The park rises upward from the massive Cascade ranges seen northeast of Seattle, widening in a swath of snow-covered peaks all the way to the Canadian border. The broad Skagit River and many large creeks cut through the valleys; most end in the long arm of Lake Chelan in the south or in the snakelike expanse of Ross Lake at the park's northern edge. Even in summer, valleys can start the day shrouded in fog; it's best to drive the highway west-to-east in afternoon. A morning start is a good choice coming the other way. The most sensational scenery, however, is reached by hiking to one of the high park passes or mountain lookouts.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $174 & up -- SF: 4-Star Hotel near Union Square, 45% Off Expedia
- $186 & up -- 5-Star Seattle Hotel, Save 50% Expedia
- $169-$189 -- Downtown Seattle Hotel incl. Memorial Day — $169-$189 Renaissance Seattle Hotel
- $140 & up -- Seattle 4-Star Downtown Hotel, Save 50% — $140 Sheraton Seattle Hotel
- $175 & up -- Downtown Seattle 4-Star Hotel, 40% Off — $175 The Westin Seattle