Day 3 on the Cascade Loop is one for the nature lovers and adventurers. And if you come to the beautiful state of Washington, you are probably seeking landscapes and nature experiences!
As we started our day in the dry region of Lake Chelan, we left the cozy Mountain View Lodge & Resort around 9AM with a full day of road tripping ahead of us!
Driving From Lake Chelan To Winthrop, WA
Day 3 involved quite a bit of driving with many stops to walk around and take in the views. The first hour and a half was spent in the car, following along the Columbia River from Lake Chela to Winthrop, WA.
The views were absolutely gorgeous, and with nearly 300 days of sunshine each year, we drove all of it under bright blue skies!
When we got to Winthrop, I think all of our jaws dropped just a little!
We stepped into a town stuck in time. With the dry hills surrounding us, the omnipresent sun, and the pioneer / western town center… we would have never thought that we were in the northern state of Washington…
For a moment, we were all transported to a corral in the southern states.
We spent nearly 3 hours roaming the Main Street, entering the beautiful little shops, and enjoying sweets and ice cream.
Ava got a new book for the road at the local bookstore…
…we all enjoyed homemade ice cream at Sheri’s…
…took a stroll by the river behind the town, and left happy and astounded at this genuine little piece of paradise, stuck in a different time!
Winthrop, WA needs to be on your must-see list while road-tripping on the Cascade Loop!
Driving To Washington Pass Overlook
As soon as we left Winthrop, WA, the dark green forest re-appeared. We had left behind the dry, desert-like, landscapes and felt in the Pacific Northwest once more!
The road leading up to the pass, which is closed to traffic in the winter, still had a little bit of snow!
We absolutely had to stop for the kids to slide down and throw snowballs!
Washington Pass Overlook
The Washington Pass Overlook is more than just an overlook.
It has a very short, but beautiful, path along the cliff, with surrounding views of the valley and high peaks!
Diablo Lake Overlook
Another 30 minute-drive down the Cascade Loop got us to Diablo Lake Overlook.
Wow! No word can really describe the beauty of Diablo Lake in the summer.
The melting glacier snows bring enough stone fragments from the mountains, to give Diablo Lake its crystal blue color.
North Cascades National Park Visitor’s Center
Just 15 minutes from Diablo Lake, in the little town of Newhalem, we stopped at the North Cascades National Park Visitor’s Center.
With a little museum inside, we learned more about the region and the kinds of bears calling the area home!
We first walked the short boardwalk to a mountain lookout. I am a big fan of boardwalks and would have loved for this one to go on further. The smell of the forest was incredible and the view on Pyramid Peak stunning!
We then decided to hike trail #2 called the River Loop. A short 1.8-mile roundtrip with very little elevation changes, was the perfect way to hike this beautiful forest and spend some time by the Skagit river with kids.
The clear water was the perfect playing ground for the kids and we spent a little time relaxing ourselves!
Driving To La Conner, WA
The last part of our road trip on Day 3, was a 1.5-hour car ride to La Conner.
We passed charming little towns and left the tall mountains behind us to drive through the plains.
As we reached La Conner, WA, new mountains appeared in the background – Olympic National Park!
La Conner Country Inn
After a long and beautiful sunny day on the road, seeing landscapes we never had dreamed of, everyone was happy to reach our final destination – La Conner Country Inn.
It is one of the most charming Inns we have ever stayed at. Located right in town, the river and town center are just steps away!
If you are traveling with kids, book room 30! It is a one-bedroom unit, with a separate bedroom for the kids and ample place for everyone to feel very comfortable.
The morning breakfast was amazing and don’t miss walking through La Conner if you find the time!
We are very thankful to the Cascade Loop for hosting us on our road trip through the beautiful state of Washington. I cannot recommend the Cascade Loop enough if you are looking to discover Washington State with kids!