The section of the Cascade Mountains that runs through Washington State is a real playground for both local residents and vacationers. From high mountain peaks to low foothills, anyone who loves the outdoors would love to spend time there. If you would like the chance to check out some great scenery, beautiful lakes, impressive canyons, majestic peaks, gorgeous wildlife, and raging rivers, head to the Cascade Mountains of Washington right now. When you go there, here is a look at five knock-your-socks-off things to do.
Drive the North Cascades Highway
The North Cascades Highway is known as Washington State’s best scenic highway. The truth is though that it really is one of the most scenic highways in the entire United States. Regardless of the direction you are traveling, you are sure to find incredible things to see. You better also make sure you take along your camera too because this is an area you will want to show off to family and friends when you get back home. Places to visit along the way include the Western themed town of Winthrop, Diablo Dam and the Diablo Lake Overlook, North Cascades National Park Visitor Center, and the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. There are also a number of great viewpoints along the way that treat you to incredible views of mountain peaks, deep canyons, and even waterfalls. There really is nothing quite like the North Cascades Highway.
Visit Mount St. Helens
If you were alive during the early 1980s, the name Mount St. Helens will bring back memories. The volcanic eruption that came from there rocked the world, sent huge mudslides down river valleys, and covered the entire Pacific Northwest in volcanic ash. Over the decades since, nature has begun to battle back and overtake the damage. You can view this natural recovery, as well as the volcano itself, by visiting Mount St. Helens today. Some of the must-see attractions in the area that you shouldn’t pass up on include the Johnston Ridge Observatory, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Mt. St. Helens Science and Learning Center, and the Windy Ridge Observatory.
Take a Summertime Ride Up the Slopes
Driving through the Cascade Mountains is a lot of fun. You can get out and enjoy outdoor recreation, stop for a picnic lunch, check out some of the best mountain scenery in the lower 48 states, and more. For a real treat, take the time to venture up the mountain slopes. If a steep hike isn’t really your speed, you can take advantage of offseason trips up the mountain on ski lifts. Both the White Pass Ski Area on Highway 12 and the Stevens Pass Ski Area on Highway 2 offer these types of trips. This is an incredible chance to get up high in the mountains and see sights that most travelers never get to see. This is yet another place to visit in the Cascade Mountains where your camera is a necessity. More information is available at the White Pass Ski Area and Stevens Pass Ski Area websites.
Ride a Historic Railroad
Something that travelers of all ages love to do is take a ride on a historic railroad. There are not many opportunities around though to do this. One of the best can be found in the Cascade Mountains near Mount Rainier and goes by the name the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. This is one of the oldest continuously operated steam railroads in the nation. Riding the train is a favorite activity for both adults and kids. There are even themed rides and events, as well as dining options too. You can even check out the railroad museum there too. Check out this awesome attraction online right here: Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Spend the Night in the Mountains
While it is entirely possible to head into the Cascades for the day, why not spend the night there? You can do this a number of ways, including renting a vacation home, going camping, and staying in a motel, hotel, or lodge. Some great options to look into include Rimrock Lake Resort on the way to Mt. Rainier, the Bavarian Lodge in Leavenworth, and the Summit Inn at Snoqualmie Pass.