The Cascade Loop Heritage Tour – North is 212 miles of the north and eastern end of the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway. The tour begins on the shores of Puget Sound and travels east through Skagit Valley farmlands, dense forests, along the Skagit River, climbs into some of the most spectacular mountain scenery of the Pacific Northwest, and then arrives in the wide open rangelands of the Methow Valley, fruit orchards, the Columbia River valley, vineyards, and the 50-mile fjord-like Lake Chelan.
The focus of the northern section of the Cascade Loop audio tour guide is on the cultural heritage and traditional art forms that you’ll find along the way. We have attempted to provide an introduction to the various ethnic community traditions such as: Native American, Croatian, Dutch, German, Hispanic, Japanese, Scandinavian, and Anglo-American; and occupational traditions such as fishing, boat building, crop and livestock farming, National Park and Forest Service work, logging, mountain guiding, horse packing, fruit growing and wine making.
Our intention has been to capture some of the local narratives and music, and to give listeners a sense of the culture of the region – past and present. Some of the people we recorded for this project come from families who have lived for up to five generations along the Cascade Loop, some who have lived here for all or most of their adult life, and others who are relative newcomers. The audio tour begins in Anacortes and travels east along SR 20 through the Skagit Valley. You will pass under Interstate 5 and continue east on SR 20 over the North Cascades Highway to the Methow Valley, and then head south to the towns of Winthrop and Twisp. At the south end of Twisp, you will continue south on SR 153 to Pateros, where you will connect with U.S. Route 97. At this junction U.S. 97 travels south along the shores of the Columbia River and then east to the town of Chelan.
The Cascade Loop Heritage Tour – North audio tour is 2 CDs accompanied by a 28 page booklet of liner notes (they include a map of the tour).
The Cascade Loop Scenic Highway is a 440-mile self-guided driving tour that encompasses a wide diversity of natural and cultural landscapes. The Loop travels from the saltwater beaches of Puget Sound through the fertile farmlands of the Skagit and Snohomish River Valleys, over three Cascade Mountain passes east to the orchard and vineyard-laden Columbia River Valley, glacier-fed Lake Chelan, and the open ranges and western frontier territory of the Methow Valley. The scenery of the Cascade Loop Highway is truly spectacular, from the high mountain peaks of the North Cascades Highway to the beauty of Tumwater Canyon; from the open, arid landscape of the Columbia River Valley to the shores of Whidbey Island. The tour follows historic Pacific Northwest transportation routes, and passes through national and state parks, national forests, historic towns and sites, and other natural and recreational areas.