Washington Pass
Memories That Last a Lifetime
Free Travel Guide
Sign Up for
Our Newsletter
Back to Articles

Camping With Kids Along The Cascade Loop

Cassie Steele | 09/21/2018 | Camping, Dining & Wineries, Lake Chelan Valley, Leavenworth Cascade Foothills, Methow Valley, Restaurants

If 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 of American Travelers and the three leading reasons are the flexibility afforded by the road, the opportunity to pack everything a family needs, and lower vacation costs. Families are also fascinated by the idea of being unfettered by timetables and hotel rules.

Campsites along the Cascade Loop

There are a variety of excellent campsites along Cascade Loop, so you will be spoiled for choice. One popular option is Lake Chelan state park, a revered site for summer campers every year. The site is ideal for families with children because it has a bit of everything: lush green areas through which to stroll and relax, as well as sandy beaches and a 50.5-mile lake. Water sports lovers will go crazy with all the activities to choose from including water skiing and windsurfing. Another revered site is Leavenworth, with a variety of well-kept campgrounds maintained by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

You can make this camping adventure as energetic or laidback as you like. Top activity choices include cycling and mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, hiking, climbing, skateboarding, and water activities. There are beautiful sites depending on your preferences, including Whidbey Island, with its beautiful saltwater passages and views of the lush Olympic mountains and Cascade Range. Lovers of hiking, meanwhile, shouldn’t miss out on Black Bear Trail (choose from seven- or 11-5 mile options). You can spend an entire summer visiting these sites or settle for a few days in one. All weave their particular brand of magic at different times of the year.

What vehicle will you need for your trip?

You will need plenty of space for your belongings when you go camping. Some people choose to take camping vans while others choose to simply take their car for their camping adventure, packing all they need in the storage compartment. If this sounds appealing, you will need a vehicle that is spacious enough to store tents, sleeping bags, air mattresses and pumps, pillows, sun shades, camp chairs, and more items in. An outdoorsy vehicle will also enable you to negotiate specific trails, making for a fun adventure ride that kids will love.

Pamper your senses at the Cascade Loop

If you choose the Cascade Loop for your next road trip, make it a point to tuck into local gastronomy and enjoy local markets, museums, and art galleries. This is a way to blend nature and culture and to get an authentic feel for life in the many areas that make up the lively route. Beer lovers can grab a frothy glass of brew at Winthrop’s Old Schoolhouse Brewery. Those into horseback riding can take a tour on horseback at places like Sun Mountain Lodge, Mountain Springs Lodge or Stehekin Valley Ranch. Gourmets can enjoy a romantic meal at each of these locations. The Freestone Inn and Campbell’s Resort are both renowned for their culinary programs--with the Freestone overlooking Freestone Lake, and Campbell's offering amazing views of stunning Lake Chelan.

Nature getaways are growing in importance, with many Americans seeking to escape from the clutches of technology for a few days to savor the majestic countryside. Camping is a great way to instill the ‘nature bug’ in kids, and it will keep the whole family fit and challenged, with a host of activities to choose from. While on your road trip, visit local towns to sample excellent fare and to learn more about the art and culture that make up this unique part of the world.

Read More
Bird of the Week: Trumpeter Swan
Read More
Bird of the Week: Chukar Partridge
Read More
Bird of the Week: Bohemian Wax Wing