Lake with moutain
Featured Northwest Lifestyles Outdoor Activities Washington

Washington’s premier drive: Chinook Scenic Byway

Photo caption: Picturesque Lake Tipsoo.

The Chinook Scenic Byway in Washington is recognized as the premier driving tour in Washington State.

The Chinook Scenic Byway travels through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mount Rainier National Park.

Major highlights

1. Skookum Falls and Snoquera Falls – Take the Skookum Flats trail off Huckleberry Creek Road. It is an easy 8-mile trail that leads to the picturesque falls and views of the Palisades rock formation. Winter temperatures may “freeze the falls” for another unique view. 

2. Crystal Mountain Ski Resort – Crystal Mountain Resort is Washington’s largest ski resort offering 11 lifts and the only 8-passenger Gondola in the State.  During the summer visitors come to Crystal Mountain for the views of Mt. Rainier, mountain-top dining and fun summer-time activities.

3. Mt. Rainier National Park – Sunrise Entrance – Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. 

4. Lake Tipsoo and Chinook Pass Arch – the summit of Chinook Pass is marked with a massive log and stone pedestrian bridge overpass for Pacific Crest Trail hikers. Parking, nature trails, restrooms are located near a classic picturesque alpine lake with amazing views of Mt. Rainier and the South Cascades Mountain Range. 

5. American River/Naches River – The river system along the All-American Road and Nationally recognized Chinook Scenic Byway provide an abundance of water activity. Fly-fishing is especially popular as is rafting and water play. A large number of campgrounds and sno-parks offer headquarters for summer activities and gathering points for winter snowmobiling, and cross country skiing.