By far the most scenic view on my drive through the Washington Cascades several weeks ago now was the 14,000 foot snow-capped volcanic peak, Mt. Rainer, seen in the photo above, taken from a scenic lookout on the side of the highway near the top of the pass.
Heading into the mountains from eastern Washington, the scenery at first resembled any other northwest mountain forest I had been in, not much unlike the Rocky Mountains I’m familiar with in Montana.
But then as we gained elevation, the scenery began to change, as the forests got thicker, with evergreen trees bigger than I had ever seen before, and then there was a miles-long high mountain reservoir to drive by.
It was difficult to get a good picture of some of the tallest trees, due to their height, and I was blown away by the size of some of the mature fir trees I saw on this drive.
Apparently the wet climate creates ideal conditions for tree growth, and for cedars, which I also hadn’t seen in person before.
The cedar branches are not only physically unique, but also quite aromatic compared to most other evergreen trees.
After making our way down the western side of the cascades, the scenic views from the low-elevation valley were welcoming.
Dakota enjoyed our brief stop at a scenic rest area, before the final leg of the drive to our Washington destination.