You Haven’t Truly Experienced The Pacific Northwest Until You’ve Driven These 11 Stunning Scenic Drives

The Pacific Northwest offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States.

If you’ve never taken a drive through this part of the country, you’re in for a treat in this article.

In it, we’ll show you the 11 most stunning drives in the Pacific Northwest.

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway (Oregon)

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Spanning the entire Oregon coastline along Highway 101, this drive offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, access to beautiful beaches, and passes through quaint coastal towns.

The Palouse Scenic Byway (Washington)

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A different experience from the mountainous and coastal routes, this drive winds through the rolling hills of the Palouse region in Eastern Washington. 

The area is known for its picturesque farmlands, with undulating fields of wheat and lentils, especially beautiful in the spring and summer months

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (Oregon/Washington)

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This area can be explored via Interstate 84 in Oregon or Highway 14 in Washington. 

It’s famous for its numerous waterfalls, including the magnificent Multnomah Falls, and the dramatic vistas of the Columbia River Gorge.

Chuckanut Drive (Washington) 

Starting near Burlington and ending in Bellingham, this drive offers stunning views of the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. 

The route, known as State Route 11, winds through forested cliffs and alongside oyster beds, with stops for beach access and hiking trails.

The Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (Oregon/California)

 This route extends from Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park to California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park, tracing the region’s volcanic history. 

The drive offers views of ancient lava flows, deep calderas, and geothermal features.

North Cascades Scenic Highway (Washington) 

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Highway 20 traverses the North Cascades National Park, offering views of jagged peaks, alpine lakes, and glaciers. 

This route is typically open from late spring through early fall due to heavy snow in the winter.

Going-to-the-Sun Road (Montana)

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While slightly outside the traditional Pacific Northwest boundaries, this road in Glacier National Park is too spectacular to omit. 

It crosses the park and offers unparalleled views of the Rocky Mountains’ rugged terrain, though it’s only open seasonally.

Mount Rainier National Park (Washington)

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The drive around Mt. Rainier offers stunning views of the volcano, wildflower meadows in the summer, and access to numerous hiking trails.

Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway (Oregon) 

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Starting in Bend, this route passes through the Deschutes National Forest and alongside several beautiful lakes with the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.

San Juan Islands Scenic Byway (Washington)

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This unique drive includes driving on some of the islands and taking ferries between others, offering beautiful coastal views, charming towns, and the chance to see orcas in the wild.

Olympic Peninsula Loop (Washington)

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This drive circles the Olympic National Park, providing views of the Pacific coastline, alpine ranges, and temperate rainforests. 

Highlights include the Hoh Rain Forest and the rugged beaches near La Push.