The basic outline of this trip:
On the way to Port Townsend
Port Townsend is about 4 hours north of Portland OR. Take I-5 north, and either 1) continue north on Hwy 101 from Tumwater/Olympia, driving along the Hood Canal, or 2) stay on I-5, take Hwy 16 to the Tacoma Narrows bridge/Gig Harbor, then Hwy 3 past Bremerton, and Hwy 104 across the Hood Canal Bridge. Not far beyond that is the intersection with Hwy 19, heading north toward Port Townsend (and meets with Hwy 20 into town--less direct is to stay on Hwy 104 'til it intersects with Hwy 20, and take that up to Port Townsend). Both options take about 4 hours, and the first may seem easier, but I prefer not to go north along the Hood Canal, as it is winding, fairly narrow, and the canal is on the downside, right of the vehicle. The 2nd option seems less direct, but there are signs along the way, so it's not as confusing as it may seem. Yet driving 101 south along the Hood Canal is pretty, and the upside is on the right.
The Olympics from Hood Canal Bridge, Hwy 104
I enjoy crossing over the Hood Canal Bridge. The views are marvelous . . . the water, the mountains . . . It's not a great chance to take photos while you are on the bridge (best views) if you are driving on your own. There's no stopping on the bridge.
Hood Canal Floating Bridge Viewpoint--just west of the Hood Canal Bridge; the Olympics are out of view
Photos from late Aug 2021. If traveling west on Hwy 104, this pull-out is on the left (across traffic), and returning to the Hwy is also difficult--crossing traffic to continue west.
Shine Tidelands State Park--west side of Hood Canal Bridge, Hwy 104
"This little day-use park offers fishing and crabbing, and its shoreline is popular with kayakers and beach walkers. A small wetland on the property offers excellent birding. Low tide brings out oysters and clams, which makes the park popular with shellfish harvesters." Shellfish season was closed when I was there Aug 2022. 4 unsheltered picnic tables, no fires allowed.
Olympic Peninsula Gateway Visitors Center--93 Beaver Valley Rd (Hwy 19), Port Ludlow, WA 98365
(near the intersection of Hwy 104 and Hwy 19)
There's an interesting exterior exhibit, but from the outside this little center may not seem like much. Don't be fooled . . . it may be small, but it has a lot of valuable information and some interesting displays for the area (in fact, the whole peninsula), and a friendly and helpful staff. Several porta potties, as well as info available on the outside. Most of the parking is gravel. The small paved path next to the handicapped parking was a bit of a struggle for me in a wheelchair--not much room to maneuver to get off/on my van ramp.
Port Ludlow WA--off Hwy 19 on Oak Bay Road (with a bit about nearby Port Hadlock & Irondale)
From Oak Bay Rd past the bay, take Swansonville Rd on the left, then right on Pioneer Dr.
Port Hadlock, Irondale--Oak Bay Rd continues up from Port Ludlow to Port Hadlock, but so does Hwy 19
Chimacum WA, including Chimacum Park and HJ Carroll Park
About 10-12 min north of Port Ludlow, on Washington state Hwy 19, is the crossroad village of Chimacum WA. Hwy 19 is called Rhody Drive in Chimacum. Chimacum Park is nearly across from the old Grange building, and HJ Carroll Park is not far north of there off Hwy 19.
Anderson Lake State Park--1061 Anderson Lake Rd, Chimacum, WA 98325
Just north of the entrance to HJ Carroll Park is Anderson Lake Rd. Take this road west for a bit and make a right turn (north) to reach the lake. Anderson Lake Road connects Hwy 19 with Hwy 20.
Port Townsend WA
Port Townsend Aero Museum—105 Airport Rd, Port Townsend WA
Check the days & hours before you go.
Spruce Goose Café offers eats at the airport.
Fort Townsend Historical State Park--1370 Old Fort Townsend Road, Port Townsend, WA 98368
There's not much left of the Fort, and what remnants there are may not be wheelchair accessible. Because of the fee and the less than positive chances I would be able to see anything, I didn't go further.
Port Townsend Visitor Center--2409 Jefferson St. Suite B, Port Townsend, WA 98368
A good place to start exploring Port Townsend, just off E Sims Way (Hwy 20) at Jefferson.
Port of Port Townsend--2790 Washington Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Interesting place to see boats being worked on . . . though hard to photo.
Washington St near the Port of Port Townsend
Aladdin Inn--2333 Washington St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Handy location near the Port of Port Townsend, restaurants close by. I was able to wheel downtown and back in my electric chair. Nice view out my room window. Handicapped parking slim. Steep ramp up to the office from the parking. Park early to get a place. Low price for the place, unexceptional lodging.
Wheeling toward Downtown along Washington St
East Sims (Hwy 20) intersects with Washington Street, creating a little triangle that has been developed into Gateway Park. Washington St heads straight up the hill from there, where in a block or two you can see the beautiful historic architectural landmark Jefferson County Courthouse, and Courthouse Park. Just before the intersection of Washington with Sims, a turn to the right onto Water Street leads to a nice view of the Olympic Mtns as it bends before connecting with Sims. Sims becomes Water Street, which is now Hwy 20 at least to the Ferry terminal. Washington & Water streets are parallel, a block distant, through town. I rolled along Water St, because it's flat, and later drove Washington up to see the courthouse and park there (see below).
Port Townsend Inn--2020 Washington St, Port Townsend, WA 98368, just as Washington St heads up hill.
Jefferson County Courthouse & park--1820 Jefferson Street, 2nd Floor, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Naturally I was drawn up the hill (by car) to see the beautiful old county courthouse, and the park across the street. From the Courthouse on Jefferson, continue NE on Jefferson to Van Buren, go around the block (Van Buren-Washington-Harrison) to see the grand old US Post office. Then keep driving NE on Jefferson to Tyler. Park on the street if you can, to get out and walk to the Historic Fire Bell Tower (319 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368). It looks like--from Google Maps--it's a stupendous view of Port Townsend Bay (and Indian-Marrowstone Island, maybe Whidbey Island). Just another block NE on Jefferson is the Rothschild House State Park Heritage Site (418 Taylor St, Port Townsend, WA 98368). Parking is in back, off Taylor, and maybe there's a handicapped entrance? If you want to see more of the astounding views of Port Townsend Bay, you can return to the Post Office and travel northeast on Washington, because the street parking is on the bluff side of the road.
Historic Fire Bell Tower--319 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368, great view of the Bay
Rothschild House State Park Heritage Site-- 418 Taylor St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
(still the way it was 100+ years ago)
Wheeling downtown along Water St
E Sims Way (Hwy 20) merges with Water St, which then becomes Hwy 20, at least until the ferry terminal. Water Street is the main route through downtown Port Townsend. It's a nice roll or stroll.
The Tides Inn & Suites--1807 Water St #6909, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Bayview Restaurant--1539 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Port Townsend-Coupeville (Whidbey Island) Ferry--4375 Erin St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Quimper Mercantile--1121 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368, in a shopping center next to the ferry
Historic Downtown Port Townsend
Tyler St Plaza--199-1 Tyler St, Port Townsend, WA 98368 (Tyler & Water St)
Hastings Building, Taylor & Water St
Adam St Park--817 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
The old W&K building and the Old Ferry Dock--Quincy St
Elevated Ice Cream--627/631 Water St, Port Townsend, WA (back entrance on Waterfront Place off Quincy)
Pope Marine Park across Water St from the Museum of Art & History
Jefferson Museum of Art & History--540 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Port Townsend City Hall--250 Madison St #201, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Point Hudson area
I drove to Point Hudson so I wouldn't run out of juice for my electric wheelchair just getting there. I made a loop from the public parking at Washington & Monroe to the NW Maritime Center, along Jackson St (Point Hudson Marina), literally up Jefferson St to Monroe again (from there I wheeled up Washington St a ways).
The Swan Hotel--222 Monroe St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
NW Maritime Center--431 Water St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Point Hudson Marina (Water St bends into Jackson St)
Wooden Boats of Port Townsend--describes 9 wooden boats at Point Hudson, links to more infoPoint Hudson Marina & RV Park-- 103 Hudson Street, Port Townsend, WACommander's Beach House--400 Hudson St, Port Townsend, WA 98368, Hudson St makes a loop (I didn't see)
Port Townsend Skate Park--250 Monroe St, Port Townsend, WA 98368 (Monroe & Jefferson Streets)
Washington St from Monroe to Taylor (and beyond by car or bike, if you can and like)
I wheeled down Monroe a block from Jefferson to Washington, and rolled along Washington a bit. Just past Adams it becomes a hill, and I drove that part. As it reaches the top of the bluff, there's a spectacular view, but the parking is on the other side of the road (of course you can circle the block at the Post Office, to go the other direction for the sake of parking to take in the wonder of it all). If you continue on Washington, you'll pass the grand old Post Office, Courthouse Park, and then the hill down to E Sims St/Hwy 20. Before the descent there's a nice view of the Olympic Mountains in the distance.
Jefferson County Memorial Athletic Field--550 Washington St, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Bishop Victorian Hotel, 714 Washington St, Port Townsend WA
The Fowler/Leader Bldg--on Adams St, built 1874, served several purposes, including a store, dance hall, theater, Masonic Lodge, courthouse, seaman's lodgings, cigar factory, and finally a newspaper residence: The Leader.
Chetzemoka Park--1000 Jackson St, Port Townsend, WA 98368 (Blaine & Jackson Streets)
You can drive up the hill on Monroe to Blaine St, one block east is Jackson St. There's a handicapped parking space, but the path and water run-off facilitation were a bit difficult to manage with my van ramp and wheelchair. It's a lovely park with nice amenities and a view, though it is on a hill.
Fort Worden--210 Battery Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368 (& food)
(follow Jackson/"Q" St/Walnut streets to "W" St, or, Walker/Cherry/Ft Worden Way/Battery Way)
From Fort Worden, take Admiralty Ave west. Optionally, turn north at San Juan Ave which bends into 49th St--Landes St is off that . (San Juan Ave makes a "T" at 19th St, north of Kah Tai Lagoon, from there you can go east on Blaine, south on Kearney, east on Lawrence.)
I came back from Fort Worden the way I went, but turned southwest on Lawrence St, and saw some of Uptown Port Townsend. The one place I took a photo was the park where the Farmers Market is held. Other places along and beyond Lawrence Street below.
Norland, Mystery Bay State Park, & Fort Flagler
Hwy 116 off Hwy 19 leads to Indian Island and points beyond. You'll pass Burgers Landing (see photo under Port Ludlow/Hadlock above), and at the point where you take Flagler Rd to the left, if you continued "straight", you'd be on Oak Bay Rd, which would take you down to Port Ludlow.
On Flagler Rd (the new identity of Hwy 116) you'll soon cross the Portage Canal/Port Townsend Ship Canal, and immediately come to a park on the right known variously as Lloyd L Good Memorial Park, Portage Beach, and Oyster Shell Beach. It is part of Jefferson County's Indian Island Park.
Indian Island (Jefferson) County Park
Norland General Store--7180 Flagler Rd, Marrowstone Island, WA 98358-9800
Mystery Bay State Park--just north of Norland General Store, Flagler Rd/Hwy 116
Fort Flagler Historical State Park--2 mi north of Mystery Bay State Park
(20 mi/40 min from Port Townsend WA; take Hwy 116 off Hwy 19)
There's more to explore than I saw at Fort Flagler State Park (though many of the batteries reached by trail, it looks like), and I got there just a bit too late for the museum or the battery tour, but I was entirely delighted to see not just the fort, but Mt Baker & Mt Rainier! Below is a link to the virtual tour of the museum.
Port Townsend Ferry to Coupeville, Whidbey Island
1301 Water St, Port Townsend WA--It's important to get a reservation. I had to go very early, but that was fortunate, as it gave me enough time to explore as I traveled up Whidbey Island.
The ferry has a lot of travel brochures, Whidbey Island among them. You'll need some time to peruse them ahead of making the most of visiting the Island.
Fort Casey Historical State Park--1280 Engle Road, Coupeville, WA 98239
From the Port Townsend-Coupeville Ferry turn left/north. The campground is on the lowland on Admiralty Bay, next to the ferry terminal, but is entered from the hill part of the park.
Coupeville WA area
Both S Engle Rd and Fort Casey Rd lead north from Fort Casey to Coupeville WA. Fort Casey Rd makes a T with SE Terry Rd, which take west to S Engle Rd (S Engle Rd is the more direct route). S Engle Rd becomes Main St of Coupeville. There are various places of interest in the area which I wasn't able to visit. Off Fort Casey Rd, east on Patmore Rd are Patmore Pit park and Rhododendron Park (which can also be accessed off Hwy 20 east of Coupeville).
Patmore Pit (Island County Park)-- 497 Patmore Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239
(take W Patmore Rd off Fort Casey Rd, south of Coupeville)--502 W Patmore Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239
(south from Hwy 20, 1.5 mi east of Coupeville, or north off Patmore Rd)
Coupeville is on the south shore of Penn Cove, the east side of an isthmus dividing Whidbey Island between Coupeville and Oak Harbor. Drive north through the modern town toward the historic town. Road lines a block south of Front St encourage turning west on NW Coveland just where Cook's Corner Park offers a place to picnic and a sign directs tourists to parking, museum, visitor info, rec hall, and restrooms. Two blocks west of Main on Coveland is NW Alexander St, where the rec hall stands. Just to the north of the rec hall is the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce. A bit futher north on the west is the Island County Museum, and next to that is a little picnic area on the Cove and the Wharf. Continuing west on Coveland is found Coupeville Town Park.
East on Front St it turns into Gould St, and only a block on Gould, a turn east on NE 9th St, which will become Parker Rd is the way to Price Sculpture Forest at 678 Parker Rd, Coupeville, WA 98239. Parker Rd becomes Coupeville Rd. North of that is Long Point historic landmark--440 Marine Dr, Coupeville, WA 98239.
Coupeville WACoupeville Town Park-- 901 Colburn St (off NW Coveland), Coupeville, Washington 98239
Libbey Beach Park (Island County)
Northwest of Coupeville WA, take Libbey Rd straight west off Hwy 20. Don't be misled by the section of Fort Ebey Rd off Libbey Rd, it won't get you to Fort Ebey.
Fort Ebey State Park--400 Hill Valley Dr, northwest of Coupeville, WA 98239
Take Libbey Rd off Hwy 20 northwest of Coupeville WA. Turn south on Hill Valley Dr to Valley Dr, thence to Fort Ebey Rd (not contiguous with the section near Libbey Beach Park).
Joseph Whidbey State Park--1755 Crosby Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
There's more than one way to get to Joseph Whidbey State Park, including places along the way:
1. From Libbey Rd off Hwy 20 northwest of Coupeville, turn north onto North West Beach Rd
a. Hastie Lake County Park--2434 W Hastie Lake Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
b. West Beach County Park--2407 W Beach Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
c. Beach Access Parking--2699 W Beach Rd, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
d. W Beach Rd turns into Crosby Rd, turn north into Joseph Whidbey State Park
2. (most direct) SW Swantown Ave off Hwy 20 as it becomes W Pioneer Way
west of downtown Oak Harbor turns into Swantown Rd, cross W Beach Rd/Crosby Rd
into Joseph Whidbey State Park
a. Whidbey Golf Club--2430 Fairway Ln, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
3. From SW Swantown Ave off Hwy 20, take SW Fort Nugent Ave
a. Fort Nugent Park--2075 SW Fort Nugent Ave, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 (lots of great amenities)
b. W Beach Rd north, West Beach County Park, Beach Access Parking,
east a bit, then north into Joseph Whidbey State Park
4. W Hastie Lake Rd off Hwy 20 to North West Beach Rd at Hastie Lake County Park
a. West Beach County Park
b. Beach Access Parking
c. W Beach Rd/Crosby Rd, turn north into Joseph Whidbey State Park
To Oak Harbor from Joseph Whidbey State Park
A couple ways to Oak Harbor from Joseph Whidbey State Park, with places along the way
turn SE on SW Swantown Ave, and east on W Pioneer Way
a. Spring Tree Park, 190 SW Heller St, Oak Harbor, WA 98277--playground
b. Kimball Park, 580 SW Heller St, Oak Harbor, WA 98277--playground
c. Ruth Cohen Park, 1678 SW 8th Ave, Oak Harbor, WA 98277--abt 3+ blocks west of Heller, on 8th
d. Lueck Park, 1270 SW Barrington Dr, Oak Harbor, WA 98277--playground,
1.5 blocks east of Heller on SW Barrington
2. SW Swantown Ave to W Pioneer Way (most direct route)
Oak Harbor WA
While Oak Harbor has currency, quaint old historic downtown is picturesque.
Deception Pass State Park--41229 State Route 20, [north of] Oak Harbor, WA 98277
It's always easier to see where you want to go once you've been somewhere . . . I wish now I had gone up to Deception Pass parking up by Gun Point, hoping to get a good view of the bridge. Maybe from Cornet Bay Rd?
Rosario Rd, Fidalgo Island to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal
Being unsure of finding my way to the Anacortes Ferry, I asked for help from the Google gal, and she had me leave Hwy 20 soon after crossing the Deception Pass bridge to get there via Rosario Rd. With trepidation I followed her guidance, hoping she really knew what she was talking about. Turned out she did.
Rosario Rd leads into Marine Dr, which becomes Havekost Rd, then "A" Ave which bends into 37th St, which in turn bends into "D" Ave, which intersects with 12th St/Hwy 20 (Oakes Ave, too), you can take that west to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal. Of course, you could just take Hwy 20 all the way to the ferry (less direct route).
Friday Harbor, San Juan Island WA
Perhaps the greatest attraction drawing me on this trip was to see orcas. I was disappointed when I tried to arrange a whale watching tour in Port Townsend (way ahead of time) who said they couldn't accommodate me/my wheelchair. Next I thought of taking the ferries to the San Juan Islands, hoping to see orcas along the way. No sign of them. The Whale Museum in Friday Harbor was something, but not live orcas swimming and playing in the sun. I had great hopes of seeing them from Lime Kiln State Park, which boasts of it . . .
Front St: Memorial Park area, Fairweather Park, Port of Friday Harbor, (rear of American Legion)
1st St: San Juan County Courthouse, San Juan Island Grange, American Legion, The Whale Museum
I was looking for a place to park so I could get out and wheel around when I saw the County Courthouse. In desperate need of a restroom, I hoped I might find one suitable for a person in a wheelchair. I was fortunate in that, and also found very helpful folk.
The Whale Museum was a bit of a disappointment . . . Lots of interesting items/exhibits in a fairly small space, but I think the main exhibits are upstairs, and though they had a stair-chair, I preferred not to use it, as well as wondering how to get my chair up there to continue investigating. I saw what I could, and they didn't offer any discount or refund. They do sell a lot of delightful doo-dads.
San Juan Island Grange--152 First St N, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
American Legion--110 First St S, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Whale Museum--62 First St N, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
2nd St, Spring St, Price St:
Vic’s Drive-In--25 Second Street South, Friday Harbor, Washington 2nd & West St
Palace Theatre (Spring St near 2nd)
Lime Kiln Point State Park--1567 West Side Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
From the San Juan Historical Museum, return to Spring St. Turn west on Spring St and continue as it becomes San Juan Valley Rd, turn south on Douglas Rd. When Douglas Rd bends into Bailer Hill Rd, follow it west across the island 'til it becomes West Side Rd. There are 3 small parking pull-outs on the cliffs overlooking the strait, and then you'll see the sign for Lime Kiln State Park on a somewhat severe bend in the road.
Since I didn't have a map of the area, as well as being anxious to make it to other sites, I didn't get to check out everything as to accessibility. Also, I didn't want to pay a fee for a very brief stop.
Once inside the park, I suggest driving down the hill to park near the Interpretive Center/"Snacks with a Porpoise". Below are links to find out more than I knew. Note limited hours/days for some attractions/activities. If taking a wheelchair or disabled person, it seems best to call ahead to make sure how much of the trails are ADA and where they lead.
San Juan Island National Historical Park-- 4668 Cattle Point Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Friday Harbor Ferry, San Juan Island WA
I didn't get to see everything, but it was hard to believe how much I did see in one day: from Port Townsend on the ferry to Whidbey Island, most of the length of Whidbey Island to the Anacortes Ferry, crossing to Friday Harbor, exploring around Friday Harbor and San Juan Island . . . I still had "miles to go before [I'd] sleep" in Sedro-Wooley WA.
Ferry to/from Anacortes--large enough to serve supper
The ferry from Friday Harbor back to Anacortes served supper, but I almost missed the Ivar's famous clam chowder! It's a long enduring line to wait, at supper time. But I just had to have clam chowder at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The ferry indoors is decked with nature and Native American themes.
It was a treat to see the Olympic Mountains from the ferry. The views of Mt Baker and the North Cascades are magnificent from the ferry. We were fortunate that a crew member showed us Mt Rainier, which our eyes could make out better than my phone camera. It was hard to come inside when the time came, such a grand experience!
Take Hwy 20 east from Anacortes or I-5 to get to Sedro-Woolley. I had had a long day already, and was anxious to get settled in my hotel room. Thus, I passed a lot of places to explore between Anacortes and Sedro-Woolley. Below are a couple links for Sedro-Woolley.
By the time I unloaded luggage into my room I was too late for some of the eating options I could wheel to, beside sidewalk renovations created difficulties. The DQ a couple blocks away had a closed sign posted before their advertised hours were done, but the employees opened up for me in my need. I enjoyed the food, though it mostly isn't too diabetic friendly. They do have salads, but I needed something more substantial, like a sandwich. I think I tried their Dilly or Fudge Bar and maybe the Vanilla Orange Bar, which were tasty, but I forgot to get a photo. See https://thejeansfit.com/lowest-calorie-desserts-at-dairy-queen/
Three Rivers Inn Hotel-- 210 Ball St off Moore St/Hwy 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
Sedro-Woolley Museum--727 Murdock St, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 (I missed their open hours)
North Cascades National Park and Mt Baker Ranger District Visitor Center--810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley WA--this is a must stop before exploring the North Cascades: such helpful info and staff.
The North Cascades
My first full day in Sedro-Wooley and the North Cascades, was rainy & overcast. I thought I'd just get what I could. The day I was to leave was so gorgeous that I started east up Hwy 20 "just a bit", and then it became "just a bit further", and ended traveling entirely through the Cascades to the east side. So Beautiful!
Hwy 9 & Hwy 542--north along the west side of the Cascade Mountains, then east to Mt Baker Ski Area
Hwy 9 comes up from the south off Hwy 522 near Woodinville WA, traveling along the westerns edge of the Cascade Mountains. At Sedro-Woolley it joins Hwy 20 through town, then just east of the North Cascades National Park/Mt Baker Ranger Station Visitor Center Hwy 9 continues its way north (eventually to intersect with Canada Hwy 1; becoming Hwy 11 at the border).
East of Bellingham WA Hwy 542 intersects with Hwy 9, and leads up to the Mt Baker Ski Area, and at long last Artist Point (which I didn't find). It seemed to me there was a lack of adequate road signs for direction, and you can't count on cell service. If I had been able to visit the inside of the Ranger Station at Glacier WA or the Heather Meadows Visitor Center, perhaps I could have found Artist Point, but then it was overcast anyway.
Highway 20 through the Cascade Mtns from Sedro-Woolley to Winthrop WA
Baker Lake Rd, between Hamilton & Concrete WA
About 13-14 mi north of Hwy 20 on Baker Lake Rd is a vault toilet and some interpretive signs, just before the turn to Baker Lake Dam area, where there is camping, a boat launch, and free day-use area. A little beyond that on Baker Lake Rd is the Shadow of the Sentinels Interpretive Site with a wheelchair accessible trail, though I recommend having a companion in case there's trouble in some spots on the trail.
Rockport State Park--51905 State Route 20, Rockport, WA 98283
Cool & green place to recreate. Accessible paved trail.
Rest Area at Sutter Creek--Hwy 20 east of Rockport WA.
Rest and repast right on the Skagit River; view of the North Cascades if in the right spot.
Marblemount WA--Hwy 20, 41 mi/abt 50 min east of Sedro-Woolley WA (if no traffic delays/construction)
I traveled through more than once, different times of day. A helpful person pumped gas for me to make sure I'd get back to my hotel in Sedro-Woolley after a long day of driving.
North Cascades Visitor Center--State Route 20 near milepost 120 and the town of Newhalem WA
The first time I tried to visit this Visitor Center the entry road was closed for paving. Very disappointing. I thought it was my only chance. But as it turned out, I came up the next day, and was fortunate to arrive just as it was opened. It was a beautiful day in every way. The visitor center is full of valuable info and intro to the North Cascades. A short very accessible trail leads to a spectacular view of the peaks. There's also a campground/day-use area here.
Newhalem WA--55 mi east of Sedro-Woolley on Hwy 20, about an hour and 10 min
On the south side of Hwy 20 is the village of Newhalem, the north side offers parking and such for tourists. I didn't get to see everything, esp. the locomotive and the suspension bridge.
Gorge Overlook Trail—abt 2 mi east of Newhalem WA
There's a pedestrian crossing on Hwy 20 to access a pedestrian lane of the bridge over Gorge Creek, to see the astounding Gorge Creek Falls (242 ft), and the deep chasm they fall into. Accessibility is good, but it's not for the timid or persons with acrophobia. It's difficult to get a good shot of the entire falls, due to the height.
The Gorge Overlook Trail is accessible and not long, with interpretive signs and great views of the dam on the Skagit River and the lake/reservoir it creates. Restroom and waste receptacles.
Colonial Creek Campground--about milepost 130, before heading up the steep hill to the Vista Point
Boat access to Diablo Lake. The north campground has a boat ramp and Thunder Knob Trailhead. The south campground has a boat launch and Thunder Creek Trailhead.
Diablo Lake Vista Point—Hwy 20, milepost 131.7
Fantastic views, parking, picnic tables, vault toilets, waste receptacles, plenty of interpretive signs. I took photos going east and then returning west in the evening.
Ross Lake Overlooks—Hwy 20, abt mile 136
Washington Pass Observation Site--Hwy 20, 31 mi west of Winthrop WA
This is SO worth stopping and exploring.
Winthrop WA--Hwy 20, the east side of the North Cascades
Downtown Winthrop presents a quaint western theme. There's a downtown access to the Chewuch River, just about where it joins the Methow River, at 229 Riverside Ave, a little parking for Spring Creek Bridge (part of the Susie Stephens Trail) at 324 State Route 20, plenty of places to stay and to eat. With an historical museum, rafting, ice skating, and various family friendly parks the town entices a stay for days. I was desperate for a restroom, and was so grateful to find one open at the Winthrop Ball Field, across from Mack Lloyd Park at the west end of Winthrop.
Glacier Peak, Snohomish county WA (not to be confused with Glacier National Park in Montana)
I had hoped to get some great pictures of Glacier Peak as I traveled south from Sedro-Woolley, but it seems not to be visible from anywhere I could easily get to. I am left to be satisfied with seeing it virtually through the experiences of others. There are longer hiking/climbing videos, but I am including links for shorter videos.
I've been in a wheelchair for 30+ years. It poses some challenges for traveling. Maybe others can benefit from my experiences.