Description - Washington offers twelve state designated byways, two National Scenic Byways (Mountains to Sound Greenway and Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway) and one All-American Road (Mather Memorial Parkway).
As you travel east along Mountains to Sound Greenway, you will experience lush green forests, the marine beauty of Puget Sound, pastoral valleys, and a dramatic mountain landscape. You will also pass through a complete revolution in climate, geology, and hometown style. Reaching farther out into the cold waters of the North Pacific than any other point of mainland in the lower 48 states, Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway, located in the northwest corner of Washington State, is a remote stretch of coastline with rugged cliffs and forests. The Mather Memorial Parkway is possibly the most scenic route crossing the Cascade Mountain Range, and it is the most accessible road for viewing Mount Rainier. These and the numerous state designated byways provide scenic access to this spectacular state.
Recreation - Byways provide access to numerous cultural, historical, natural, recreational and scenic sites. Some of the most popular activities along the byways include hiking, camping, picnicking, biking, fishing, photographing scenery, viewing historic sites and of course scenic driving.
Climate - Washington's climate varies with each region. The Cascades split the state and alter weather patterns. The terrain east of the mountains receives significantly less rainfall than that west of the mountains, 12 inches is the annual average. Temperatures in this region are lower during the winter months, because it is landlocked. Frequent winds coming down from the mountains also contribute to the low temperatures of eastern Washington.
Western Washington is temperate, due to the coastal geography. The water is a stabilizing force for the climate, making extreme temperatures rare. The area receives large amounts of rainfall from Pacific storms and some snow during winter months.
The mountains of Washington receive large amounts of water-laden snow from October through May. These peaks remain snow covered throughout the year.
Byways travel through scenic and historic areas throughout the state. Maps are available on the individual pages.