Description - US 2 includes one of Washington's two year-round accessible mountain passes. The 105-mile scenic byway winds through the rugged, forested North Cascade Rangea and runs along the wild and scenic Skykomish and Wenatchee rivers.
Originally developed for the Old Great Northern Railway, the route is rich in rail history and is now considered a major corridor for rail freight mobility.
Year-round recreation opportunities include white-water rafting, hiking, skiing, and auto touring.
- The Stevens Pass Greenway is known for it's Archeology, Historical, Natural, Recreational and Scenic Attractions.
Recreation - Opportunities for outdoor recreation are abundant. There are two wilderness areas for hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders. Many rivers and streams provide opportunities for spending an afternoon trying to pull fish from the water. The national forest has constructed several campgrounds that provide just the right spot for pitching a tent or parking your RV. Wildlife observers can spend their time seeking the many species inhabiting the area.
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.
This drive takes travelers across densely forested Snoqualmie and Wenatchee National Forests as it crosses 4,061-foot Stevens Pass. The byway begins climbing the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains from Gold Bar to its climax at the pass and then descends into Leavenworth. The rushing South Fork of the Skykomish River, with its many cascading waterfalls, flows alongside from Gold Bar to Deception Creek Campground. At that point the Tye River will take over and show you the way to Stevens Pass. Tye River has a couple of scenic waterfalls to show off, too. Beyond the pass, Nason Creek will accompany you to WA 207, just north of Winton.