Talk about a monkey wrench being thrown into your plans!
I’m sure most everyone has already heard about the historic and tragic flooding happening at Yellowstone National Park.
Yellowstone was scheduled to be our next major stop. However, with the park now being closed to all visitors, we cancelled our reservation in West Yellowstone and started trip-planning in the middle of our trip.
It was slightly stressful. Maybe more than slightly.
We needed to come up with something to do for four days while still making it to our next reservation, in Idaho, on time. We decided to see what Washington had to offer, since we were already so close.
We spent our first night in the small town of Winthrop, Washington. It would be the starting point for our journey through North Cascades National Park.
We quickly learned that Washington is the apple capital of the United States. There were orchards everywhere!
We were lucky enough to stay in a cute little cabin in Winthrop.
It also gave us a sneak-peak of the North Cascades mountain range.
After several days of poor weather, we were delighted to see a partly sunny forecast for our time in the North Cascades.
Within 10 minutes of leaving Winthrop, the mountains began to reveal themselves.
When doing research about this area, we learned the North Cascades play host to somewhere around 300 glaciers. Compare that to Glacier National Park’s 25 glaciers. We found that very interesting.
In the United States, only Alaska boasts more glaciers than Washington!
Before we knew it, we were in the mountains.
Our favorite mountains are the ones with all the pointy rock formations at the top!
The boys also thought it was super cool how much snow was still around.
We drove past a few people attempting to ski-up a glacier. I’m not sure what the technical term for that activity would be. Haha!
We slowly made our way up highway 20 toward Washington Pass. At 5,477 feet, it is the highest drivable point in the North Cascades.
The road to the overlook was closed to vehicles due to snow.
We continued on foot!!
I think it was the boys’ favorite part of the day. Walking a trail of snow!!
The views from the top were definitely worth the effort to get there!
On one side is the most glaciated valley in the United States outside of Alaska.
On the other, is the iconic Liberty Bell mountain.
This was definitely our favorite spot of the day!
We stopped at a couple other overlooks on the other side of Washington pass, including Ross Lake and Diablo Lake.
Another thing we have enjoyed are all of the spontaneous waterfalls along the sides of the road. We’re guessing most of these are from snow melt, but they are still beautiful!
We were within 20 minutes of Seattle and turned back east on highway 2. We’ll save Seattle, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park for another trip.
The drive on highway 2 had many amazing mountain views as well.
We had an opportunity to walk the streets of the Bavarian style town of Leavenworth.
From Leavenworth it was just a short drive to our hotel for the night in Wenatchee. I’m still not sure how to pronounce that one.
The next day was mainly a day on the road. The scenery in south-eastern Washington was much less………scenic.
We did make one cool stop at Palouse Falls State Park. It was kind of strange. We were driving through what looked like a barren desert and then this massive waterfall appears. It was kind of shocking!
Our first sight of water for miles is the powerful, two hundred foot tall Palouse Falls. Somehow the Palouse River manages to hide itself the entire drive to the falls.
It was a 2 hour drive from Palouse Falls to our hotel for the night in Lewiston, Idaho. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting another new state for us all.