The Methow Valley just happens to lie on the eastern side of the Cascade Loop— a short trip by road trip standards—and one of the most beautiful drives in the country.
On our side of the Loop you’ll drive along the North Cascades Highway—the first National Scenic Highway in the United States. Completed in 1972 and open seasonally from mid-May to mid-November, the North Cascades Highway begins in Sedro Woolley just north of Seattle and follows the blue-green Skagit River.
Also known as Scenic Highway 20, The North Cascades highway travels through farmlands and small towns, with country stores, fruit and vegetable stands and historic landmarks along the way. As you continue east along Highway 20, be on the lookout for eagles near the town of Concrete, one of the most popular eagle habitats outside Alaska. Other stops along the way offer rare encounters with old growth forest, spectacular vistas of Ross Lake, Gorge Lake and Diablo Lake, and turn-outs along the way.
The North Cascades Visitor Center in Newhalem has a great country store and information about the construction of the North Cascades Highway, along with maps, wildlife guides and interpretive trails. Just beyond Newhalem lies the Gorge Dam, with a bridge spanning over the Gorge Creek Falls. The impressive falls thunder into Gorge Lake, a stunning emerald green that must be seen to be believed.