Five Fun Facts About North Central Washington Highways

US 2 Pedestrian Bridge
You simply cannot get around the North Central Washington region without traveling on the roads. The roads themselves not only connect to a lot of interesting places, they also have an interesting history themselves.

Here is a look at five fun facts about the highways of North Central Washington.

Highway 97

Highway 97 is the major north-south route through North Central Washington. It actually stops at Peshastin, or the Big Y, and runs concurrently with Highway 2 from there to Orondo, before being signed alone as Highway 97 again.

Lake Wenatchee to Leavenworth

Highway 207 runs from Coles Corner out to Lake Wenatchee State Park. The road from there that goes to the community of Plain and beyond to Leavenworth is a county road. It was once maintained by the Washington State Department of Transportation and known as Highway 209. This was discontinued as a state highway in 1992.

Highway 285

Highway 285 is just over five miles in length and stretches from its intersection with Highway 28 in East Wenatchee, over the George Sellar Bridge, and through Wenatchee out to the north end of the city where it meets Highway 2. This was all part of Highway 2 until that highway was rerouted over the newly built Odabashian Bridge in 1975.

Interstate 90

Interstate 90 runs east to west through the southern part of North Central Washington. It enters the region from the west over the Vantage Bridge. Prior to that bridge being built, traffic on this route had to cross the Columbia River by ferry.

The Cascade Loop

The Cascade Loop is one of the most popular scenic road trip routes in the Pacific Northwest. The Cascade Loop crosses three mountain passes including Stevens Pass, Rainy Pass, and Washington Pass.

10 Places To Go In North Central Washington In 2017

10 Places To Go In NCW In 2017

North Central Washington is a great destination for anyone to visit from around the Pacific Northwest. It has a lot to offer in the world of attractions and destination communities. So many that even local residents can have incredible experiences without even leaving their home region. Visitors coming from outside the area are often struck by experiences and sights that they never thought they’d see.

A new year is upon us and here’s a great look at 10 places you can visit in North Central Washington in 2017 which will help to have the best year ever.

Washington Pass

Washington Pass, high in the North Cascades, is where highway 20 crosses the mountains. The scenery there is amazing, whether in the Spring, Summer, or Fall. The highway there is closed during the Winter due to the significant snowfall. Bring your camera if you plan on driving over Washington Pass.

Conconully, Washington

Conconully is a small community in Okanogan County, wedged between Conconully Lake and Conconully Reservoir. When you visit Conconully, you can check out Conconully State Park and get out on the water there for both recreation and fishing. This really is a beautiful little part of North Central Washington.

Crescent Bar, Washington

Crescent Bar is one of the more popular destinations during the summer months in North Central Washington. It features golf courses, condominiums, restaurants, shops, beaches, campsites, and more. Getting out on the Columbia River there is something that many people head out for year after year.

Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee is a beautiful lake in the Cascade Mountains. It’s home to fishing, waterskiing, boating, swimming, kayaking, and more. You can even go rafting on the Wenatchee River right from where the lake drains out. Lake Wenatchee features a state park on the east end and a campground on the west end. There are vacation homes right there, as well as camping opportunities, or you can stay nearby in the communities of Coles Corner, Plain, and Leavenworth.

Vantage, Washington

Vantage, Washington sits on the Columbia River, on the Kittitas County side, downriver from Crescent Bar and just upriver from the Wanapum Dam. This very cool area of the region shows off great rural scenery and beautiful sights along the river. Some of the attractions within driving distance from there include Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams, the Gorge Amphitheater, Wild Horse Wind Farm, the Beverly Off Road Vehicle Park, and more.

Park and Blue Lakes

Located on Highway 17, just south of Coulee City and just north of Soap Lake, Park Lake and Blue Lake are often overlooked as destinations. Fishing, boating, kayaking, and more are allowed out on the water there and the surrounding scenery is very dramatic. Vacation rentals are available and there are also camping options, including cabin rentals.

Oroville, Washington

When you visit Oroville, Washington you’re visiting one of the northernmost communities in North Central Washington. Oroville is a small rural community but it sits right on the southern shores of beautiful Osoyoos Lake. This lake straddles the border and is found partially in Washington State and partially in British Columbia. This is truly getting away from it all and puts you very close to several attractions that are often never visited by travelers, or even locals for that matter.

Republic, Washington

The town of Republic, Washington is located on Highway 20 in the easternmost portion of North Central Washington. It has a very Old West feel to it and is situated near a great many outdoor recreation options. Getting to Republic is half the fun too as it can lead you up and over Sherman or Wauconda passes, or across Lake Roosevelt via the Keller Ferry.

Banks Lake

Banks Lake is a man made lake made in the upper Grand Coulee and filled with water pumped in from Grand Coulee Dam. Visiting Banks Lake lets you get out on some of the best water in the area. All of the most popular forms of water recreation are available there. You can experience it as part of a stay at Steamboat Rock State Park or also in hotels and vacation rentals in and around Electric City or Coulee City. When there, make sure not to pass up seeing the laser light show that’s played right on the impressive Grand Coulee Dam.

Wellington, Washington

The former townsite of Wellington is located just west of the summit of Stevens Pass. This is the site of deadliest avalanche in United States history. In 1910, a massive snowslide came down the mountain, hitting a train filled with passengers as well as workers for the Great Northern Railway. Visit Wellington today and you’ll find the concrete and stone ruins of former railroad buildings and several historical points of interest. This is also the east end of the Iron Goat Trail and if you follow it just a short distance from the parking lot you’ll soon be walking through abandoned snow sheds once used for protecting trains from further avalanche danger.

North Central Washington is a beautiful area filled with tons of great places to see and experience. Visiting any of the destinations listed above is a great way to have a fun time in this very nice little region of Washington State.

Experience The Hotel Rio Vista In Winthrop, Washington

Winthrop Washington
North Central Washington has a lot of great destinations located within its boundaries. One of the more popular places to head to is the Old West themed town of Winthrop in the Methow Valley. This is one community that really knows how to show visitors a good time. Whether you’re going there as a romantic getaway or a family vacation, you’re sure to have an awesome experience.

NCWpics Hotel Rio Vista Front

Anyone who chooses to visit Winthrop, Washington should count themselves lucky if they get the opportunity to spend the night in the Hotel Rio Vista. From your first walk through the door, it’s very easy to get a feel for how friendly and welcoming it is there. You’ll also love the great Old West look to the entire facility. Though its located in a small rural getaway, the Hotel Rio Vista is very modern too. The cleanliness is also immediately noticeable.

NCWpics Hotel Rio Vista Room

The rooms at the Hotel Rio Vista are a plus too. They’r every comfortable and warmly decorated. They also offer everything you’ll need to make your stay there just perfect. One of the best parts about getting a room at the Hotel Rio Vista is that each one comes with its own private deck. Walking out in the morning, afternoon, or evening and enjoying the riverfront view is a very special part of staying there. It doesn’t matter if you’re there during spring, summer, fall, or winter either.

NCWpics Hotel Rio Vista Room

Winthrop has a lot to offer. There’s a nearby museum detailing the area’s history, a fun selection of shops, a great pedestrian suspension bridge, lots of nice places to have a meal, and of course some great late night places as well. You can even find live music available at times. All of this and more are easily reached on foot from the Hotel Rio Vista. In fact, this is another of the hotel’s strong points, its location.

Winthrop on the Cascade Loop ~29

You can’t go wrong spending time in Winthrop. It’s a very unique spot in North Central Washington and one both locals and those from outside the area should experience. If you’re looking for a place to stay when you visit there, check out the Hotel Rio Vista.


A Wenatchee Area Christmas Light Must-See

If you love Christmas lights and live in the Wenatchee area, you need to check out the Nelson Family Lights!  A light display so awesome it has its own Facebook page:

This fantastic LED light display is set to music you can listen along to.  Just pull up, find a safe parking spot, make sure you’re not blocking the road or the driveway, and tune to 105.5 on your car radio.  Here’s a very small sample.

Thanks for the family fun, Nelson Family!

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