Nestled within the Cascade mountains – the vast range of peaks that follow the Pacific NorthWest coastline, from British Columbia in Canada, down to northern California – is the Cascade Loop. It’s a vast circle of roads to the north east of Seattle that takes in some of the most beautiful countryside you’ll see anywhere in the world.
Getting to the Cascade Loop is surprisingly easy. Since September 2017, Norwegian have opened up a new route flying direct to Seattle from Gatwick airport four times per week. From Sea-Tac airport, a flight to Pangborn Memorial Airport in Wenatchee takes just 23 minutes. Alternatively, it’s about a four-hour drive. While you can start the loop at any point, Wenatchee is the most convenient for overseas travellers.
When an area spans so much varied natural landscapes that take in mountains, woodlands, deserts, rainforest, numerous bodies of water, the Grand Cascades National Park and more, your options for outdoor adventure sport are virtually unparalleled, whatever time of year you visit.
Come winter, the southern leg of the loop serves up some of the best skiing and snowboarding you’ll find anywhere in the world at Stevens Pass. The global recognition that Stevens Pass enjoys can attract a lot of crowds. So, if you like your time on the slopes to be a little quieter, a 30 minute drive due west is Leavenworth.
It may not be as big as Stevens Pass (in fact, it’s really quite small) but what Leavenworth lacks in size, it makes up for in tooth-achingly sweet beauty. Winter in Leavenworth also affords the opportunity for ski touring, snowshoeing, fat biking, and even a ski jump, should lycra and an increased risk of broken bones be your bag.
From Spring to Autumn (and even in winter, if you’re a fan of numb limbs) Patterson Lake is a beautiful spot for water sports. For hire on the south shore of the lake, amid the idyllic Patterson Lake Cabins, you’ll find stand up paddleboards, kayaks, sailing boats and canoes. You’ll also be able to rent pedalos, although we remain unsure why you’d want to, given the wealth of swifter more agile, less lads-holiday-to-Mallorca-looking craft available.