Former logging towns, nestled in the shadow of Mount Baker to the north, line the upper ring of the Cascade Loop, encircling a vast series of national forests fanning north and east from Seattle. The ridges and valleys of the Cascade Range form the heart of this region, a mecca for skiers, snowshoers, white-water river rafters, campers, hikers, mountain bikers, and other adventurers drawn to its natural beauty. Fjord-like Lake Chelan reaches into the wilderness from the eastern edge of the loop, providing one of three ways to get to the secluded outpost of Stehekin, accessible only by boat or plane or on foot. The alpine area is anchored by the orchards surrounding Wenatchee to the southeast, where the Columbia River forms a natural border between North Central and Eastern Washington.
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