Mount Vernon to Seattle
- Distance: 69 miles
- Routes: Marine Drive, Old Highway 99
- Estimated Driving Time: 1.5 hours
The region produces some of the most abundant crops in western Washington. The black soil, rich in humus, frequently bears in a single season a succession of spinach, lettuce, onions, peas, and carrots without depleting the soil. Cabbage, beets, and turnips, and their seed, are important local yields.
Today this area is known for its Daffodil and Tulip fields, inspiring Skagit Valley’s most popular tourist attraction, the annual Tulip Festival.
Turbulent at their headwaters, the Skagit, the Stillaguamish, and the Snohomish Rivers become broad, sluggish, silt-laden rivers, which have built up broad deltas, cut by sloughs rank with cattails and tules. Occasionally a salt marsh is seen, where sea and silt battle for possession.
The flatness of the land, in conjunction with the heavy rainfall and the melting mountain snows, often brought floods in early spring. Even before the forests were cut away the rivers frequently overflowed their banks, spreading desolation and destruction over the lowlands; and with the conversion of more and more land to agriculture, the threat of floods proportionately increased, so that the farmer came to look with apprehension at lowering clouds and the steady fall of the rain. He watched the swirling water rising, and not infrequently saw it spread its load of silt, debris, and uprooted trees over his pastures, maroon his stock, and at times even sweep away his house and barns. Today, much of the menace of these floods has been eliminated by the diking of river banks and the draining of sloughs.