The deep, glacially sculpted channels of the Puget Sound are rich in islands. This tour explores three of the major islands. Each island tour is geographically separated and best approached as individual trips due to the logistics of ferry travel. The San Juan Island tour follows the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway.
Take history with you while exploring Washington.
These tours are updated from the original 1941 Washington, A Guide to the Evergreen State, one of the last and largest guide books of the American Guide Series published by the Federal Writer’s Project. The curated tours blend the rich, flowing narrative style of pre-war documentaries with fresh updates and digital maps to guide you.
A constantly varying panorama unfolds on the cross-state route between the Idaho Line and Seattle, from Eastern Washington’s fields and orchards, ancient lava flow outcroppings, and powerful hydroelectric history, crossing the mountains of the Cascade Range to Western Washington’s forests, lakes, and populous Puget Sound communities.
Large, well-cultivated farms alternate with stretches of uninhabited range; at widely spaced intervals small towns, ganglia of settlement, are strung along the highway. Travel through large, well-cultivated farms alternating with stretches of uninhabited range and dots of small towns.
Travel through dry wheatlands and occasional patches of scab rock and sagebrush. The route rises slowly with curves and dips, reaching the Columbia River, then descending dizzily by a winding three-mile grade into the canyon carved by the river to one of the wonders of the world, Coulee Dam, a project begun in 1933 and completed in 1941.
One of the four routes across the Cascade Mountains, US 2, known as Stevens Pass, traverses rugged, sparsely settled territory almost from its eastern point of departure near Leavenworth. This tour follows the Stevens Pass Greenway Scenic Byway into the heart of the North Cascade Mountains.
The tour follows the course of the Lewis and Clark scenic byway along the Columbia River along the Oregon border. The landscape changes dramatically between the east and west sides of the state and passes through several scenic areas.
The tour traverses two distinctly contrasting regions, different in topography, vegetation, climate, economy, and cultural development, but held together by a common dependence upon Spokane, the hub city of the Inland Empire. The southern portion follows parts of the Palouse Scenic Byway.
Tucked into the northeast corner of the state, this tour follows the North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway and the International Selkirk Loop along the Pend Oreille river through the heart of the Colville National Forest. Small communities line the glacially carved valley with multiple side trips to explore sites tucked deep into the surrounding mountains.
This tour traverses a region of mountains, rolling prairies, and sagebrush wastes. From the Laurier near the Canadian Border to Pasco, the highway curves through mountain-flanked highland valleys before cutting across the farmland of the Palouse.
The tour crosses the state between Maryhill and the Canadian Border passing sacred sites of Native American Tribes, as well as former gold camps, sawmills, and cattle ranches. The north portion follows the Okanogan Trails Scenic Byway.
This tour roughly follows the north/south route of the old Pacific Highway, SR 99. Today, many parts of the old highway still exist, and long sections of this historic route can be driven from the Canadian border to Vancouver.
This tour follows the Mount Baker Scenic Byway between Bellingham and Artist Point at the base of Mount Baker, the northern most peak of the Cascade volcanoes. The tour passes through cedar forests, and by spectacular waterfalls and rugged peaks.
Travel through the jagged glaciated peaks of the North Cascade Mountains between the lower Skagit and Methow valleys. The tour winds through rich agricultural lands, dense forests and alpine mountain passes along the North Cascades Scenic Byway.
The main route to Mount Rainier National Park, the State’s greatest mountain recreational area, the tour leads from prairie lowlands upward through rugged, thickly wooded foothills to the southwest entrance of the park. A portion of the tour follows the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway along SR 410.
This tour follows the White Pass Scenic Byway between Mary’s Corner and White Pass. The tour crosses the fertile flats of the Chehalis and Newaukum Rivers and then roughly parallels the winding Cowlitz River, which, although seldom visible, is never more than a few miles from the highway.
The tour follows the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway as it skirts the many-fingered upper reaches of Puget Sound, and then cuts across to Hood Canal, which it follows to Quimper Peninsula. Swinging in a westerly direction, the route roughly parallels Juan de Fuca Strait then turns to the south following the Pacific Coast.
The tour follows the wooded eastern shore of upper Hood Canal, cuts through logged-off land to Sinclair Inlet, and skirts the numerous bays and coves of the west shore of Puget Sound. The tour twists and turns through wooded areas alternating with truck farms, berry fields, and grazing land.