Cascade Loop, North Cascades Highway, Wash.
Fall — that blissful period before inclement weather sets in — is the perfect time of year to go for a scenic drive. Snowstorms have not yet blocked roads, and you won’t have to avoid summer’s heat. But the best thing about taking a scenic drive during fall is that you will get to see leaves that are turning gold, crimson and amber. Take most of these drives from the beginning of October through the middle of November, when the weather is just right: warm and sunny during the days and crisp — but not too cold — at night.
Text by Tricia Romano | Photo editing by Mike Hipple
The stretch between Newhalem and Winthrop is about 70 miles of twisting and winding road along Highway 20, which runs parallel to the gorgeous Skagit River. A warning: Views may cause serious distraction from driving. You’ll pass lakes galore, including Ross Lake and Diablo Lake. Waterfalls abound, and mountaintops and evergreens dot the view on all sides. This part of the pass closes during the winter, so head out before the weather turns too cold.