Travel Advisories - North Cascades Highway Closed for the Season
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Take a Virtual Vacation -- from home!

While we are all staying home and staying healthy, there's nothing stopping us from dreaming about the vacation we will take when it is safe to do so!

Here are a few "Virtual Vacations" from the Cascade Loop that you can take from the comfort of your home!

Escape It All!

Take a virtual drive off the mainland to tour Whidbey and Camano Islands with a new experiential tour series. This Cascade Loop destination is known for its rugged outdoor beauty, vibrant arts across mediums, and a creative culinary crowd -- the islands will continue to please curious travelers remotely throughout the spring season. 

  • See the whales of Whidbey and Camano Islands on a virtual tour of Saratoga Passage in Puget Sound.
  • Meet Georgia Gerber, Whidbey Island’s artist known for her iconic bronze sculptures, including Pike Place Market’s famous piggy bank, “Rachel.”
  • Discover Deception Pass, explore the seasons and characters of Washington state’s iconic destination and most visited state park.

Experience Skagit Tulips from Home!

This years tulip season faces uncertainty, the Tulip Festival has been canceled and the tulip gardens have been temporarily closed to the public. Although the future is uncertain, tulips are a staple to the community of Burlington and Skagit County; a source of hope for the future. Here are some of the ways you can still experience the tulip festival from the safety of your home!

(Photo by Andy Porter)

Mountain School at Home

Mountain School at Home

During this time of school closures and stay-at-home guidelines, North Cascades Institute is sharing lessons and activities from our talented Mountain School instructors.

You can deepen your observations of the changing season with activities created by our instructors for our new Mountain School at Home project: initiating a sit spot practice, practicing ephemeral nature art and starting a tree bud journal! Visit for these and future activities and stay engaged with the wonder and beauty all around us.

With so much of our normal lives and schedules altered or shut down, many people are spending more time in nature in backyards, neighborhood parks and local trails (following proper social distancing recommendations and respecting closures, of course). What a powerful reminder of all the ways the natural world benefits us: reducing stress, elevating moods, and providing fresh air, connection and exercise.

Gorge Diversion Tunnel

Virtual Skagit Tours

Over the summer North Cascades Institute has partnered with Seattle City Light to create a Virtual Skagit Tours program. It consists of a series of videos teaching folks about the natural history of the area, as well as of the Learning Center and Alice Ross/the life of a powerhouse operator. 

You can find all the info and videos here:

Cascade Loop Videos

Click Here to see some great videos showing travel along the Cascade Loop and activities along the way!