North Cascades Scenic Byway is a 99 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Sedro-Woolley, WA that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for scenic driving and is accessible from April until November.
The route begins in the pastoral Skagit River valley and crosses the jagged glaciated peaks of the North Cascades Mountains.
North Cascades Scenic Byway runs 127 miles on State Route 20 between Sedro-Woolley and Winthrop, WA. This beautiful drive takes you right through the heart of North Cascades National Park, past Gorge, Ross and Diablo Lakes, and through Ross Lake National Recreation Area. The Wilderness Center is located in Marblemount and the Visitor Center is located in Newhalem. We traveled west on a rainy and very windy day, with showers in and out. We had a couple of brief dry spells and were able to stop at Diablo Lake and Washington Pass, taking the short hikes and enjoying the views. We started up the Rainy Lake National Recreation Trail but got pelted with heavy rains half way up. Much of the drive was through heavy mist, like a scene out of The Lord of the Rings. We had to get to Anacortes by evening and with stops we took about 4 hours to travel the Byway. If you go straight through, it will only take two and a half hours, but with good weather, you could easily spend 6 hours with additional hikes. This is a drive we will come back for, and hopefully with more sunshine!
This is a fantastic drive. There's a lot to get out and see and plenty of parks and trails along the way. If you take the bridge at marblemount it leads to some incredible views. Follow it all the way for some hiking. Stay on 20 to see lakes and dams as well. More than can be seen in one trip.