North Cascades Scenic Highway


We are back in the good ol’ US of A! We arrived in Washington State and have been wandering around North Cascades Scenic Highway and National Park. We found an awesome brewery, an endearing Old West town, a winery with an amazing view, and adventured on one of the best hikes we’ve taken the entire trip!

North Cascades Scenic Hwy (2)
North Cascades Scenic Highway
Winthrop, Washington (9)
Town of Winthrop, Washington
Benson Vineyards
Benson Vineyards
Maple Pass Hike in North Cascades National Park
Maple Pass Trail

Route from Jasper National Park to North Cascades

We drove roughly 280 miles from Jasper National Park to Kamloops for an overnight before heading to Washington. We stayed at Days Inn which had free Wi-Fi and hot breakfast. I was in heaven. The next day we drove over the border past flourishing vineyards, orchards and many fruit stands to Winthrop.

North Cascades Map

And so our epic 80 day summer road trip continues – 12 U.S. states, 1 Canadian province and 11 national parks. For the upcoming months, I will be sharing with you our highlights, lowlights, adventures, favorite spots, best tips and our thoughts on three months of road tripping and living in a pop up.  I’ll try to answer any and all of your questions too!  You can also follow our journey via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Miles Driven: 675

Total Road Trip Miles Driven: 6,805

Average Gas Price per Gallon: $2.72

State: Washington

All States Visited: Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, British Columbia & Alberta Provinces

If you would like to see our full itinerary, start at the beginning here. And Start at Day One here.

Stepping Back in Time in the Town of Winthrop

What a pleasant surprise Winthrop was. We booked our campground here because of the proximity to the North Cascades National Park and had no idea the town had such character! A man named Otto Wagner had a dream of restoring Winthrop back to the original booming mining town of the 1890s. That dream was accomplished in the 1970s with wooden boardwalks and old-fashioned building facades. This is what I expected Deadwood, South Dakota to look like…

Town of Winthrop

Winthrop, Washington (8)

Winthrop, Washington (10)

Winthrop, Washington (2)

Old Schoolhouse Brewery in Winthrop

The Old Schoolhouse Brewery has it all: good beer, outdoor patio (on a river), live music, friendly staff and tasty pub food. It’s a must-do in Winthrop even if you do not enjoy craft beer. It’s a lively atmosphere that attracts locals and tourists alike.

North Cascades Scenic Highway

Winthrop, Washington (5)

Winthrop, Washington (4)


Heather-Maple Pass Loop in North Cascades

The Maple Pass Loop hike is one of the best hikes we’ve taken to date on our road trip. It’s a 7-mile loop with a 2,100 foot elevation gain. If you visit North Cascade National Park, put this on your list of must-do hikes. We recommend going counterclockwise and you will be rewarded with unrelenting beauty along the entire route. At 6,995 feet high, Maple Pass positions you smack dab in the middle of dramatic 360 degree views of the surrounding Cascade Mountains.

North Cascades Scenic Highway

Maple Pass (15)

North Cascades Scenic Highway

North Cascades Scenic Highway

North Cascades Scenic Highway

North Cascades Scenic Highway

North Cascades Scenic Highway

Maple Pass (7)

North Cascades Scenic Highway

Lake Chelan and Benson Vineyards Winery

South of Winthrop, along Hwy 97 is the recreational Lake Chelan. The area is dotted with orchards, wineries, restaurants and hotels. We were in search of a vineyard with the best views. I’d say we found it at Benson Vineyards Winery in Manson!

North Cascades Scenic Highway

DSC_0995 (Copy)

Benson Vineyards (2)

North Cascades Scenic Byway Drive

We were greeted to the Cascades with local farms, lovely overlooks, soaring mountains, and glowing blue lakes. The east section more impressive than the west, Winthrop was a great base for driving the northern section of the Cascade Loop.

Methow Valley (2)
Methow Valley
North Cascades Scenic Highway
Methow Valley
North Cascades Scenic Hwy (1)
Washington Pass
Liberty Bell
Liberty Bell
North Cascades Scenic Highway
Diablo Lake

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North Cascades Scenic Highway

We loved exploring North Cascades Scenic Byway! What’s your favorite scenic drive?

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