The byway of course is a tremendous tour in itself. But not far off the byway lie some of the state’s most beloved volcanoes, wild backcountry, historic locales, lakes, waterfalls…for starters. Choose from eight featured itineraries that can be completed in a day – or plan to stay overnight for a more leisurely experience. Find detailed descriptions of the points of interest along these routes and download your itinerary to take with you!
Mt. St. Helens’ Johnston Ridge Loop
Forever changing over 200 square miles of rich forestland into a gray, lifeless landscape, the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens has had an impact so powerful, you have to see it to believe it. Over two decades later, witness the mountain’s slow but steady recovery. Journey through this healing landscape and behold nature’s awesome power. See the Itinerary.
West Side Loop
Offering many of the Byway’s most spectacular attributes, tour the Nisqually area, explore Mt. Rainier National Park and discover the Big Bottom Valley. Drive amongst old-growth forests, walk through meadows of wildflowers and witness the area’s animal inhabitants. Tour friendly mountain communities and discover the interesting area history. A wonderful opportunity to get to know the west end of the White Pass Scenic Byway. See the Itinerary.
Mt. Rainier Loop
Experience the grandeur of Mount Rainier, old-growth temperate rainforest, waterfalls, and impressive vistas. Enjoy the scenic attractions as you ascend to Paradise at Mount Rainier and then down the mountain to the lush forests below. This is an excellent introduction to Mount Rainier National Park. See the Itinerary.
Mt. St. Helen’s Windy Ridge Loop
Immerse yourself in the heart of the Mt. St. Helens Blast Zone and experience the stark contrast between the lush old-growth forest and the blown-down forest. Gaze upon the floating forest on Spirit Lake, witness the power of nature at the Blast Edge Viewpoint and look for the signs of rebirth as nature takes its course. See the Itinerary.
Cispus Area Loop
Those seeking a short side trip into the forest will marvel at the natural beauty of the Cispus River Area. Watch the waters of the Cispus as they flow gracefully through the forest. Options to extend this forest tour include wildlife watching, hiking, fishing, a simple quiet walk in the woods – and more! See the Itinerary.
High Lakes Loop
Discover the numerous majestic alpine lakes that create this unique and beautiful landscape. Towering Mt. Adams and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest provide the backdrop for this scenic drive offering opportunities for fabulous hiking and great fishing along the way. See the Itinerary.
Rimrock Lake Recreation Loop
Located on the “dry” side of the Cascade Mountains, tour the outstanding beauty and limitless recreational opportunities surrounding Rimrock and Clear Lakes. Extend your time along this lakeshore drive with year-round options for outdoor fun. In the summer, enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, boating and wildlife watching. Come winter, opt for a trek by snowshoe, on cross-country skis or bring the snowmobiles for adventure in this winter wonderland. Picturesque campgrounds, shining alpine lakes, splendid pine forests and fantastic mountain landscapes create a lasting impression of the area’s rugged beauty. See the Itinerary.
East Side Loop
Explore the east end of the White Pass Scenic Byway and discover the dramatic and rugged beauty of this wilderness area. Spend time touring spectacular Mt. Rainier National Park. Witness unique geologic formations and awe-inspiring views on the Chinook Scenic Byway. Along the White Pass Scenic Byway, see alpine lakes, watch elk herds in the hundreds and view historic dams. Experience the splendid sights of two byways on this east side excursion. See the Itinerary.