Fall is an excellent time for a weekend drive to see changing colors on trees, including larch trees whose needles turn golden. This overlook offers...
Location: Along Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway).
Habitat: A 5,477-foot mountain pass with alpine areas and coniferous forests.
Best viewing seasons: Summer and fall. This stretch of highway is blocked by snow in winter; it often closes for the season by early November. Fall is an excellent time for a weekend drive to see changing colors on trees, including larch trees whose needles turn golden. This overlook offers some of Washington’s most spectacular and accessible mountain scenery, as well as good birding.
Birds commonly seen: Species include Clark’s nutcracker, pine grosbeak, red crossbill, gray jay, red-naped sapsucker, mountain and chestnut-backed chickadee, brown creeper, varied thrush, and dark-eyed junco.
Viewing tips: On road to parking area, check meadow for sandpipers. From parking area, follow the 0.1-mile Overlook Trail through old-growth Pacific silver fir and mountain hemlock.
Facilities: This site has restrooms and is wheelchair accessible.
Getting there: From Interstate 5 at Burlington, Skagit County, take Highway 20 east to Milepost 162.3, turn north onto Washington Pass Overlook Road, and continue a half-mile to the parking area.
Source: Audubon Washington. For a free map of Washington birding sites, call 866-922-4737 and ask for the Great Washington State Birding Trail map, or request online at www.wa.audubon.org.
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