Mountains to Sound Greenway

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The stretch of Interstate 90 in the state of Washington is unique in the Interstate Highway system in the US, in that it is a designated National Scenic Byway. The Mountains to Sound Greenway trust has acted to protect the route of I-90 from Seattle at the Puget Sound to Ellensburg, which is the portion of I-90 through the Cascade Mountain Range. Many scenic and unique places in the Cascades can be easily accessed from the Seattle through the I-90 and its branch roads. For example, Snoqualmie Pass is only a one hour drive from downtown Seattle (weather permitting).
The Greenway has seen extensive human activity for the past 200 years. Logging has occurred throughout the region since the 1880s and a major lumber mill operated in the town of Snoqualmie from 1917 to 2003. Coal mining became a major industry east of the mountains in Roslyn and Cle Elum and the Alaska's gold run in 1897 poured Seattle full of adventurers looking for supplies before heading north. East of the mountains, Native Americans, part of the Yakima Tribe used to grow native crops. Once white settlers came, they displaced the native people and began growing their own crops and well as creating cattle ranches. The Snoqualmie Valley used to be well known for its crops of hops in the 1880s and is still considered to be very fertile land.


Trails have existed over Snoqualmie Pass for centuries, but it was not until I-90 was built that crossing the pass was relatively easy. Every year millions of vehicles go over the pass and allow for simple transportation across the country from the West to East Coast.


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