RoadRUNNER’s Bucket List Roads: Washington SR-20 (aka North Cascades Highway)

Mar 07, 2014 View Comments by

RoadRUNNER's Bucket List Roads: Washington SR-20 (aka North Cascades Highway)What is it? SR-20 is the northernmost paved route through the Cascade Mountains. From the west it follows the Skagit River into the high elevations of North Cascades National Park and beyond. The scenery includes lush old growth forests, numerous waterfalls, stunning mountain vistas, and emerald green lakes as the route continues east through a stunning landscape. The road rises from near sea level to almost 8,000 feet as it traverses several mountain passes.

Curves: The route has substantial elevation changes, tunnels, and some very tight curves through the mountain passes.

Traffic: Usually not heavy.

Distance: Although SR-20 runs for over 400 miles in Washington, one of the best sections is from Sedro Wooley, WA to the road’s intersection with US-97, a one-way distance of approximately 167 miles.

Road Closures: The road is closed in the wintertime; get current road conditions at:

Roadside Services: Gas, food, and other services are limited in this area. Recommended places to top off your tank are in Marblemount, WA and Winthrop, WA, which also has overnight accommodations.

Time Required: 1 to 2 days for a round-trip.

Technical Difficulty: Moderate to high, recommended for experienced riders.

For Road Conditions and Closures visit:


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