Fall Roadtrip to Winthrop

Fall Roadtrip to Winthrop

With Marcus being back, I wanted to show him some of our lovely state to the north. I convinced him to do a fall road trip to Winthrop, spend the night, then come home by way of Leavenworth.

Day 1 – Hwy 20

We left early on Saturday morning, headed north on I-5, then traveled along Hwy 20, which is one of the prettiest drives in the state. It’s not called the Cascades Scenic Byway for nothing!


Our first stop was in Newhalem, which is a small community of Seattle City Light employees. Besides a general store (where we ate lunch), there is a hydroelectric plant and several easy trails.

I had given my grand-daughters cameras so they could take pictures of what they saw and found interesting. I have found that this is a great way to distract them from the fact that they are doing a lot of walking.

The first trail we did was the ladder creek falls trail. This trail was one that I couldn’t do in the past when I had bad knees, so I was keen to hike it. The trail isn’t that long, but there are a lot of steps. Besides seeing the waterfall, the forest was covered in mosses, lichen, ferns and mushrooms. It was fun teaching my grand-daughters the names of the ferns and mushrooms (I don’t remember the various names of mosses and lichens). I would quiz them every once in a while to see if they remembered.

Our next trail was the trail of cedars, which starts with a suspension bridge over the river. There was evidence of long ago fires throughout the trail, with many of the cedars having “chimneys.” This happens when the fires burn out the inside of a tree.

Gorge Dam Overlook & Diablo Lake

After we left Newhalem, we stopped at the Gorge Dam Overlook. I had been here before, but again, I didn’t see all of it/do the trail since my knees had been bad in the past. I was disappointed that I could barely see the dam due to all the foliage.

Next stop, Diablo Dam, which we drove across. On the other side, we parked and walked along part of it to get photos. Then, we pressed on to the Diablo Lake Overlook, which one of the most breath-taking views along the highway. The lake didn’t look emerald green like it usually does, so I’m assuming it was because of the time of year.

Washington Pass Overlook

Another stop we made was at the Washington Pass Overlook, with views of Liberty Bell mountain. Climbing along big boulders was a bit nerve-wrecking in areas where there were no guardrails, but I really enjoy the view from this spot. Last year was the first time I got to stop here since it’s usually still covered with snow in the spring.

We spend the night in Winthrop after introducing the Methow Valley Cider varieties to Marcus and having dinner at Three Fingered Jack’s (where I usually have dinner).

Day 2 – Hwy 2

The next morning, as we left our accommodations, we saw a hot air balloon setting sail in the lot nextdoor.

Breakfast was at the Rocking Horse Bakery. This is a hot spot for locals and we were fortunate to get served before a big crowds of people showed up.


We departed Winthrop and headed to Leavenworth. I had forgotten it was Oktoberfest, so finding parking was a bit of a chore. I ended up parking at the park down by the river.

We had lunch at a German-themed restaurant where they were playing polka music on the accordion, then wandered around town for a bit. There was also a band playing at the gazebo and horse & buggies waiting to take tourists on rides. The crowds were a bit much, so we didn’t stay very long before hitting the road again.

Heading home on Hwy 2, we stopped at Deception Falls, which I had just been to a few days before (with the parks department).

Bob’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Farm

Since it was October, we also made a stop near Monroe at Bob’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Farm. The traffic getting close to the farm was horrid. Aveneigh had to pee really bad, but there was nowhere to pull over (no shoulders) and I couldn’t go around traffic. It took us a good 30 minutes to drive about a mile before we got parked.

The girls were able to run off some energy at the farm and were almost falling asleep as we neared home.

It was a good weekend!

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