Cascade Mountains, Pacific Northwest
Collected by Joseph Cyr, AFAR Local Expert
Volcanic icy giants, lush dark forests, the 'American Alps,' full of glacial lakes, and the dividing line, climatically, culturally, and politically, between the two halves of Washington State...
3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199, USA
Seattle's largest public park sits on a sea bluff that's high enough to pierce the city's infamous fog, revealing gorgeous views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Wander its 11 miles (18 km) of paths through forest groves, meadows...
Marblemount, WA 98267, USA
It's about a ten-mile round-trip, but a summer hike up to Goat Lake in the Central Cascades will reward you with a glacially-colored mirror of snow-clad crags and distant waterfalls. An easy day-hike from Seattle (if you get up early), it's also...
709 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826, USA
NEIN, you are not in the Bavarian Alps--you are in the Central Cascades of Washington State...and JA there is an outdoor Bier Garten where you can sit your stinky sweaty post-hike self down for a local microbrew! The faux-but-well-done Bavarian...
Goat Lake, Washington, USA
Both residents and visitors to the Pacific Northwest bemoan the region's seemingly eternal grey skies...But summer turns things around. By July, sun is (almost) reliable and the outdoors pulls you away from the indoor pursuits of bookstores and...
Wenatchee, WA 98807, USA
A challenging dayhike with a glacial-lake view at the end, and then Bratwurst-und-Bier for dinner: a perfect summer's day in Washington State's central Cascades! Take Icicle Creek Road from the town of Leavenworth to Eight Mile Road, then turn...
Marblemount, WA 98267, USA
Summer arrives somewhat late in the Pacific NW--but when sun finally parts the clouds in July, it's glorious. The "Mountain Loop Highway" running east from the town of Granite Falls into the central Cascades is the gateway to numerous hikers' and...
53000 East Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA
Multnomah Falls is a gorgeous sight located about 45 minutes by car outside of Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River Gorge. Several hikes of differing degrees of difficulty offer vantage points to view the falls. The sound of the rushing water...
Mt Adams, Washington, USA
If you're on a flight from the East Coast of the U.S. to Portland, Oregon, try to get a window seat on the right side of the plane. As you approach Portland, look out the window and you just might catch a glimpse of two of the Pacific Northwest's...
For several summers, I just couldn't seem to get the timing right for wildflowers while hiking around Mt. Rainier: too early, too late, too cold, rain...Finally, one summer, although the skies were grey and getting lower on the glaciers, I arrived...
During the years I lived in the Pacific NW, I came to learn that the best of the all-too-brief summer often doesn't arrive until September. My wife and I took a day off work, got out of 'Pugetopolis.' On this Monday morning, Mt. Rainier felt like...
Mt Shuksan, Washington 98244, USA
In the South of France and in South America, I've come across images of this Pacific NW peak being used as a stand-in for Switzerland. Buying breakfast food in a Peruvian supermarket, I saw a box of "Swiss Muesli" graced with the image of Mt....
Diablo Lake, Washington 98283, USA
In the summer, take at least a couple of days to drive the North Cascades Loop — four hundred miles of alpine splendor just to the northeast of Seattle, just south of the Canadian border. At Diablo Lake, pull off the highway and check out the...
6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065, USA
Just 25 miles east of Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, is Snoqualmie Falls. Winter and spring are the best times to see the thundering 268-ft waterfall; summer brings sun (believe it or not), but less rain and snowmelt. Although...
Mt Si, Washington 98045, USA
About 45 minutes east of Seattle is the town of North Bend. Looming behind is the forested and craggy Mt. Si (4167 ft/1270 m); generations of hikers in the Puget Sound area have broken in their boots on this mountain. It's steep (an elevation gain...
Blanca Lake, Washington 98251, USA
Alpine lakes often have an otherworldly color, due to glacial rock-'flour' suspended in the water. Here, in the central Cascades northeast of Seattle, Blanca Lake could be more aptly named Turquoise Lake. Set in a cirque, with Columbia Glacier at...
201 S Pearl St, Centralia, WA 98531, USA
It's not a long drive from Seattle to Portland—around three hours—but it's just long enough to warrant stopping halfway for a slice of pie in a 1920's building next to a leafy square. So, get off I-5 and drive a few minutes to the east: The Berry...
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