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North Cascades Highway
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A scenic highway measuring 132 miles.
Sedro Woolley, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2012

This is a wonderful drive!! You can look for Big Foot marks or just the Bambi's on the side of the road. Make sure your not a car sick type because it loops around. But the beautiful waterfalls can make up for it!

4 Thank vguffie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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234 reviews from our community

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Seattle, Washington
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Incredible Drive”
Reviewed November 5, 2011

If you would like to experience the Cascades from your car and feel like you drove over the top of them, this is the drive for you. A few miles north of Seattle, you will be on your way to an incredible day. You go by Ross Dam and through a wonderful little town called Winthrop, a great place for lunch and you pass some of the most beautiful scenery. When you get to Eastern Washington you can continue up to Grand Coulee Dam or simply turn around and come back. Spend the night in Wenatchee and drive back Hwy 2 through Leavenworth, that's another review. This drive is really worth it. You could start early in the morning and be back to Seattle by night. All in all a great day.

Visited June 2011
5 Thank Howieboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Niles, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
244 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 289 helpful votes
“Amazing Beauty”
Reviewed October 27, 2011

We visited North Cascades National Park as a day trip from Seattle. It was about a 3 hour drive to the park from our location in the south of Seattle. Part of the trip was on major interstate and part was on Route 20 otherwise known as the North Cascades Scenic Highway. A couple tips for this part of the trip: gas stations are few to nonexistent as you get closer to the park so be sure to have enough gas in your tank before you enter the park area. Also. if gas is hard to find.....food is harder to find. There is absolutely no where in the park to buy food and no where within miles of the park to find it either. Luckily we had a bag of Doritos and a bottle of water with us!

The first stop we made was at the North Cascades Visitor's Center near Newhalem. It was a nice stop. Restrooms are available here...the last real restrooms you will see for quite awhile! The ranger was helpful and gave us tips on where to be sure to stop. There is also a short walk out back on a boardwalk that takes you to your first view of the North Cascades range.

Our second stop was a Gorge Creek Falls. There were actually three separate waterfalls in this area but Gorge Creek Falls was by far the highest and most impressive of the three. From here we continued through the park till we got to Diablo Lake. This area was beautiful. Lots of mountains and lots of water. Amazing views in every direction! Definitely a must see.

After Diablo Lake we headed on through the park. Ross Lake was the next stop that was marked but we really didn't see much there heading from West to East on the highway. In fact we were past it before we knew we had passed it! Make sure you continue through the park to the East on the North Cascades Scenic Highway. This section is closed during the winter so be sure to check the status before you head that direction. We drove through Rainy Pass which had a beautiful view and on to Washington Pass. This is another must see area. There is a walkway to better viewing areas which is definitely worth the walk. It's not too strenuous and it's short. They mark this walk as wheelchair accessible which it is for part of the walk. The second half of the walk takes you up rocks and steps so that definitely wouldn't work for a wheelchair.

We turned around at Washington Pass and headed back through the park from East to West. The drive is definitely better from West to East but there are a few spots that you can see better from this direction. One of those spots is Ross Lake. We stopped here for a photo and continued on through the park stopping at the visitor's center again on the way out.

This was a beautiful area. Not at all crowded at this time of year on a weekday and a must stop if you have a chance to take a drive out of the city!

Visited October 2011
20 Thank Melody B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ringgold, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
296 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Surprised it was so beautiful”
Reviewed July 21, 2011

I love National Parks, and had seen North Cascades on the internet, but thought it was one you had to hike and camp overnight to see real beauty. Was I ever wrong. Loved it. If you like mountain peaks, waterfalls, snow, and lakes this is for you.

Visited July 2011
2 Thank Con K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puget Sound
Level 6 Contributor
190 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“counterclockwise loop trip ...”
Reviewed July 7, 2011

If you are starting out from the Seattle area I suggest doing a large loop trip counterclockwise that way you will be going over the pass going east to west which provides the best views. This can be easily done in 2 days with an over night in either Winthrop or Twisp which are both fun interesting towns. A stop at Diablo Dam on day 2 also provides some interesting views.

Visited September 2010
9 Thank compassNSEW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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