The good news coming out of the Pacific Northwest just doesn’t seem to stop! According to a tweet sent by the Washington State Department of Transportation, State Route 20, better known as the North Cascades Highway, will reopen at 11 am Friday, April 22! The road had been closed for 37 miles since last November, granting access to stunning views for only the hardcore outdoor adventurers. Now, the road has been plowed and everyone with two or four wheels can drive up and see the stunning sights from one of America’s most-scenic stretches of road.
The North Cascades Highway has the nickname “North American Alps,” and for good reason. Starting out on the fertile and gorgeous pastoral Skagit River valley, the road winds its way up the mountains, past stunning peaks, waterfalls and lakes before crossing right under the jagged, glaciated summits of the North Cascades Mountains. The highway traverses rock spires, hanging valleys, waterfalls and alpine glaciers before descending to the rustic town of Winthrop in the Methow Valley’s high desert. For more information about the region, the drive and the possible destinations, check out the The Cascade Loop website.
If you haven’t had a chance to drive across this absolutely stunning road, you are missing out on one of the greatest drives in the country. There are also numerous hiking possibilities once the snow melts a little more, which we will be highlighting throughout the spring and summer. For starters, check out the map of hikes around Ross Lake. A favorite, once the snow melts, is the hike and panoramic wonderland that exists at the lookout tower on Sourdough Mountain. This is an 11 mile round trip trek that will leave you, once you catch your breath from the steepness, drooling from the beauty of the region.