If you attempt to replicate — or top! — our grand Cascade Loop adventure, here are some helpful travel tips, and a more detailed breakdown of all the places we visited.
Tips on planning your dog-friendly vacation:
- It sounds elementary, but remember food and water for your dog. A portable water bowl for on-the-road hydration is also essential.
- If you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to administer your dog’s flea and tick medicine right beforehand.
- Look up weather before you go. Your dog may need weather-specific gear. A raincoat if it’s very wet, or bootees if it’s very cold.
- When looking for dog-friendly lodging, tourist bureau guidebooks are a good place to start. But websites like bringfido.com and GoPetFriendly.com can also be good resources. Hotels that allow dogs generally charge a small pet fee ($10-$20) per night. It’s also a good idea to bring copies of your dog’s vaccination records.
- To find dog-friendly restaurants on the road, Yelp’s search function has a filter that allows you to search for restaurants that allow dogs.
- Many restaurants with outdoor dining allow you to have your dog with you, but don’t assume. When in doubt, call ahead.
- In the car, a seat cover will help preserve the longevity of your upholstery, and a doggy seat belt or car crate will help keep your dog safe on the road.
Tips on planning your Cascades Loop road trip:
- Give yourself four to five days to do the whole loop. That way, you’ll get to stop and explore instead of just rolling through it all.
- The Cascade Loop Association publishes a handy guide book to a road trip around the Cascade Loop (cascadeloop.com). They’ll even send you a free paper copy with a pullout driving map if you request one.
- Touring the loop counterclockwise will give you the most scenic views.
More details on some of the dog-friendly stops we made along the Cascade Loop:
Wallace River Salmon Hatchery
Small, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it attraction where you can learn about the life cycle of salmon. Fifteen minutes is all you’ll need.
14418 383rd Ave. S.E., Sultan, WA 98294
Leavenworth Sausage Garten
For $7, you get a big, juicy sausage with a toasted bun. There’s also all-you-can-eat sauerkraut and a mustard condiment bar. Oh, and big, big beers. On some nights, there’s also live music.
636 Front St. #G, Leavenworth, WA 98826
The beers are named after dogs — they’re German-style and pretty good too! Oh and there’s some dog-themed merchandise for sale. This brewery is tiny, but they’ll love your dog and if you need help finding them, they’re in the basement of Der Hinterhof Hotel.
321 Ninth St., Leavenworth, WA 98826
9/11 Spirit of America Memorial
The memorial includes a steel section that came from the 60th floor of one of the World Trade Center towers, and a section of the Pentagon that was hit on Sept. 11, 2001. There’s also a bronze sculpture of a firefighter, an office worker, a military officer and a flight attendant holding hands, with an open spot between two of the figures’ outstretched hands. An accompanying plaque notes that this “pays tribute to those who perished in the attacks but were never recovered.”
201 Riverside Drive, Cashmere, WA 98815
Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel
Dog-friendly hotel in Wenatchee just a few blocks from the riverfront. The pet fee was an extra $10 per stay, and you have to sign a waiver.
201 N. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801
Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market
Operates three seasonal markets with local vendors right outside the Pybus Public Market. Look out for the red “public market” sign that looks like the one outside Seattle’s Pike Place Market. The Summer Market is an open-air market that runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays from May through October. This is dog-friendly. You can’t bring dogs inside Pybus Public Market, though.
7 N. Worthen St., Wenatchee, WA 98801
Wells Dam Overlook Park
Think of this more as a pit stop on your road trip than as a stand-alone attraction — it’s right off Highway 97 and there are restrooms! Check out the turbine runner on display, learn about the Wells Hydroelectric Project through some interactive displays, peer down at the Wells Dam, and be on your way!
28905 U.S. Route 97, Chelan, WA 98818
Blue Star Coffee Roasters
Wholesale producer of small-batch, artisan coffee. Open 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Caffeinate for the rest of your drive, pick up a bag of coffee, and browse their merchandise.
3 Twisp Airport Road, Twisp, WA 98856
This is a cool area to check out. Located in a 6.4-acre lot formerly home to the Twisp Ranger Station, this campus has local businesses, art studios and art installations for you to explore. Occasionally, there’s live music too.
502 S. Glover St., Twisp, WA 98856
North Cascades Smokejumper Base
The Methow Valley is the birthplace of smokejumping and the North Cascades Smokejumper Base welcomes visitors during fire season, June 1-Oct. 1. You can tour the base for free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
23 Intercity Airport Road, Winthrop, WA 98862
Winthrop KOA campground
Offers tent sites and log cabins. Family-friendly. The weekend we were there, the campground was packed with families and children biking, playing in the playground and swimming in the tiny pool. There’s even a small enclosed play area for dogs. If you’re the kind of person who wants Wi-Fi access while camping, this is a good option. Our cabin came with air conditioning and cost $85 before tax. Dogs welcome for a $12 pet fee.
1114 state Route 20, Winthrop, WA 98862
North Cascades National Park
Incredible scenery, so much to do. Dogs aren’t allowed on the hiking trails, but you can always do just a driving tour. Be sure to spot by the Ross Lake and Diablo Lake overlooks — or the lakes themselves! Directions for the visitor center below.
Across the Skagit River from the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) near milepost 120 and the town of Newhalem. Adjacent to Newhalem Creek Campground.
Canyon Creek Trail
This is part of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Canyon Creek trail leads to a fork. Go left and you’re on the Jackita Ridge Trail where you’ll find the remains of a cabin that was originally built by three sailors in 1902. The Canyon Creek Bridge on this trail was recently destroyed by a falling tree, so the trail is currently impassable. Go back to the fork and go right and you’ll hit the Chancellor Trail. This hike is 13.8 miles round trip, but the weekend we were there, signs indicated that the trail is closed to hikers 5 miles in due to landslides and unstable slopes.
From Winthrop: drive 55 miles down state Route 20 west, or 32.8 miles east if coming from Marblemount. Canyon Creek Trailhead is around milepost 141.
It surprised us to find such a tasty gluten-free restaurant in the middle of the small town of Concrete. But, if you’re gluten free and craving delicious baked goods, this place is arguably worth the drive from Seattle in itself. The mac and cheese and the calzones are highly recommended, as are the chicken potpies, cheesecake and brownies. Basically, it’s all good. They’re open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but closed on Tuesdays.
45597 Main St., Concrete, WA 98237
Best Western Plus Oak Harbor Hotel
The hotel allows pets based on whether they have pet-friendly rooms available. A pet rate of $15 per day applies. They can accommodate up to two dogs per room. Room rate includes free breakfast.
33175 state Route 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
Ebey’s Landing is the nation’s first historical reserve (established in 1978), and is named after Col. Isaac Neff Ebey, one of Whidbey Island’s first European American settlers. Wander along its scenic bluff, or explore the beach.
Ebey’s Landing Road, Coupeville, WA 98239
Christopher’s on Whidbey
Their menu includes a variety of items that feature Penn Cove shellfish, and this is very evidently a place that does seafood well. Its clam chowder is the perfect consistency — not too thick, not too thin — and the seafood stew was divine. One thing we spied at another table that looked delicious? The warm seafood salad.
103 N.W. Coveland St., Coupeville, WA 98239
Fort Casey Historical State Park
Fort Casey was built in the 1880s and was used by the U.S. Army through the end of World War II. It’s one of three forts that are designed to protect the entrance to Puget Sound. There’s lots to explore because you can roam the buildings of the fort itself and climb the ladders to the big guns. The former parade field is now a popular place for kite-flying.
1280 Engle Road, Coupeville, WA 98239
Double Bluff Beach and off-leash area
A great off-leash beach that people without dogs seem to enjoy hanging out at too. There’s a large beach, grass picnic area and restrooms. On the day we went, the taps at the rinse area were not functioning so we suggest you bring a jug of water in your car to slosh over your sandy dog!
6378 S. Double Bluff Road, Freeland, WA 98249
Ott & Hunter
Winery and tasting room in Langley with an extensive wine list, but — importantly, for dog owners — limited outdoor seating. There are two outside tables. Tastings are $10, but free if you purchase a bottle of wine. On weekends during the summer, there’s live music.
204 First St., Langley, WA 98260
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect address for the North Cascades National Park visitor center.
Do you have dog-friendly places to recommend on the Cascades Loop? Share your experiences in the comments below!