Mountain Loop Auto Tour
By John King
Our Mountain Loop Auto Tour traces a scenic 112-mile route from the Puget Sound Lowlands into the Cascade Range, passing through historic mill towns, 19th Century mining camps and ghost towns, farms and pine forests. There’s much to do along the way, whether that be stopping for a bite along the waterfront in historic Everett or hiking along a mountain trail to an ice cave or former mining camp where men dug for ore more than 120 years ago.
Along the way, you will travel at spots below sea level and over passes surrounded by stunning snow-clad peaks. All of this is within the boundary of Snohomish County.
Keep in mind that the route includes a stretch of gravel roadway on The Mountain Loop Highway, and the condition of unpaved section depends on how recently it has been graded and maintained. The upper portion of the Mountain Loop between Silverton and Darrington is closed in winter, usually from late November or December into March or April, depending on winter snows. Expect to the tour to take more than three hours for the drive alone.