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Bird of the Week: Trumpeter Swan
Over the years Trumpeter Swans have battled extinction due to hunters and feather collectors decimating the population. In the early 20th century swan feathers were often converted into writing quills, and women used swan skin as powder puffs. As recently as the mid-1900's these birds began to make their recovery, thanks to the help of aggressive conservation. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Chukar Partridge
The chukar is slightly larger than a valley quail and a little smaller than a ruffed grouse. Also known as red-legged partridge and rock partridge. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Bohemian Wax Wing
These full-bellied birdies feature a thick neck and a bushy crest atop their heads. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Gray Partridge
Introduced to North America in the late-nineteenth century, these European imports were first released in Washington and California but are now found in about a dozen Western and Midwestern states and most Canadian provinces. The first birds released in this country came from Hungary, so the gray partridge is also commonly known as Hungarian partridge, or Hun. Read More >>>>
North America's Largest Ski Area is Officially Open for the Season!
Methow Trails is officially open for skiing, fat biking, and snowshoeing! Currently about 50% of the trails are groomed and open, primarily in the Sun Mountain, Rendezvous, and Mazama areas. Preliminary grooming will continue in other areas with an anticipated opening of the rest of the system after the next storm. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Wild Turkeys Everywhere!
Merriam turkeys are native to the coniferous mountains and canyons of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. They live in the canyons and forests of northeast and central Washington. These turkeys prefer forests that contain ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, western white pine, Engelman spruce, Douglas maple, willows, cottonwoods, and aspens. In Washington, they eat grass leaves and seeds, ponderosa pine seeds, acorns, grasshoppers, forbs, and fruits like wild strawberries. Also, they prefer to roost in Douglas fir and grand fir trees. Read More >>>>
Bird of The Week: The Northern Pygmy Owl
The Northern Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium gnoma) is our smallest owl, at 7 inches tall, including its long tail. Because of its size, long tail, proportionally small head, and daytime hunting behavior, the Pygmy-owl is often misidentified or overlooked as just another brown bird in the brush. Watch for it near your winter feeder, where this fearless hunter may attempt to take small birds or mammals. It has sharply streaked undersides, but the most telling marks are the black patches on the back of its head that mimic eyes to deceive predator.… Read More >>>>
Local Color on The Loop Issue 6: Erika Halm
As the new Outreach and Access Manager of Methow Trails, Erika Kercher Halm is tasked with spreading the word about North America’s largest cross country ski network connecting over 120 miles of trails in Okanogan County. Working with over 175 landowners who generously allow public trail access on their properties, Halm seeks to expand and improve access of the trails by building relationships with private landowners and various federal and state land agencies. The resulting world-class system of interconnecting trails is a source of tourism revenue, outdoor fun… Read More >>>>
Eagles Preparing for Winter
Eagles can be found in every region of the Loop, and winter migration can bring hundreds of birds from Alaska to the local river valleys, like the Skagit, Methow, Wenatchee and Columbia. Depending on the year, migration usually begins in December, and the Skagit Valley Eagle Festival runs weekends in January. When snow begins to melt, most of the eagles head back north, but occasionally a pair will build a nest and set up residence – which can be a wonderful opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures. Read More >>>>
Local Color on The Loop Issue 5: Leaf Seaburg
Being in touch with nature comes easily for Leaf Little Fox Seaburg, owner and guide of Methow Fishing Adventures in Twisp, WA. Born and raised in the Methow Valley, Seaburg grew up fishing in its rivers and streams- he knows the area like the back of his hand. He shares his enthusiasm for fly fishing and the love of nature on the weekly Methow Fishing Report on KTRT 97.5 with his buddy, Deputy Don. On a recent broadcast, the two share news about community efforts to protect the… Read More >>>>
Local Color on The Loop Issue 4: Petra Kellie
Petra Kellie has always loved the valley. After working 4 years in various managerial positions at the Freestone Inn, Kellie is now its new general manager. While growing up in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Kellie has always maintained a strong connection to the Pacific Northwest. She studied political science and history at the University of Washington. As a child, Kellie spent part of her elementary school years in the Methow, enjoying the peace and quiet. “For me,” Kellie said, “Growing up internationally, I… Read More >>>>
Local Color on the Loop, Issue 3-Dan and Meg Donohue
Maybe it’s the aromatic whiff of rich, roasted coffee that envelops you as soon as you walk in the coffee bar; maybe it’s the playful baristas who love to photobomb or maybe it’s the fact that owners Dan and Meg Donohue greet everyone who enter this welcoming space with megawatt smiles, there’s an undeniable buzz at Blue Star Coffee Roasters in the small artsy town of Twisp, WA. Read More >>>>
Local Color on The Loop, Issue 2-Red
Nicknamed for her auburn hair and a penchant to blush, Debbie “Red” Schrock expertly navigates the frosted terrain on the horseback trails at Sun Mountain Lodge. Read More >>>>
Local Color on The Loop, Issue 1-Chef Tyler Krost
Local Color on The Loop is an ongoing, multi-issue installment featuring the colorful personalities one might just encounter while traveling the Cascade Loop. This installment features the talents of the Skagit Valley's own local photo journalistic celebrity, Ting-Li Wang. Ting-Li's previous experience includes The Wisconsin State Legislature, The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot and The Hays Daily News 2018. Check out more of her work and follow her adventures on Instagram @tingliwangphoto. Read More >>>>
Adventures in the Aviation District
Above me, the distinct sound of airplanes soaring through the air follows me from Mukilteo to Everett. Sometimes it’s a light hum, other times deeper roar. No matter which sound it is, my eyes are ever glancing upward hoping to catch a glimpse of those modern winged marvels. At times, it seems as if they are guiding me from one museum to the next as I explore the Paine Field Aviation District. Read More >>>>
The History of Bigfoot (and How to Find Them)
“Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare yourself for your encounter . You must learn to listen to the heartbeat of the true land that is distant and removed from the sense- and mind-numbing cities, towns, and villages.” - Robert W. Morgan, Bigfoot Observer’s Field Manual Read More >>>>
Northwest Ferry Adventure Guide
New York City has the subway, London has the double-decker bus, and Seattle NorthCountry has the ferry. For over 65 years, ferries have been used to shuttle people from the island counties to the mainland. Read More >>>>
Land of Loops: Skykomish River Valley
The Skykomish River Valley in Seattle NorthCountry is full of the verdant natural beauty that can only be experienced in this corner of the country. The river valley’s route and arterial, Highway 2, begins near the Salish Sea in the west and goes to Stevens Pass and the Cascade Mountains in the east. Highway 2 is part of the Cascade Loop. If you follow the highway over the mountains, will take you to the Eastern Washington cities of Leavenworth and Wenatchee. Read More >>>>
Glamping at 1700 ft. in the Air
Imagine sipping your morning coffee in the stillness of the forest, kicking back in a cabin above the trees. The morning sun paints the snow-blanketed peaks all around you and bathes the valley below in golden colors. In the distance, you can see Bridal Veil Falls flowing out of Lake Serene. That could be a nice hike, you think, after a bit of breakfast. Read More >>>>
Methow Trails - Largest Cross-Country Trail System in North America!
A little known fact is that the Methow Trails system is indeed THE largest cross-country trail system in North America! While another U.S. trail system boasts their 140 km of trails, Methow Trails include over 220 km of groomed winter recreation trails, and 200 km of those are expressly dedicated to Nordic skiing. Soooo, if you love this sport as much as we do, you'll head their way this Winter! Read More >>>>
Did you know Ohme Gardens is 89 years old - Oh MY indeed!
Each year, my eight-year-old son and I make a "bucket list" of things we want to do over the summer and visiting Ohme Gardens is always on it. My son loves exploring the wandering stone pathways, towering turret-like viewpoints, and imagination-inspiring ponds. Personally, I adore the story behind the flowered alpine meadows, rolling lawns, and shady evergreens that stand out like a lush green citadel on the side of a barren, rocky hill. Read More >>>>
Camping With Kids Along The Cascade Loop
If you live near the state of Washington and you are interested in taking your first road trip, then few routes can beat the Cascade Loop: a scenic tour that will see you drive through incredibly diverse areas, including Everett, Snohomish, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Chelan, Winthrop, Anacortes, and Whidbey Island. The Loop is an ideal, quick getaway for families since it covers only 440 miles and can be completed in a day. More Americans are hitting the road in search of a wild, green adventure, according to MMGY Global’s 2017-2018 Portrait… Read More >>>>
Spider Meadows had been on my bucket list for too many years. Finally a date opened to tick it off and I texted my friend, Mandy, who agreed to join me. I recommended she bring her big camera and I would bring mine. Read More >>>>
There is something to be said about trekking high into the mountains to take in the sub-alpine country. It may be the heather flowers, the huckleberries, or the pine and dry dirt smell. It may be the brilliance of the Autumn colors illuminating in red, yellow and orange when the sun hits the leaves just right. Read More >>>>
Make Memories While Vacationing In The Cascade Loop
A popular travel quote reads: “Take vacations. Go as many places as you can. You can always make money. You can’t always make memories.” Every year millions of visitors flock to the 440-mile long Cascade Loop in Washington looking for adventure or just an escape from their otherwise busy lives. Although any trip to the Loop will undoubtedly provide young and old with ample memory-making opportunities, there are a few guidelines you can follow to ensure that you make the most of your Cascade Loop Vacation. Read More >>>>
Things To Do With The Kids In Lake Chelan
Spending time outdoors with your children is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon them. The Cascade Loop affords families with ample opportunity to explore the picturesque natural beauty of Washington State. One area, in particular, stands out as a must-visit family destination, filled with plenty of stops and activities that will be thoroughly enjoyed by both young and old--Lake Chelan Read More >>>>
Not All Hummingbirds Hum
One of the favorite birds to migrate to the state of Washington are hummingbirds. Three species can be found from early spring until late fall when they migrate back to spend the winter in the tropics. Of course, there are exceptions, like A male Anna that stays around our place all winter. I wrap my feeder in Christmas lights in an attempt to keep it from freezing. Read More >>>>
Kickin' It on Kiket Island - The Kukutali Preserve
What makes Kiket Island so special is the fact that it has been protected for so long. These hikes are on the Kukutali Preserve and opened up to the public in June of 2014. This means the land is so lush with a lively ecosystem and tons of wildlife. Read More >>>>
Know Your Beer Farmer
Do you know your beer farmer? Skagit Valley does! Usually when imbibing your favorite craft beer, you are drinking a combination of 4 ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast (if drinking Budweiser add some rice and if drinking Coors or Miller add some corn). Read More >>>>
Top Ten Things to do in the North Cascades
The North Cascades’ 13 million acre ecosystem includes 7 million acres of protected public lands on both sides of the border – and endless opportunities for recreation, exploration, naturalizing and recharging one’s soul. Here are some of my favorite places from the northern end of the range, where I’ve lived, worked and taught for more than three decades. Read More >>>>
A Guide to Your Summer in Mount Vernon
When people think of Mount Vernon, most picture rows of colorful tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, but what happens when the flowers disappear? Mount Vernon is blooming with possibilities, even when the tulips aren’t. If you plan on enjoying your summer on The Cascade Loop, here’s a guide on how to make the most of Mount Vernon. Read More >>>>
Is it a chipmunk or a squirrel?
When I was small and we would camp near Lake Chelan, my dad and I would challenge each other to be the first to spot the wildlife, and I would always see what I called "chickmunks" first. Later in life I learned that what I saw most was a Douglas squirrel, but any time I see these critters, I think of my dad. Read More >>>>
Watchable Wildlife: Black Bear
Encountering a black bear in the wild is thrilling and crazy scary at the same time. Spring and fall are the best times to view these predators, and it is not uncommon to see scat while hiking trails in the natural areas. Enchantments Park near Leavenworth is a regular hangout in the spring for a momma (cow) and her cubs, and if you plan to camp in the National Forest, Be Bear Aware! During Fall the bears are focused on increasing their fat stores for winter, and will eat almost anything… Read More >>>>
The Cascade Loops Ultimate Aviation Experience
Location: Paine Field in Everett, WA Everett located just 30 miles north of downtown Seattle is the birthplace of the Boeing 747 and home to four world class aviation experiences. Over 135,000 visitors tour the Boeing Factory each year and those in the 'know' venture just across the airport to three other unique experiences. Begin day one with two of the four aviation attractions based at Paine Field, Everett: - Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour (the factory tour is 1.5 hours)             Inside the world largest building… Read More >>>>
Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival
Each year, Mukilteans give one last hurrah each September to the passing of summer with a huge community party that we lovingly call the Lighthouse Festival. Its grown over the years, with 2017 being our 52nd year.  For visitors passing through our area on the Cascade Loop Highway, please consider stopping in and enjoying all that the Festival has to offer (September 8-10, 2017): For three days we'll have artisan booths, food booths, a children's area including a petting zoo, climbing wall, and much more. Many non-profits are on-site with traditional… Read More >>>>
Salmon Viewing Locations on the Loop
The following is a list of salmon viewing areas near the Cascade Loop. For a statewide list and details, visit Osprey Park, SultanOsprey Park is a short drive off the highway near Sultan. It is 85 acres of wetland and riparian habitat following the Sultan river, with two miles of gentle trails where you can see hundreds of ducks and birds, plus thousands of Chinook, coho, chum, and pink salmon, are frequently observed during the fall spawning season. This is a great place to watch for and observe spawning salmon… Read More >>>>
Snohomish River Valley
Side Trip: Arlington Arlington is located on scenic Highway 530 and began as a lumber town with shingle mills, sawmills and logging camps. Today, there are still many historical buildings that add to Arlingtons small-town charm. Located behind the historic log-built Pioneer Hall is the impressive Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum, which contains artifacts and photos typical of earlier life in Arlington and the Stillaguamish River Valley. Read More >>>>
Stevens Pass Greenway
Side Trip: Osprey ParkThousands of pink salmon fill the Sultan River to spawn (on odd years). This 85-acre park offers front-row seats to this phenomenon as well as over 2 miles of walking trails to the Sultan River; most of which  are accessible to wheelchairs and baby strollers. Let the kids get their wiggles out in the baseball field, basketball court or playground. Join hundreds of other guests here at the Return of the Salmon Celebration, September 23, 2017. Make sure you make a stop in downtown Sultan to check out… Read More >>>>
Wenatchee Columbia River Valley
Side Trip: Entiat River RoadFor a super-scenic drive, just off the byway, head up the Entiat River Road. Traveling toward Chelan from Wenatchee, turn left onto Highway 19 where the Entiat River converges with the Columbia River. Settle in for big valley views and watch for wildlife. Deer are abundant here! The road follows the Entiat River and offers numerous options for picnicking, hiking and snapping photos- just be sure to have a Northwest Forest Permit if you choose to explore (see permit info.) Read More >>>>
Methow Valley
Side Trip: The Okanogan Trails Scenic BywayThis beautiful drive is 83 miles long. It begins in Pateros and follows the Okanogan River to the Canadian border. Visit roadside fruit stands as you travel through orchards, many owned by third and fourth generation farmers. Historical markers narrate a rich history along the route. The byway provides access to the Audubon Society's Great Washington Birding Trail, Lake Osoyoos and Conconully state parks, as well as the Highland Historic Loop Drive and the Many Lakes Historic Loop Drive., Read More >>>>
North Cascades
Side Trip: Darrington and OsoDetour off the North Cascades Highway from Rockport onto Highway 530 and drive toward the small, historic communities of Darrington and Oso. These communities are surrounded by wooded alpine wilderness, waterfalls and rivers. The communities are tightly knit but welcome visitors year-round! Read More >>>>
Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island
Side Trip: La ConnerNestled between the Swinomish Channel, the Skagit River Delta and the Salish Sea, La Conner, is a combination of fishing village and artists' colony. Views of the water and Mount Baker mix with eclectic shops, a new boardwalk, galleries, 3 museums and a wide variety of culinary experiences. March is a great time to explore and photograph fields of daffodils during the La Conner Daffodil Festival! Of course any time of year is a great time to visit La Conner from tulips to classic cars, "Brew on… Read More >>>>
Whidbey Scenic Isle Way
Side Trip: Camano IslandTake a side trip to Camano Island.  There's no waiting for ferries for this island!  When you get there enjoy two spectacular state parks.  Cama Beach State Park is an old-school fishing resport from the 1940's.  Cabins are right on the beach.  The Center for Wooden Boats has lots of kid and family-friendly activities.  You can rent a boat and crab pots, then cook your catch on the beach!  Canopy Tours Northwest offers ziplining through the forest on a farm that's been in the family 100+ years!… Read More >>>>
Snohomish River Valley
Everett, Mukilteo, Snohomish, Monroe The Cascade Loop begins in the bustling port city of Everett, located just 28 miles north of Seattle via I-5. Take a quick side trip to Spencer Island! Everett is home to the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, waterfront restaurants, museums and galleries. Visit the waterfront and shop, dine or stroll the marina boardwalk while enjoying the magnificent views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Schedule some time in Washington State's "Antique Capital", Snohomish. It's listed on both the state and national registers of… Read More >>>>
Grouchy Chef
For Seinfeld fans, Mukilteo can provide a fond reminder of a minor, but memorable character. Do you recall the Soup Nazi? For those who missed the oddball, sometimes sophomoric sitcom that ran from the late 80's to the late 90's, Seinfeld was the story of four eccentric friends, living their daily, often tedious lives in New York City. They took quirky to a whole new level; hence the introduction of the Soup Nazi.  One of the characters, Kramer, discovered a soup stand with an owner who offered (selectively) soups to his customers.… Read More >>>>
Summer on Fidalgo Island
Summer is a popular time for guests to visit Anacortes we completely understand why! With our mild summer temperatures, lush forest lands to explore, and water that surrounds us on all sides, staying here is a terrific way to spend your summer vacation. Read More >>>>
Taking to the Skies Along the Cascade Loop
Aviation is a big deal in the Snohomish River Valley region of the Cascade Loop. But what I didn't realize is how catching the passion could be to engage in aerial adventures! Read More >>>>
Bird Watching on Fidalgo Island
Bald eagles, marsh wrens and oyster-catchers; these are just a few of the birds one can spot on Fidalgo Island. Whether you are visiting for the day or staying for the weekend there are plenty of birding opportunities to enjoy. With a pair of binoculars, your camera, and a favorite reference guide in-hand there is plenty to see while hiking in the forests, taking in the viewpoints, or strolling along the beaches. Fidalgo Island is part of the Great Washington Birding Trail which features over 350 birds throughout Western Washington.… Read More >>>>
Surviving Days Off With Children
By Joni Kirk The holidays are upon us, and I don't simply mean the time between Christmas and New Years Day. Schools also close for extended breaks over the Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Day holidays, snow days, and parent-teacher conferences. So what is one to do to survive these days off with high-energy kids? Along the Cascade Loop in Snohomish County, activities abound to keep children busy. Here is a sampling of activities we have enjoyed with our three kids. Mental Activities Just because kids have the day off doesn't mean… Read More >>>>
Watchable Wildlife: Bald Eagles
Symbolized as the National bird of the United States in 1782, Bald Eagles are unique to North America and they can be found in abundance in many areas of the Cascade Loop throughout the year. Read More >>>>
Traditions with Trees
By Joni Kirk There is something magical about making our way through the forest with snow or rain falling around us, side-stepping muddy paths, and warming chilled noses that motivates my family to leave our cozy home in early December to find the perfect Christmas tree in the inviting Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest off Highway 2 along the Cascade Loop. We start out early, heading east on Hwy 2 from Everett towards the mountain foothills. Our tradition is to stop at a local restaurant to fill up on a hearty breakfast. Last… Read More >>>>
Photographer's Paradise!
The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway spans the east and west sides of Washington State's Cascade Mountain Range, and photo opportunities along the route are varied and spectacular, covering all interests for professional photographers and snap-happy travelers alike. Spring brings blossoms and babies, and every region of the Loop has ample viewing opportunities from the tulip fields of the Skagit Valley to the orchard blossoms along the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers. Wildlife abounds in nearly every meadow and stream throughout the Loop, and a careful eye can spot fawns, ducklings and occasional… Read More >>>>
Great Blue Heron
As you are driving along the waterways of the Cascade Loop, be on the lookout for the majestic Great Blue Heron. They are regularly spotted wading in shallow water, patiently watching for small fish or frogs, their most common meals. Read More >>>>
Preparing for the Holidays with Local Creative Inspiration
By Joni Kirk As the beautiful fall colors appear on trees, my internal holiday clock starts ticking. I know I have a limited amount of time to prepare gifts for loved ones, especially as I ship many gifts to relatives in other states right around Thanksgiving. I have three traditions that occur when it comes to holiday gifts, and all three occur along the Cascade Loop in Snohomish County. First, before the weather convinces the orange, red, and yellow leaves to drop from their precarious positions on trees, I love to take… Read More >>>>
Pursuing Healthier Streams and Wetlands at Northwest Stream Center
In the Pacific Northwest, water is our lifeline. From the Cascade Mountains, hundreds of miles of glistening rivers and streams make their way to Puget Sound. Those waterways teem with fish that feed thousands of people and other creatures, and the waterways help ensure the nearby farmlands and forests receive the water they need to grow. I recently discovered a local waterway and quite by accident learned how essential it is to ensure riparian habitat is healthy in order for these other gifts of nature to stay healthy. McCollum Park, just… Read More >>>>
Pybus Market Voted Best Farmers Market in the Northwest in 2015 by Evening Magazine
Pybus Market has garnered a name for itself with some one-of-a-kind "events" such as our"bra chandelier" in October for breast cancer awareness month, our chess and lego tournaments or antique cars and boats on display. But it is really our merchants who keep visitors coming back. Shopping at Pybus is an experience, there is no way around it. Most people who walk into Pybus Market say something like "wow, this is really cool." Shopping here means you'll be buying goods and services that are locally sourced and locally grown, whenever… Read More >>>>
Thats Right, its Movie Night!
Going to the movies these days is an exercise in high-tech CGI, 3D imaging techniques, wait staff for food and beverages, and large recliners to enhance the overall experience. Plush, to be sure, but somewhere along the way, going to a movie morphed into something completely different. Do you remember the outdoor Thunderbird Theater in Marysville (our neighbor to the northeast)? It closed in the early 90's but the uniqueness of sitting in that little island of intimacy called "your car", windows down, with a corded speaker slung over the edge… Read More >>>>
Stevens Pass Sidetrip: Osprey Park
A nature lovers playground complete with thousands of pink salmon fighting their way up the Sultan River to spawn. This park offers front row seats to this amazing struggle, which occurs each odd year, as well as wheel chair and baby stroller-accessible hiking trails leading to the Sultan River. Other amenities include a baseball field, basketball court and playground equipment for the whole family to enjoy while stretching their legs. Join hundreds of other guests here at the Return of the Salmon celebration, occurring the third Saturday of September. Read More >>>>
Snohomish County Sidetrip: Spencer Island
Explore 3.6 miles of trails, a boardwalk and amazing bird watching! Spencer Island provides opportunities to encounter shorebirds, American Bitterns, Vireos and Warblers. From northbound I-5, take exit 195. Drive left (west) on East Marine View Dr. Turn left (north) onto Hwy 529N ramp and drive over the bridge. Turn right (east) onto 28th Pl N. Turn right (south) onto 35th Ave. NE. Turn left (east) onto Ross Ave. Bear right at the Y onto Smith Island Rd. Turn left (east) onto 4th St. SE. Walk across the bridge to… Read More >>>>
Hike of the Month- Spider Meadows
For years I've read articles about Spider Meadows, but for one reason or another, just never made it that way. Well, happily that all changed this week. Me and a group of friends--some new and some old-- got our acts together and headed out! I was really surprised at what a mellow but absolutely beautiful hike it was! Yes, it's a little on the long side for some (5.5 miles in to the meadow) and yes, it will consume a good portion of one of your traveling days, but it… Read More >>>>
Deer Sighting Along the Loop
Much of the Cascade Loop travels through forests, open range land and orchards, which are abundant with all variety of wildlife. Rocky Mountain mule, Columbian black-tail and White-tailed deer are prolific in the Cascade foothills, and are regularly sighted alongside the road as you travel between communities, and occasionally a buck or doe may wander through a yard or parking lot where you don't expect them. The best times of year to spot deer is fall through spring, when they tend to forage in orchards and yards (they are fond of… Read More >>>>
Perfect Weekend in Anacortes
You'll pack more into your weekend getaway and keep the lid on your budget when your island destination is picturesque, fun, historic Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. The best-kept secrets often are closer and easier to access than you think! Anchored by a vibrant, friendly downtown and surrounded by water, infinite adventures await. So grab your camera for a weekend getaway and prepare to be surrounded by scenes from a Pacific Northwest picture book. Show up on the first Friday of the month to join the Art Walk, 6 9 pm, where guests… Read More >>>>
Sunday Afternoon Waterfall Adventures Along the Cascade Loop
August is typically a warm month in the Pacific Northwest. The rain disperses for weeks at a time, and people actively seek ways to cool off. Along the Cascade Loop, you cant miss the water. There are gorgeous blue and green rivers flowing wild and boundless. But I like the adventure of finding water- specifically waterfalls- where I must venture off the road. Each Sunday afternoon, my husband and I have a standing date to go explore some of the many waterfalls in Snohomish County along the Cascade Loop. Knowing where… Read More >>>>
Please--No More Abandoned Campfires
Over the 4th of July holiday weekend Forest Service firefighters extinguished abandoned campfires on most ranger districts of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Luckily, these fires were either still inside fire rings or had not grown larger than about a tenth of an acre. "Most campers are really conscientious and put out their campfires. Unfortunately, we continue to have people who don't take the time to make sure their campfires are out before leaving their campsite," said Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Fire Staff Officer Keith Satterfield. "We want people to have fun and enjoy… Read More >>>>
Uncover Community Culture Along Highway 2
As you head down the west slope of the Cascade Mountains on Highway 2, imagine early settlers moving in the area. Towns in the Skykomish and Snohomish River valleys honor and celebrate their heritage each year with local festivals. July is the perfect month to take weekend trips to experience what made Snohomish County attractive to the pioneers. Sultan Shindig, July 8-10 Sultan has a rich history as a logging community. We arrived in town in time to take in the grand parade, where the talented drummers from Sultan High School made… Read More >>>>
Please Fully Put Out Your Campfires
Campfires are one of the pleasures of camping in the woods, but along with the cozy campfire is the responsibility to make sure it is COMPLETELY out before leaving the campsite. Don't let your campfire become a wildfire! Before leaving home, always check to find out what the campfire restrictions are for the area you plan to visit. If campfires are allowed, please follow these suggestions when building and extinguishing your campfire.Use an existing fire ring, don't create a new one. When not in a designated campground, in a Wilderness area… Read More >>>>
Varoom... Driving Toward Summer
Car enthusiasts understand how amazing it is to belong to a car club. There is a common love of all things metal, leather and chrome. As a community you share interests just the same way a book club or cooking club does. Petrolheads recognize that "interest" is really more of a passion, and socializing at Car Shows is a great way to show off your favorite toy, take a peek at the competition, and learn whats new and innovative in the car world.   Car enthusiasts are diverse, coming from all… Read More >>>>
Spend Your Summer Vacation in Anacortes
Summer is a popular time for guests to visit Anacortes- we completely understand why! With our mild summer temperatures, lush forest lands to explore, and water that surrounds us on all sides, staying here is a great way to spend your summer vacation. Anacortes is known for its thriving music scene. All year, local venues like the Rockfish Grill, 13moons, H2O, and The Brown Lantern rock with musicians. In summer, Seafarers Memorial Park, the Farmers Market at the Depot and The Heart of Anacortes amp up the ambiance with inviting outdoor… Read More >>>>
Andy Porter Images North Cascades Photo Tours
Andy Porter Images North Cascades Photo Tours. If you're planning a visit to the North Cascades and you love photography you may want to consider a North Cascades Photo Tour! Andy Porter is a professional nature and landscape photographer living in Skagit Valley who offers all levels of Photo Tours. Andy leads small groups of people on short (or long!) trips to explore the region and capture its beauty with your camera. There are a wide range of Photo Tours available, depending upon your time available. Drive-In Photo Tours are where we visit scenic… Read More >>>>
Anacortes Waterfront Festival
The Anacortes Waterfront Festival is all about letting your inner sailor embrace life on the water. This annual Anacortes event has something for everyone: an open-air car show, food vendors, arts and craft booths, children's activities, giant slides, water balls, dinners and dances, live music and entertainment, wine and beer garden, and so much more! 2016 Dates: Saturday June 4 and Sunday June 5 Free Boat Rides- Brought to you by the Anacortes Yacht Club. Get there early on Saturday and Sunday for a free boat ride in the waters around Anacortes.… Read More >>>>
Connect with Nature along the Red Rooster Route
To get away from city life on a weekend, my family indulges in road trips - known as "Mom's Adventures" - to explore new things. While we often think as the state parks and national forests as those outdoor escapes, a journey to local farms can provide a fresh perspective. From the North Cascade Highway, between Concrete and Corkindale, we turned onto State Route 530 for an overnight detour to uncover different opportunities to connect with nature. As we headed west taking in the scenic views of the Sauk river, we came… Read More >>>>
Set Your Senses Soaring with Upcoming Events at Paine Field
The Cascade Loop starts in Mukilteo, and there are some great upcoming events that help you encounter its amazing aviation attractions. I was able to experience some of these with my family last year, and look forward to doing so again! Paine Field Aviation Day I was delighted with my family's reaction to the Paine Field Aviation Day, which takes place this year on May 21. This action-packed day has sensory delights for all ages. Since my young ones seem to be hungry all the time, we filled our tummies at the… Read More >>>>
Food for Thought
Take it from a person who lived on an island in Alaska for 30 years; going to a bona fide Farmers Market is awesome! Don't misunderstand me, living in a 17-million acre National Forest has its culinary benefits: fresh seafood abounds, wildlife is abundant, and native berries thrive. Corn on the cob, lovely, ripe peaches, plump tomatoes...not so much. My Farmers Market came in the form of ordering on-line to an organic farm out of Carnation, Washington. They shipped crates of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables via Alaska Airlines to… Read More >>>>
Family & Kid-friendly Fun Indoor Activities in Snohomish County
As the days grow shorter and temperatures become chillier, families can keep their kids entertained at some of Snohomish Countys top indoor attractions. Western Heritage Center, Monroe This agricultural, logging and mining museum features a water wheel-driven drill press, a washing machine that runs off tractor gearing, the model railroad diorama, simulated mine shaft, and more. Imagine Children's Museum, Everett Young children can pretend to fly a plane, make a deposit at a bank and more, all designed to help them learn about the world around them. The Reptile Zoo, Monroe Hear the kids squeal in… Read More >>>>
Eat Your Way Along the Loop: Tasty Finds in Snohomish County
As the holidays approach, everyone is looking for those unique gift items or special holiday treats! Snohomish County is home to many unique specialty food and drink establishments- and a drive around the Cascade Loop will bring you right to their doorsteps! Mukilteo Chocolate Company, Mukilteo One of the owners apprenticed with a Master Chocolatier and trained in the European-style of chocolate and truffle making. Try their truffles (including the award-winning lavender cheesecake), fudges and custom-made chocolates. Bluewater Organic Distilling, Everett Be prepared for cocktail hour with organic gin and vodka. The distillery features a tasting… Read More >>>>
Thanks for a GREAT season everyone!
Skydive Chelan will re-open in March and by appointment Nov-Feb! Call to inquire about a Winter Wonderland Skydive! Look for us at the Pybus Market in Wenatchee or visit our us at and for great specials on Gift Certificates for the Holidays! Read More >>>>
Follow Us On Instagram and Find Treasure!
The Cascade Loop wants to build an audience that uses Instagram, and we're gonna make it worth your while! Starting next week, expect to see us post images taken along the Loop where we place gift cards and goodies for you to find and use on the Loop! When you find a Cascade Loop Instagram treasure, just take a selfie with your find and tag us at #cascadeloop! Ready to start following us? Find us here: Read More >>>>
2016 Washington State Scenic Calendars
Even if you've traveled just a small part of the Cascade Loop there is no doubt that the magnificent scenery stayed with you, beckoning you to return. The mountains and valleys, rivers and farms, lakes and wildlife along the way will be there awaiting you. But in the meantime its always good to have a reminder handy. An image to brighten your day and push you outdoors, a picture to remind you of what your next adventure holds. And what better way to do this than a calendar! Each months fresh image exerting… Read More >>>>
Pumpkin Patch Fun in Snohomish County
One of the most iconic fall activities is visiting the pumpkin patch -- picking out that perfect pumpkin, enjoying corn mazes, hay rides, apple cider and cute farm animals. Here are some tried and true favorites in Snohomish County: Craven Farm, Snohomish Craven Farm features a 20-acre pumpkin patch, a 15-acre corn maze, a 3-D Pumpkin Adventure, a hay ride, a pumpkin and apple slinger, a scarecrow making station, face painting, farm animals, an Anna & Else Meet and Greet (for Frozen lovers!), a harvest market, an espresso shop and a gift… Read More >>>>
Test Blog
After Katie Holmes apologized to actress Leah Remini following her 20/20 interview last month, where she disclosed details about some Scientology followers, a report now suggests that Holmes was just attempting to humiliate former husband Tom Cruise. Remini had shared secrets from the church and Holmes had later responded to Remini for upsetting Remini in the past. Radar Online said, citing a source from Scientology telling In Touch Weekly, that Cruise is now furious with Holmes for apologizing to Remini, who had left Scientology in 2013. Reminis new book Troublemaker:… Read More >>>>
Skydive Chelan
Skydive with us over beautiful Lake Chelan, Washington's largest natural lake. Enjoy a scenic ride to altitude with stunning views of Lake Chelan, the Cascade Mountains, and the Columbia River. Skydive Chelan offers the best views in Washington! Be a part of an adventurous way to share in the beauty of mother nature. Freefall with our expert staff where your safety and experience is our top priority! Contact: 509-881-0687 201 Airport Way Chelan, WA 98816  Read More >>>>
Leavenworth/Cascade Foothills
Leavenworth, Plain, Lake Wenatchee, CashmereThe Tumwater Canyon is the spectacular gateway to the renowned Bavarian Village of Leavenworth. The Wenatchee River hugs sheer canyon walls on one side, twisting through the rocky gorge. Suddenly, round a corner and there is Leavenworth, nestled against towering, jagged mountains. Beforehand though, consider a detour through quaint Plain, a small community offering abundant activities in winter: snowmobile tours, sleigh rides and cross-country skiing, and hiking, horseback riding and zip-lining in summer. Pristine Lake Wenatchee, just 3 miles from Plain, delivers breathtaking views, fishing and a… Read More >>>>
Stevens Pass Greenway
Sultan, Gold Bar, Index, Skykomish, Stevens Pass Stevens Pass Greenway is a designated National Scenic Byway following the Great Northern Railway's, Iron Goat Trail and the thundering Skykomish and Wenatchee Rivers. Several small, rustic towns (Sultan,Gold Bar, Index and Skykomish) offer extensive hiking, white water rafting, waterfall viewing, kayaking, fishing, and wildlife watching opportunities.Sultan's Osprey Park provides easy access to nature trails and fish habitat. Take a quick side trip! Gold Bar is home to breath-taking Wallace Falls. Index is a wildly popular jumping off point for whitewater rafting on the… Read More >>>>
Experience Anacortes: Your Island Destination
Anacortes is the crown jewel of Fidalgo Island, easternmost of the San Juan Islands and jump-point to the rest of the world-renowned archipelago. Fidalgo, the drive-to island, is accessible by bridges from the mainland to the east and Whidbey Island to the south. It is home to a Washington State Ferry terminal, serving the San Juan Islands and Sidney/Victoria, British Columbia. Anacortes boasts recreational activities for all ages, interests and skill levels. Here you can enjoy sailing, power boating, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, golf, camping, sport fishing, bird watching, beach… Read More >>>>
5 Ways to Discover Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan is a Washington original destination. Only here will you find four seasons of wine, sun, stunning natural beauty and adventures that you can tune to your own tastes. 50.5 miles of lake, surrounded by vineyards, mountains and small-town charm, promise an array of activities as unique as the people who come here. Here are the top five ways to truly discover the Lake Chelan Valley:Get out on the Lake: Paddle a kayak or canoe, take a boat ride, or float high above the pristine blue waters of Lake Chelan… Read More >>>>
The Making of a Bag- by Vermilyea Pelle
See how this handcrafted beauty came to be. ">http:// Read More >>>>
Langley's Seawall Park
Whidbey and Camano Islands have their own rhythm. There's the molten glow of glass being blown, bagels boiling, tractors and other farm equipment all over both islands, and a thousand artists prodding and cajoling discordant stuff into something that pleases and challenges the human spirit. All set to a background rhythm of nature at work. Read More >>>>
Fall Colors A Plenty!
The contrast between seasons on the Cascade Loop is sharp, and flashy Fall colors emerge from warm summer weather with a force each September/October. Depending on the year and the weather of course, travelers can expect to find vibrant gold larch in the higher elevations, brilliant red vine maple, blazing orange hardwoods and even a few stands of golden quaking aspen. Fall ushers in pleasantly cooler temperatures, perfect for grabbing a quick hike to seek out those truly unique photo opportunities. Rather not venture far? No worries! Plenty of brilliant… Read More >>>>
Deception Falls
You'd expect that even in the beauty-packed Cascade loop that you'd notice if you drove right over a six-story waterfall wouldn't you? But that's exactly what several thousand drivers do each day when they drive state route 20 west of Stevens Pass. Even the sign directing you to Deception Falls is so simple that you can't help but assume the experience can't possibly be much. So, it was with low expectations and on impulse my wife and I pulled into the parking lot for a 10-minute break. 30 minutes later our expectations were… Read More >>>>
Pete Freund Photography
Celebrate Pacific Northwest wildlife and landscapes along with local expert. Visit a complete gallery of current work on his Facebook page. CONTACT:    Read More >>>>
Visit Anacortes, by the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce
Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island (the most accessible island in the San Juan archipelago), is 90 miles between Seattle and Vancouver BC, and is the destination point for the San Juan Islands and International ferry runs for Washington State. Anacortes is a thriving seaside town with a past that mirrors the spirit of the Pacific Northwest. Whether you are planning a day trip or a vacation, Anacortes has something for everyone. Sailing, boating, fishing, crabbing, hiking or biking just to name a few. Immerse yourself in a stress-free island lifestyle, and enjoy… Read More >>>>
Wildlife Viewing: Bighorn Sheep
Just outside of Wenatchee we often encounter a herd of Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis) who call the Swakane Wildlife Area home. Bighorn sheep get their name from the large, curved horns on the males, or rams. The ewes (females) also have horns, but they are short, and only slightly curved. They are well known for their ability to climb high, steep, rocky areas, and the talus hillsides along the side of the road allow you opportunity to witness their agility. Read More >>>>
Wenatchee/Columbia River Valley
Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Entiat  Following the Wenatchee River, orchards flank the riverbanks and deliver travelers to the "Apple Capital of the World", Wenatchee. Numerous family-owned fruit stands dot the highway selling local fruit and produce in season. Wenatchee has also become a thriving wine destination, so look for boutique wineries and wine tasting rooms. Because Wenatchee is located at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers, it naturally offers an abundance of water activities such as paddle boarding, swimming, fishing and boating during the warmer months. Winter welcomes ski, snowboard, snowshoe… Read More >>>>
Lake Chelan Valley
Chelan, Manson, StehekinLake Chelan is home to four seasons of wine, sun, stunning natural beauty and adventure! The 50-mile-long lake slices northwestward into the Cascade Mountains. As you drive into town, you'll immediately catch a view of the stunning lake, blanketed my acres of award-winning vineyards. Shoreside state parks and forest service campgrounds allow you to plan a boat trip of several days with overnight stops along the way. Along the steeper south shore, paved highway dead ends at 25 Mile Creek and the Lake Chelan State Park featuring camping, picnicking, water… Read More >>>>
Methow Valley
Pateros, Carlton, Twisp, Winthrop, MazamaThe Cascade Loop follows the Columbia River to Pateros, then swings northwestward to the Methow River Valley. This is the eastern gateway to the North Cascades Highway which is traditionally open mid-April through early to mid-November (weather/snow pack determines the closing and opening dates).Stop at Pateros for a riverfront picnic lunch. Neighboring Alta Lake State Park offers excellent trout fishing and secluded campsites. As you drive up the valley, pass fields of baled hay, big weathered barns,corrals full of horses and the jagged Cascades for a… Read More >>>>
North Cascades
Diablo, Newhalem, Marblemount, Rockport, Concrete The North Cascades highway (Highway 20) crosses Washington Pass at 5,477'and Rainy Pass at 4,860'. Pack a picnic and take any one of many short hikes starting just off the highway. Alpine Meadows all along this crest of the Cascades are resplendent with wildflowers in July and August. Overlooks above Ross and Diablo Lakes make excellent photo ops. The distinctive color of each lake (Ross is teal, Diablo is jade) is caused by finely ground rock dust suspended in the water and the… Read More >>>>
Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island
Sedro-Woolley, Burlington, Mount Vernon, La Conner, Edison, AnacortesAs it reaches toward the Salish Sea from the North Cascades, the Skagit River has deposited a vast triangle of flood plain soil and nutrients to create some of the richest agricultural land in the Northwest. Dotted with farmhouses, heritage barns and more than 80,000 snow geese in the winter, the Skagit Valley is home to the largest commercial flower bulb industry outside of Holland. Beginning in March and continuing through May, the entire valley is one huge carpet of blooms backdropped by… Read More >>>>
Whidbey Scenic Isle Way
Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Freeland, Langley, ClintonThe Whidbey Scenic Isle Way is the ninth and final region of the Cascade Loop, and is a state designated scenic byway in its own right. Extending across the entire length of Whidbey Island from Deception Pass to the Mukilteo Ferry Terminal in Clinton, this region provides access to extraordinary scenic, historical and recreational experiences. Take in placid bays, forested shorelines, rural inland landscapes by car or bicycle.Whidbey Island and Camano Island are the two largest islands that make up Island County. The name reflects… Read More >>>>
Seattle-Gateway to the Cascade Loop!
Seattle is the Gateway to the Cascade Loop!The lion's share of Cascade Loop travelers start their journey by flying in to Sea-Tac International Airport, renting a vehicle and heading to Seattle for a day of iconic city sights, sounds and flavors. Sea-Tac International Airport is an easy hub from which to start your journey as it services both domestic and long-haul international flights. Whether you are flying in from the East Coast or Great Britain, accessing the Cascade Loop via Sea-Tac International Airport and Seattle, is pretty slick!  Just book… Read More >>>>