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Washington Scenic Byways

Cascade Loop- The Cascade Loop is a thrilling ride through the heart of Washington State. Visitors will see some of Washington's most beautiful countryside and interesting areas. The loop is 440 miles long encompassing magical cityscapes and spectacular landscapes, chilly alpine lakes and rushing rivers, islands and towering peaks.
Mather Memorial Parkway - SR 410- The Mather Memorial Parkway is possibly the most scenic route crossing the Cascade Mountain Range, and it is the most accessible road for viewing Mount Rainier.
Mount Baker Highway (Route 542)- The highway winds along the North Fork Nooksack River, ending at spectacular Artist Point, elevation 5,100 feet, in the Heather Meadows Area. At road's end, trail systems lead into the Mt. Baker Wilderness.
Mountains to Sound Greenway - I-90- Each year, over 20 million vehicles travel this route, making I-90 a very popular gateway between Washington's largest city and its diverse and striking landscapes.
North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway- The North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway is called the "Forgotten Corner" for a reason. Located in the very northeast corner of Washington State, the area seems as if time stands still. Today a great emerald river "carves its way northward around the ankle bones of mile-high, majestic mountains."
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway - Washington- Enjoy the complexity and richness of Washington`s coastal communities as 360 miles of highway lead you through a unique region.
Stevens Pass Greenway- This picturesque drive along US-2 through Stevens Pass travels from a saltwater port to the high Cascades and through a historic railroad district.
Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway - SR 112- Whether you watch the waves break, take a ride on a salmon charter, learn about Native American cultures, or watch whale spouts, the Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway can be an adventure for a day or week.

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General Information

Description - Washington offers twelve state designated byways, two National Scenic Byways (Mountains to Sound Greenway and Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway) and one All-American Road (Mather Memorial Parkway).

Attractions -

As you travel east along Mountains to Sound Greenway, you will experience lush green forests, the marine beauty of Puget Sound, pastoral valleys, and a dramatic mountain landscape. You will also pass through a complete revolution in climate, geology, and hometown style. Reaching farther out into the cold waters of the North Pacific than any other point of mainland in the lower 48 states, Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway, located in the northwest corner of Washington State, is a remote stretch of coastline with rugged cliffs and forests. The Mather Memorial Parkway is possibly the most scenic route crossing the Cascade Mountain Range, and it is the most accessible road for viewing Mount Rainier. These and the numerous state designated byways provide scenic access to this spectacular state.

Recreation - Byways provide access to numerous cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic sites. Some of the most popular activities along the byways include hiking, camping, picnicking, biking, fishing, photographing scenery, viewing historic sites and of course scenic driving.

Climate - Washington's climate varies with each region. The Cascades split the state and alter weather patterns. The terrain east of the mountains receives significantly less rainfall than that west of the mountains, 12 inches is the annual average. Temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months, because it is landlocked. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.

Western Washington is temperate, due to the coastal geography. The water is a stabilizing force for the climate, making extreme temperatures rare. The area receives large amounts of rainfall from Pacific storms and some snow during winter months.

The mountains of Washington receive large amounts of water-laden snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year.

Location - Byways travel through scenic and historic areas throughout the state. Maps are available on the individual pages.

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Additional Information:
Washington - Washington is teeming with natural attractions. The state is split into eastern and western regions by the Cascade Mountain Range.


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