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Scenic Driving Tours
The Route
Vital Statistics
Winter Travel
The Itinerary
   Day 1
   Day 2
   Day 3

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Scenic Driving Tours in Washington

Seattle - Leavenworth - Coulee Dam

  • Stevens Pass (gorgeous scenery in the Cascade Mountains)

  • Leavenworth (charming Bavarian village)

  • Lake Chelan

  • Columbia River Valley

  • Grand Coulee Dam (a civil engineering, modern wonder of the world)

  • Channeled Scablands:

    • Columbia Plateau (one of the biggest lava beds in the world)

    • Banks Lake (spectacular drive)

    • Grand Coulee Canyon (largest coulee in the Scablands)

    • Dry Falls (geological marvel)

  • Blewett Pass (gorgeous scenery in the Cascade Mountains)

  • Snoqualmie Pass (gorgeous scenery in the Cascade Mountains)

The Route (see map)
Day 1 
Seattle - Stevens Pass - Leavenworth
Day 2 
Leavenworth - Chelan - Coulee Dam
Day 3 
Coulee Dam - Wenatchee - Blewett Pass - Snoqualmie Pass - Seattle.

Vital Statistics
Round trip: 3 days and 2 nights; about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers)

Winter Travel
Take this route during winter and experience the delights particular to the season; fields of pristine white, frozen lakes, icicle formations, "sugar-dusted" trees and rocks, and fewer crowds. If the passes are open, chances are the weather will allow enjoyment of the scenery, especially on the east side of the mountains. If you have the option, wait for a three-day forecast for little or no precipitation.

Follow the usual precautions for safe winter driving, and a minimum of a two-wheel drive sedan with chains should get you through all the mentioned roads. (Don't be fooled by sunny weather and clear roads - on the descent from Stevens Pass, we saw a car that had spun out in sand and ended up on the bank below the road.) If the weather turns bad, Index or Leavenworth on either side of Stevens Pass are pleasant places to hunker down.

Winter sees the closure of many tourist facilities including public restrooms, but this need not detract from your trip. For example, there are no tours or crossing of the top of Coulee Dam, yet the visitor center with its informative staff, remains open.

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