Those of us living in the Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia areas of the Pacific Northwest are very fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes the nation has to offer. There are countless breathtaking drives to be had around Olympic National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mt. Rainier National Park. The following are six drives that you may want to check out.
Even the Islands Have Beautiful Drives
The shortest drive on this list, the Horseshoe Highway, is located on Orcas Island. Motorists who want to drive the Horseshow Highway will need to take the ferry that transports passengers and vehicles from Anacortes to Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands. The Horseshoe Highway takes motorists from Orcas Landing, where the fairy lets off, approximately 18 miles to the Mount Constitution parking lot. On a clear day, the Mount Constitution Lookout also gives visitors a breathtaking view of Mount Baker, Vancouver, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountain Range.
The drive through Whidbey Island also requires a ferry ride, this one approximately 20 minutes from Mukilteo. You’ll head from the Ferry to WA-526, then you’ll head west until it becomes WA-20. This drive, approximately 47 miles long, will take you through Langley, vineyards, South Whidbey State Park, 250-year-old trees in old-growth forests, the town of Coupeville and ends at Deception Pass State Park. Along the route are multiple opportunities for exploring places like Ebey’s Landing, Fort Casey State Park and the Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens.
Seattle Area Drives
Cascade Valley Heritage Corridor
This drive is unique because it follows the path Native Americans trod along the Snoqualmie River to first reach Puget Sound. This drive, beginning in Woodinville, takes motorists along the WA-202 past beautiful local spots like Marymoor Park, Lake Sammamish and the Snoqualmie Falls. People who drive the Cascade Valley Heritage Corridor can also stop by the Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum and North Bend’s factory outlets.
The Olympic Peninsula Loop
This 329-mile drive makes a big loop around Olympic National Forest, primarily by following US-101. It offers a comprehensive view of the Olympic Peninsula, the Olympic Mountains, magnificent temperate forests and the Pacific Ocean. The nearly one-million-acre Olympic National Park is home to a diverse eco system and even gives drivers the chance to see glaciers on the Olympic Mountains.
Stevens Pass Greenway
The Stevens Pass Greenway drive takes motorists along the Wenatchee River and through the Cascade Mountains and Stevens Pass. This approximately 120-mile drive along US-2 and WH-285 takes travelers past a variety of noteworthy destinations and potential stops, including the Washington State Apple Commission Visitor Center, Pybus Public Market, Ohme Gardens County Park, Walla Walla Point Park, the Cashmere Pioneer Village Museum, Deception Falls and the Great Northern and Cascade Railway. Along the way to Everett, where the drive ends, motorists can stop at a variety of roadside farm stands to taste the fruits of the region’s many orchards.
Whether you’re a visitor to the Puget Sound area or a Seattle-area native, a drive to Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the Cascades mountain range, is a worthwhile adventure. If you’re starting in Seattle, take the WA-161/WA-7 south to US-12 and head east. Eventually the US-12 will meet WA-123, which will take you to Mount Rainier National Park.
There is an entrance fee to enter the park, but it is covered by the America the Beautiful Pass if you have one. You can also stop at the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center if you want to learn more about the park.
Approximately 1.5 miles after you enter the park you’ll see Stevens Canyon Road, which will send you up the Paradise side of Mount Rainier. You can also continue on WA-123 to the WA-410 north towards Sunrise, the highest point you can reach on the mountain by vehicle. The Sunrise Visitor Center is worth a visit if you’re interested in learning about the area or its many hiking opportunities.
Asphalt Means Accessibility to the Natural Wonders of the Pacific Northwest
The nation’s residents and foreign visitors have the opportunity to see the marvelous natural beauty of the wonderful parks and scenic road trips surrounding the Seattle area thanks in part to our many asphalt paved highways.
The great thing about asphalt paved roads, especially in this part of the country, are their durability and weather-resistant properties. They’ve carried millions of motorists safely to their destinations for decades, and have the resilience to continue doing so for decades to come.
If you’d like to learn more about asphalt paving or have asphalt paving needs for your commercial or residential property, contact Lakeridge Asphalt Company. We’ve been actively providing asphalt paving in all types of public, private and commercial capacities for the Seattle area since 1968.