Description - The Mather Memorial Parkway is possibly the most scenic route crossing the Cascade Mountain Range, and it is the most accessible road for viewing Mount Rainier. Mount Rainier National Park (which the byway travels through) was established in 1890, and the Mather Parkway was established in 1931. Because of its National Park status, all features in the park are protected.
The route has a uniquely varied landscape. Traveling east, the route climbs through a closed canopy of Douglas Fir. At Chinook Pass, the roadway descends dramatically through the Wenatchee National Forest and along the American River. The road also passes the unique basalt flows of the Columbia Plateau. The byway ends near the fertile agricultural valleys of Yakima County.
- The Mather Memorial Parkway - SR 410 is known for it's Archeology, Cultural, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.
Recreation - Two national forest campgrounds are located along the byway between Enumclaw and Chinook Pass. The Dalles Campground has a total of 44 RV and tent sites; Silver Springs has 55 sites. Both campgrounds are open May through September. There are no hookups. Numerous public campgrounds are located between Chinook Pass and Naches. A side trip down Bumping Lake Road yields even more national forest campgrounds.
Stephen Mather Memorial Parkway also provides access to Mount Rainier National Park, which contains Washington's highest peak. Mount Rainier is 14,410 feet high and supports the largest glacial system in the lower 48 states. There are 27 named glacier encompassing 35 square miles. The park has six campgrounds with a total of 600 campsites. Two hotels, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are also within the park.
Climate - Washington's climate varies with each region. The Cascades split the state and alter weather patterns. The terrain east of the mountains receives significantly less rainfall than that west of the mountains, 12 inches is the annual average. Temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months, because it is landlocked. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.
Western Washington is temperate, due to the coastal geography. The water is a stabilizing force for the climate, making extreme temperatures rare. The area receives large amounts of rainfall from Pacific storms and some snow during winter months.
The mountains of Washington receive large amounts of water-laden snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year.
Stephen Mather Memorial Parkway is in west-central Washington 40 miles southeast of Seattle. It begins in Enumclaw and travels southeast to Naches. It follows WA 410, a two-lane paved road suitable for all vehicles, and is about 90 miles long. The byway is usually open year-round; temporary closure is possible in winter.
Directions from : There are two main ways to access this byway:
- From Tacoma, Washington: Take Interstate 5, exit 167, to the intersection with SR 410, located between Puyallup and Sumner, Washington. Proceed east on SR 410 to Enumclaw to the western entrance of the scenic byway.
- From Seattle, Washington: Proceed south on Interstate 5 to Highway 18 in Federal Way. Go east to the intersection with route 164 and proceed southeast to Enumclaw. From the eastern side, the route is reached by traveling to Yakima on Interstate 82. At Yakima, exit I-82 and proceed northwest on SR 12 Naches, the eastern entrance of the route.