top of page

Washington Uncovered: Discovering the Charm of the Back Roads Discovery Route

Washington State is renowned for its diverse landscapes, ranging from rugged coastlines to towering mountain ranges and lush forests. While many travelers flock to popular destinations like Seattle or Mount Rainier National Park, there's a hidden gem waiting to be discovered: the Washington Back Roads Discovery Route. This scenic byway offers adventurers a chance to escape the crowds and immerse themselves in the state's natural beauty. Let's embark on a journey to uncover the wonders of this off-the-beaten-path route.

Exploring the Route

The Washington Back Roads Discovery Route traverses over 600 miles of stunning terrain, winding through charming small towns, expansive farmlands, and remote wilderness areas. Beginning in the historic town of Stevenson, located in the scenic Columbia River Gorge, the route meanders eastward, crossing the Cascade Mountains and eventually leading to the picturesque Methow Valley.

Along the way, travelers will encounter a diverse array of landscapes and attractions. One highlight is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, where dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and pristine alpine lakes await exploration. Hiking enthusiasts will delight in the numerous trails that wind through this vast wilderness, offering opportunities to spot wildlife and soak in breathtaking views.

As the route continues eastward, it passes through the charming towns of Packwood and Randle, where visitors can experience small-town hospitality and learn about the region's rich history. Further east, the landscape transitions to open farmland, with rolling hills and expansive vistas stretching to the horizon.

One of the most scenic stretches of the route is the journey through the North Cascades, where towering peaks, lush valleys, and turquoise lakes create a postcard-perfect backdrop. Be sure to stop at viewpoints like Washington Pass Overlook for panoramic views of the surrounding mountainscape.

In the Methow Valley, the route concludes in the charming town of Winthrop, known for its Old West ambiance and outdoor recreation opportunities. Here, visitors can explore art galleries, enjoy locally crafted cuisine, or embark on adventures like mountain biking, horseback riding, or fly fishing in the pristine waters of the Methow River.

Tips for Travelers

Before embarking on the Washington Back Roads Discovery Route, here are a few tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:

Plan Ahead

While the route offers plenty of opportunities for spontaneity, it's wise to have a general itinerary and know where you'll be spending the night, especially in remote areas where lodging options may be limited.

Pack Accordingly

Be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially if traveling through mountainous terrain. Bring layers, sturdy footwear, and essentials like water, snacks, and a first-aid kit. Please also consider packing a gear bag with gloves, tow strap, antifreeze, oil, ATF, and belts for your vehicle.

Respect Nature

Help preserve the beauty of the route by practicing Leave No Trace principles. Dispose of waste properly, stay on designated trails, and be mindful of wildlife. Please go to the Tread Lightly Website to learn more about OHV Recreation protocols.

Stay Connected

While the route may take you off the grid in some areas, it's essential to have a reliable means of communication in case of emergencies. Consider bringing a satellite phone or a GPS device with offline maps.

The Washington Back Roads Discovery Route offers a unique opportunity to experience the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty away from the crowds. Whether you're a nature lover, outdoor enthusiast, or history buff, this scenic byway has something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and prepare to be captivated by the wonders of Washington's hidden treasures.







Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page