Traveling the Cascade Loop – Winthrop, Leavenworth, The Enchantments, and Tumwater Canyon

After crossing the North Cascades, with stops at Diablo Lake and Liberty Bell Mountain, I wondered if it could get any better.

It did.

We spent the night in Winthrop, a small western themed town,

then continued south to Wenatchee – the Apple Capital of the world – where we were surrounded by the Columbia River, orchards and fruit stands.

But the highlight was a visit to the nearby Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth where all was festive.

Even though Oktoberfest was cancelled, it was a Saturday and the town was more crowded than we were accustomed to. So we had lunch, avoided the shops, and kept our distance. It was easy for me to do as my favorite spot is Waterfront Park, a short walk from the center of town.

I crossed the footbridge and enjoyed the lovely fall colors reflecting in the Wenatchee River. I saw salmon swimming upstream and humans wading in the shallow waters – look closely and you’ll see them.

We would return again the next morning on our way back home, only now the surrounding mountains were dusted with fresh snow.

We passed The Enchantments, a world famous backpackers paradise with Mt. Stuart as the center.

Permits are required to hike in – a grueling hike that can be completed in a day by the strongest – my niece made the trek last month. But most backpack in and spend a few days enjoying the lakes set among polished granite as my husband did many years ago.

We followed the winding highway north along the Wenatchee River to Tumwater Canyon.

While I stood and gawked, Bob watched state workers collecting salmon to carry them over Tumwater Dam. The dam and hydroelectric project was built in 1907 to produce power for electric locomotives traveling through the old Cascade Tunnel on the Stevens Pass route. Decommissioned long ago, only the dam remains and is equipped to assist salmon and steelhead travel up the river to spawn.

After our stop it was time to head home and we crossed Stevens pass to the wet side – west side – of the mountains where it seemed we were thrust into winter.

There was a stop to look at mysterious Mt. Index, shrouded in clouds, followed by lunch and we were back home again.

To learn more about the Cascade Loop, advertised as Washington’s Ultimate Road Trip, click here.

I have to agree.

That’s all for now.

~ Susanne

17 Comments on “Traveling the Cascade Loop – Winthrop, Leavenworth, The Enchantments, and Tumwater Canyon

  1. Fabulous scenery and you photographed it so well. I did this trip on the back of a Honda Goldwing a few years ago and loved it. I especially enjoyed Winthrop and Leavenworth. So much so we returned and spent a weekend in Leavenworth.

    • How fun to make the trip on a motorcycle! It’s a beautiful area with so much variety. We usually get over there at least once a year since it’s close. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  2. Washington state is one of those places that just keeps on giving. I had no idea there’s a Bavarian themed town; it looks so charming. As always, your photos and the views are out of this world! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the trip! I agree with you about Washington; it’s truly a gem among the states, hidden away in the northwest! 😊

  3. That is a great road trip with so much to see all the way round. Very nice photos of your journey. I remember driving westwards over a socked in Stevens Pass in an old Volkswagon that refused to clear the windows when it got cold. I was going about 5 mph while big 4-wheel drive vehicles shot past. I asked my passenger to let me know if I looked like hitting the wall!

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s a great road trip in a good car. I’d hate to be on Stevens Pass without a clear view! Glad you lived to tell the story! 😊

  4. Wow! Thanks for brightening my day. I will put the Cascade Loop on my travel wish list. Beautiful photos! 🌺

  5. I can’t wait to visit this area once we get settled in Spokane, Susanne! My hubby has been to Leavenworth, I can practice my German (thanks to Duolingo) there! Your photos are amazing!

  6. Beautiful pictures! We love to visit Leavenworth but sadly did not go this year due to Covid. Great hiking around there.

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