North Cascades Highway - Washington Pass Observation Point


What? :

Short paved trail from the parking lot will take you to a stunning view of Washington Pass, North Cascades Highway from above, Liberty Bell Mountain, Early Winters Spires, and Kangaroo Ridge.

From here you will have near-360 views of one of the most iconic spots along the North Cascades Highway.

This is a must stop destination when you are passing here.



Where? :

Located short drive off North Cascades Highway (highway 20).

If you are driving from west to east on highway 20 drive for 30.6 miles east of Diablo Lake Vista Point. The turn left is located before reaching the sharp crossing of the mountain pass. Turn into the left side forest road and drive quarter of a mile to the parking area.

From Winthrop, drive west 30 miles on Highway 20, turn right onto paved road to Washington Pass Overlook, drive quarter of a mile to parking area.

Google Map Link



When? :

Access road Highway 20 is closed in the winter months and usually reopens in May.

For current forest service road, trail or campground conditions go to:

The park is open year-round.


Due note 1: Free of charge.


Due note 2: You can find near the parking lot Picnic tables and Toilets.


Due note 3: day use only. No camping allowed in this area.


Due note 4: Plan for half hour or so to stroll around the paved trails and enjoy the view. If you are short on time this can be a 5-minute stop on your North Cascades Highway drive.



My thoughts:

I was not sure if it worth the drive up to this point and then turn around and drive back to Seattle, but I did not regret this decision.

The drive itself east is worth the visit, mountain ranges covered with forests on both sides of the road, vista locations and the view from this location is breathtaking.

The viewing deck is overlooking the deep canyon to the test following the road and towering from the southwest Liberty Bell Mountain towering above you.

The visit:


Starting at the parking lot take the trail enter on the right.

There is a very short paved fully accessible trail to viewpoint.

Follow the trail in the forest and soon you will get to the edge of the rock and the views open up to an high alpine beauty.

The view to the east rises high above Highway 20 below. On the other side of the valley towering up series of connected ridgelines (Vasiliki Ridge, Snagtooth Ridge, Kangaroo Ridge) that are creating a tall wall.

Infront of the viewing platform you can see below you how highway 20 cross the Washington Pass (Pacific crest pass) and with a sharp 180 degree turn getting down into the deep canyon below you.

Above the pass you can see the dominate mountains of Liberty Bell Mountain and Early Winters Spires Mountain.


The view is incredible, and you can spend here some time.


When you are done the trail doing a loop to the left, climb the rock and provide more viewing angles.


A very short walk will bring you back to the parking lot.



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