Stevens PassSultan, Gold Bar, Index, Skykomish, Stevens Pass
The highway follows the rushing Skykomish river as it ascends the west slope of the Cascades to 4,061’ Stevens Pass. Pack a lunch and enjoy one of the many trails or waterfalls located just off the highway.
Several small towns along the route have logging heritages with nature still at their doorsteps. Throughout this region there are plenty of hiking trails, campgrounds and fishing spots. Sultan and Gold Bar are both noted for their river rafting, hiking and fishing. The little town of Index nestles at the foot of spectacular 5,979’ Mount Index and is a favorite of rock climbers. Skykomish, once a railroad town, is now headquarters for outdoor activity in the surrounding mountains.
At the crest of Stevens Pass, you will see sweeping views of the forested country to the west. The crest is the sight of a busy winter downhill and cross-country ski resort. As you cross the Cascades, you move from a wet, lush, maritime climate to the drier open woodlands of the east slope.
A short detour at Coles Corner will bring you to Lake Wenatchee, a prime recreation lake with camping, boating, a beach, fishing and swimming. This area provides excellent cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails in winter.