Washington Pass Overlook is an obligatory stop on the North Cascades Highway. At 5,500 feet, it is the road's highest point and the dividing line between eastern and western Washington. The pass features restrooms, picnic areas, interpretive signage, and an overlook with incredible mountain views. It's the perfect roadside rest area for drivers crossing the state.
From the parking lot, walk 400 feet along a paved, flat trail to the overlook. At just a quarter mile round trip, anyone can do it. Prepare for awesome views. Once you reach the mile-high rocky outcropping you will be surrounded by North Cascade peaks. The Liberty Bell Group in particular demands the most attention. This family of nearly 8,000-foot spires rises dramatically to the south, inspiring countless photo shoots, posters, and logos bearing its likeness.
700 feet below, a hairpin turn in the North Cascades Highway seemingly slows traffic to a crawl. Check out Kangaroo Ridge to the east, where you're likely to spot golden larch trees in October. Follow the trail around for a short loop up some stairs and back to the parking lot. Or, take the flat route back to your car. Either way, the views will leave you breathless.