Cities and Towns of the Central Cascades
National Wilderness Areas
Central Cascades is a popular Seattle playground for hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing.
The Central Cascades offer an extensive array of outdoor recreational activities less than two hours by car from Seattle, one of the Pacific Northwest's largest metropolitan centers.
Hikers can be at any number of popular trailheads within an hour or two and by noon can be miles into wilderness areas far from the crowds, traffic, asphalt and noise of the big city. Any summer weekend will find dozens of trails populated by solo hikers, families with small children, backpackers and, on some trails, even horse-packers. Trails range from easy 5-mile round trips to an alpine lake to moderate hikes of 10 miles or more.
Skiers, too, find relatively quick access to the slopes as several ski resorts also are within an easy drive. It is not uncommon to head for the slopes after work and ski until 10:00 PM and be home again in time for a good night's sleep.
Climbers can have breakfast at sea level and enjoy lunch at an elevation of 5,000 to 7,000 feet on any number of peaks within the Central Cascades.
Wildflowers of the Central Cascades
Photographs of the wildflowers growing in the Cascades by Washington Trails Association.
Asahel Curtis Grove
Old growth forest area with nature trail and picnic facilities. Take Exit 52 off I-90.
Located within an apple growing area, and home of Liberty Orchards, makers of Aplets and Cotlets candies. Tours are available.
Chelan County Historical Museum
Enchantments- Trip Report
Jeffrey Olson's text-only personal account of a 1996 hike through the Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington' Central Cascades.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Day Hike! Central Cascades: The Best Trails You Can Hike in a Day by Mike McQuaide. This edition contains 69 complete trail descriptions, estimated hiking time, permits required, special notes on dogs and kids, and driving directions. Easy-to-read USGS topographical maps, informative photographs and all changes made to the trails, and who to contact. Order now...
Day Hiking: Central Cascades by Craig Romano, Author and Alan Baue, Photographer. This book focuses on cream-of-the-crop trails in these areas. Compact in size, this is the most up-to-date guide for the area, organized along highways and other travel corridors, with an emphasis on trails that are 12 miles or less. Order now...
Washington's Central Cascades Fishing Guide by Dave Shorett. This comprehensive guidebook tells where, how and when to fish the area in detail, covering more than 25 streams and 200 lakes, with 14 maps and 40 photos. Trout populations are described in depth, along with fishing techniques, access and hiking directions. 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, 9th Edition. by Ericka Chickowski. From urban cities to rural towns, this native gives an insider's perspective on everything the Evergreen State has to offer featuring great places to eat, scenic drives and volunteer vacations. Discover Seattle's arts and culture, climbing Mt. Rainier, sleeping in a train car near Elbe and much more. Order now...
Frommer's Washington State. by Karl Samson. In this detailed and completely up-to-date guide, you'll find great places to stay in every price range: sleek Seattle business hotels, romantic coastal inns, historic B&Bs, family-friendly motels, rustic cabins, and more. Order now...
Cascade Alpine Guide: Climbing and High Routes, Stevens Pass to Rainy Pass (Cascade Alpine Guide) by Fred Beckey. This Mountaineer book contains everything needed to know for climbing the Cascade Mountains including maps, geographic aspects, safety and more. Order now...
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