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Elma, Washington
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Kennewick, Washington
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Castle Rock, Washington
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Bothell, Washington
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Port Angeles, Washington


Lose yourself in Washington’s Alpine wonderland

The Central Cascades offers so much more than just a convenient backyard for city dwellers. Lying along this route are many picture-postcard towns showcasing not only the beauty of the northern Washington region but also a bevy of surprises.


More Than Meets the Eye

There is something for everyone for every season in the Central Cascades. The showpiece of the region is the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, 394,000 acres in the Central Cascades. This region takes its name from the 700 mountain lakes dotted around the mountainous peaks and forested valleys of the Cascades. Forty-seven trailheads leading into the wilderness fan out more than 615 miles of trails. Part of the famous Pacific Crest Trail traverses this region, and picture-perfect Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene are also tucked inside. Nearby Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Wenatchee National Forest invite their guests to take a deep breath of alpine air.

Stop and Enjoy

One of the gateway communities to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area is Skykomish, a community known for its railroad history and its four-seasons of outdoor recreation, including hundreds of hiking trails.

More than a dozen or so towns and communities are nestled along the route known as the Cascades Loop. Among them is Chelan, a resort town located on the tip of Lake Chelan, whose Native American name translates into “Beautiful Water.”


Joe Mabel

For a taste of Bavaria, visit Leavenworth. The Bavarian-inspired theme of this town is no accident but rather a well-planned idea to capitalize on its Central Cascades locale. The Bavarian theme cannot be missed—from its architecture to its specialty shops to its food.

The geographic center of Washington State is Cashmere, located on the shores of the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth. After trying Aplets and Cotlets candies at iconic Liberty Orchards, take a stroll through Cashmere’s Cottage Avenue Historic District with 1900s Craftsman bungalows.

For a truly rustic feel, visit Index, a town on the west side of Stevens Pass providing easy access to hiking, climbing and other pursuits in the Cascades. Nearby is the North Fork Skykomish River and an added bonus—a view of Mount Index, rising 5,000-plus feet.

For More Information

Washington State Tourism