exploring the island and stop to check out historic Coupeville and the charming village of Langley. Finally, board the Washington State Ferry for passage to Mukilteo near your starting point at Everett, which ends the loop.

The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway encompasses the diversity of Washington’s geographic features. It’s best to take at least five days to fully appreciate the scenery and stops along this route. If you are camping along the way, plan ahead to reserve camping spots—there are many to choose from. If you prefer sleeping in a bed, there are plenty of hotels and inns along the way.


Plan your Cascade Loop Scenic Byway road trip at You can also get the Cascade Scenic Loop mobile app at your app store; if you are driving an electric vehicle, there are many charging stations along the loop.

Here are some traveler tips for each region of the Cascade Loop

  1. Seattle North Country:  Go Antiquing in the historic town of Snohomish.
  2. Stevens Pass Greenway: Lunch at the historic Bush House Inn in Index.
  3. Leavenworth & Cascade Foothills: Ride the Alpine Coaster at Leavenworth Adventure Park.
  4. Wenatchee & Columbia River Valley: Browse Wenatchee’s Pybus Public Market.
  5. Lake Chelan Valley: Go wine tasting at your choice of winery tasting rooms.
  6. Methow Valley: Tour Winthrop and the surrounding trails on an e-bike rental from Methow Cycle & Sports in Winthrop.
  7. North Cascades National Park & Scenic Byway: Take the Skagit Tours Diablo Lake & Lunch Cruise at North Cascades Institute.
  8. Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island: Take a short detour to Anacortes for whale watching with Island Adventures.
  9. Whidbey Scenic Isle Way: Explore historic Coupeville, Washington’s second oldest town.

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