South Cascades Loop Drive
Explore Washington State’s South Cascades Loop, Cascades-Columbia-Cabernet drive tour. Easily accessible from Seattle Tacoma International Airport, wind through Chinook and White Pass National Scenic Byways beside the state’s most recognized volcanos; journey along the longest river gorge in a federal designated national scenic area; and meander among one of the state’s fabulous wine and beer regions. Along the way enjoy unlimited outdoor activities that include world-class kiteboarding, downhill and Nordic skiing, golfing, hiking, biking, water sports and fishing. Quaint towns offer a variety of lodging, dining, and cultural experiences not found in big cities.
Start your summer journey in Enumclaw just a couple hours from SeaTac airport. You will find good restarurants, lodging and boutique shopping. Farm to table is a specialty and great farm fresh produce is available year round in roadside stands. Try the local brew and wine, before getting started on your outdoor adventure tour.
Next Stop, Crystal Mountain Ski Resort where you will find off season lodging, dining and a great gondola ride to the top. Exquisite views and hiking can be a full day's activity. Following your exploration, the view of Mt. Rainier will entice you to discover the mountain up close and personal, so take a drive to nearby Sunrise inside Mt. Rainier National Park for the true feeling of being on top of our mountain!
Day two: From Sunrise you will travel over Chinook Scenic Byway, an All American Road with extreme views of mountains, valleys and forestland, plenty of hiking trailheads, and the amazing transition into the more arid Eastern Washington climate. Upon arriving in Naches, your choice will be to continue south into the Wine Country of Yakima Valley or take up the White Pass Scenic Byway, and travel west towards Mt. Saint Helens Volcanic Monument.
Day three should be spent exploring Mt. Saint Helens Visitor Informatoin Centers and Interpretive nature trails before heading south on I-5 towards the Columbia River Gorge.
Day four is a full day with historic Lewis and Clark Trail exhibits, and exploring the rain forests of the Skamania and Stevenson area. Drive the Gorge and keep a watch out for Bigfoot.. the legendary Sasquatch of our region.
Day Five is dedicated to exploring vineyards and wineries along the route from Prosser to Yakima. Lots of tasting rooms, and gift shops will tempt you to fill your vehicle with more than memories and luggage!
Depending on your interests and desire to explore beyond the roadside viewpoints, this journey is well worth 7 full days of exploration!