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Short earred owl in the Skagit Valley
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Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island

As you continue westward on Highway 20, the looming peaks of North Cascades National Park give way to rolling hills, acres of farmland and a series of small communities, including Birdsview, Hamilton and Lyman. Next, you’ll reach the town of Sedro-Woolley, known for its logging history which is visible via the downtown's collection of life-size wood carvings. The town is also known for its downtown shopping and dining scene — several new boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and breweries have opened within the past year! Consider camping in style (“glamping”) or more traditional accommodations at Willowbrook Manor, just outside of town. Guests enjoy luxe accommodations, gardens, fields of chamomile and the popular “tea and tour” program — hop on a cruiser and explore the area’s country roads! Visit Sedro-Woolley during Independence Day week and join locals at Loggerrodeo. Check out logging and chainsaw-carving contests, the rodeo, bluegrass jubilee, and fireworks.

The next community you’ll encounter is Burlington, located at the crossroads of Interstate 5 and Highway 20. It’s a great base from which to explore many recreational activities within easy driving distance. Visit during Berry Dairy Days in June, celebrating local berry harvests and dairies. There is also an exceptional Visitor Information Center in town, so pop in to get guidance from the locals on the many things to do nearby!

Take a quick jaunt south to the town of Mount Vernon. The historic community sits at the juncture of several rivers and sloughs, an irresistible attraction for an assortment of bird species — have those binoculars handy! The riverfront and adjacent downtown are ideal for exploring on foot and is featured on the National Register of Historic Places. Mount Vernon is also home to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, which draws guests from around the world each spring!

Continue driving deeper into the Skagit River Valley, where fields are dotted with quaint farmhouses and a plethora of heritage barns. 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, with a backdrop of dramatic views of 10,781-foot Mount Baker and the North Cascades.

Nestled between the Swinomish Channel, the Skagit River Delta and the Salish Sea, La Conner is both fishing village and artists’ colony. The community is known for its architecture, adorable waterfront shops, the renowned Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum. With views of the water and Mount Baker — all tucked within acres of fields between Mount Vernon and Anacortes — your final destination in this segment of the Cascade Loop.

Anacortes is very much a maritime community — its historic downtown resides along the waterfront and is the heart of Fidalgo Island. Explore a wealth of funky shops and boutiques. The seafood here is outstanding so be sure to dine out and order the fish! Rent a kayak from Anacortes Kayak Tours and paddle through saltwater while taking in views of the abundant sea and birdlife!

Anacortes is also known as the gateway to the San Juan Islands—Lopez, Orcas, San Juan/Friday Harbor. Make sure and maximize your proximity to these beautiful neighboring islands by adding some extra time for a San Juan Islands excursion — just book your ferry ahead of time and add this uniquely memorable side trip to your trek.

Next region of the Loop -- Whidbey Scenic Isle Way!

Skagit Valley Visitor Services

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Skagit Valley Adventures

Wildlife & Birding

There is a LOT of wildlife to view here: snow geese, trumpeter and tundra swans, elk, eagles, falcons, ducks and owls to name a few.

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On the Water

Get on the water to get a really different perspective. Take a whale watching tour out of La Conner or Anacortes. Explore on kayak in Anacortes!

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Historic Barn Tour

Explore 58 barns on the state Heritage Barn Register--amazing testaments to the past and today's farming culture.

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There is huge variety in the types of hiking here. Explore Washington Park or Mt. Erie in Anacortes, take a moderate walk around Baker Lake, or something steeper like Sauk Mountain

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Images from Skagit Valley and Fidalgo Island

Anacortes Marina at Dawn, Photo by Andy Porter

Upcoming Events in Skagit Valley and Fidalgo Island

Stories from Skagit Valley and Fidalgo Island

Fall Elk Rut
The elk rut begins around the time of the autumnal equinox in mid-September, and lasts a month. During this time, male elk, called bulls, will challenge each other for the… Read More >>>>
Whale of a Tail
There are few animals in the wild as thrilling to see as a whale. Here in Washington state, we are fortunate enough to be on the migration route for several… Read More >>>>
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