Best of the South Cascades
Snoqualmie Falls: Made famous by David Lynch in his eerie 1990s classic Twin Peaks, this is the most easily accessible and picturesque waterfall in the state.
Roslyn: Another darling of TV fans, this quiet village is as cute in real life as it looked when it played Cicely, Alaska, in Northern Exposure.
Green River Gorge: The emerald banks of this white-water retreat are bookended by two fabulous state parks.
Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad: You’ll get enough snapshot opportunities to fill a photo album aboard the open-air car chugging along this line.
Paradise: The first European settlers gave the flower-filled subalpine valley beneath Rainier its heavenly name the moment they set foot there. No one’s argued with their assessment ever since.
Sunrise: The highest point you can reach by automobile in the entire Mount Rainier National Park, this spot offers the most stunning views of the mountain and dozens of trails for exploration.
Johnston Ridge Visitor Center: Even nearly 30 years after Mount Saint Helens blew its top, the surrounding blast zone is an awesome sight. See the toothpick-like timbers strewn in Spirit Lake, the remnants of mudflows, and the mountain itself from a perch on this ridge.
Ape Cave: Formed when St. Helens erupted 1,900 years ago, these lava tubes were carved out when a lava flow cooled on the surface but magma continued to ooze below ground for a short time.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition