Mountains to Sound Greenway
- DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1998)
- Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
- Length101 miles
Television show backdrops, equestrian trails, a salmon hatchery, hang-gliding lessons, and Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market all await visitors to the byway. The diversity of experiences along the route contributes to a rich experience as drivers head east through farm towns and bustling downtowns.
Story of the Byway
Long before early explorers came to the Northwest, Native Americans on both sides of the mountains carved foot trails across the Central Cascades, including Snoqualmie Pass, to hunt deer, elk and other game animals, fish for salmon, and gather berries. They also traveled to this area to gather wild plants for food, medicinal purposes, and basket weaving. Pacific Northwest tribes like the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe and Yakama Nation, used foot and horse trails across the Central Cascade mountains for trading as it had the lowest pass elevation in the territory.
Points of Interest
Pike Place Market
Hundreds of shops selling local food, flowers and crafts; its non-profit foundation supports housing and services for low-income residents
Issaquah Salmon Hatchery
Educational, small-group tours; year-round activities and gardens
Historic coal mining and railroad town featured in the TV series “Northern Exposure”, nearby four-star golf courses
Nearly 270 feet tall, the falls can be viewed from upper and lower observation decks, with illumination in the evening
Explore the Greenway
Start off in Seattle, a wonderful city filled with fun for all ages. Be sure to stop by the Jim Ellis Freeway Park before you begin your journey. Continue east, where you will find a number of parks waiting for you. Check out the Mercer Slough Nature Park in Bellevue or discover hikes in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Grand Ridge Park, or Taylor Mountain Forest.
Make your way to Tanner, where you will find a number of great hiking trails such as the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, the Twin Falls Park Trail or the Mount Si Trail. Continuing in the Snoqualmie River Valley are museums such as the Washington State Ski and Snowboard Museum, which documents the history of snow parks in Washington State.
In Easton, stop by the Lake Easton State Park for hiking, biking, boating, fishing, and camping, as well as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Easton is a quaint little railroad town with great destinations to stop for lunch.
Continue through the mountains to Cle Elum, where horse lovers will discover Washington State Horse Park, featuring recreational riding as well as competitive events and shows or take a hike on the Coal Mines Trail, which connects the historic towns of Cle Elum Roslyn, and Ronald through Central Washington Forests and past small mountains of tailings from coal mining days.
As you drive towards Ellenburg, the end of the byway, visit the Historic Thorp Mill, built in 1883. In Ellenburg, be sure to visit the Kittitas County Historical Museum before you end your trip.
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