Explore the Cascades
National Wilderness Areas
The Washington Cascades, part of the Cascade Mountain Range which extends from British Columbia to California, offer hundreds of miles of hiking, snow-shoeing, skiing and cross-country skiing trails; many ski resorts; and countless opportunities for camping, backpacking and mountain climbing in one of the world's most beautiful and accessible mountain ranges.
In Washington, this lengthy range of forested mountains is roughly divided into three different regions, each offering its own unique and outstanding natural features. The three regions are briefly described below. For more detail, follow the links:
The North Cascades defining features are Mount Baker, the North Cascades National Park, several National Wilderness Areas, the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and the Chelan Lake National Recreation Area.
Cities in the North Cascades
Buckley, Chelan, Concrete, Conconully, Darrington, Diablo, Fortson, Glacier, Granite Falls, Hazel, Marblemount, Manson, Maple Falls, Mazama, Methow, Mount Baker, Newhalem, Pateros, Robe, Rockport, Stehekin, Twisp, Van Horn, Winthrop.
The Central Cascades offer an extensive array of outdoor recreational activities less than two hours by car from Seattle, making the area a popular playground for hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing for one of the Pacific Northwest's largest metropolitan centers.
Cities in the Central Cascades
Baring, Carnation, Cashmere, Cle Elum, Coles Corner, Easton, Fall City, Gold Bar, Index, Leavenworth, Monroe, North Bend, Peshastin, Plain, Roslyn, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Snoqualmie Pass, Sultan, Thorp, Wenatchee
The South Cascades' three snow-capped volcanoes, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, rise dramatically above their lesser neighbors as the outstanding featured attractions in this widely popular recreational area of south central Washington.
Cities in the South Cascades
American River, Alder, Ashford, Carson, Cougar, Eatonville, Elbe, Enumclaw, Glenoma, Greenwater, Mineral, Morton, Mossyrock, Nile, Packwood, Randle, Rimrock, Stevenson, Trout Lake
Explore the Cascades
Washington's Cascade Loop is a memorizing drive extending approximately 440 miles. Beginning in Everett, about 30 miles north of Seattle, you will travel from the Puget Sound to the Cascade Mountains in Northwest Washington. Along the way, you can explore North Cascades National Park, national forests, the spectacular Columbia River Valley, historic seaside towns, the Bavarian town Leavenworth, old-time western town Winthrop and many other wonderful towns. Find more information on the official Cascade Loop website including map of byway, interactive map for trip planning, videos, destinations, points of interest, places to stay, outdoor recreational activities and much more.
Find road and pass conditions, traffic cams, weather and other byways in the Cascade Loop from Washington State Determent of Transportation (WSDOT). Please note North Cascades Highway is closed during winter months.
The Great Washington State Birding Trail Cascade Loop by Audubon Washington's website features a map of the birding trail and where to spot specific types of birds along the way. There are links to purchasing your map and apps for your phones. Learn how to conserve natural ecosystems and more.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Mountains: Timber Press Field Guide (A Timber Press Field Guide) by Daniel Matthews. This book provides an overview of the Cascade region. Learn about the history, landscape, geology, weather, flora and fauna of the Cascade region. Color photographs are also included. Order now...
The Abandoned Western Cascade Mountain Railroad Tunnels: 1910 Wellington Avalanche by Marques Vickers. Learn about the Wellington avalanche that killed almost 100 people through photographs and descriptions. Hiking the Iron Goat Trail retraces the former route of Great Northern Railway. Order now...
Cascades Rock - 160 Best Multipitch Climbs of All Grades by Blake Herrington. This book is full of information including details on routes, topos and stories of local climbers covering mountain and alpine routes in the Cascade Mountains of Washington and BC plus rock climbing in nearby towns. Order now...
Selected Climbs in the Cascades Volume I by Jim Nelson and Peter Potterfield. A collection of over 75 popular climbing routes are featured along with photographs (half with route overlays), maps and detailed descriptions for a variety of climbs such as ice climbs, hard rock and alpine routes. Order now...
Selected Climbs in the Cascades Volume II by Jim Nelson and Peter Potterfield. Features 100 routes, including top favorite sport and crag climbing areas. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, several with route overlays. Highlights fun, quality climbs for all skill levels. Order now...
Moon Washington, 10th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Matthew Lombardi. This travel writer and Seattle resident gives an insider's view of everything the Evergreen State has to offer such as great places to eat, scenic drives and volunteer vacations. Discover Seattle's arts and culture, details on climbing Mt Rainier and much more. Order now...
Hidden Washington: Including Seattle, Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula, Cascades and Columbia River Gorge (Hidden Travel) by Eric Lucas. This author gets to know each community by going from neighborhood to neighborhood. This book will take you to all the great spots while describing both the famous attractions and hidden favorites. Order now...
Great Places: Washington: A Recreational Guide to Washington's Public Lands and Historic Places for Birding, Hiking, Photography, Fishing, Hunting and Camping by John Kruse. The geology, animal and plant life, and history of Washington's most-storied and scenic locales, including the best local lodging and amenities are explained in this full color guide. Order now...
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