U.S. Route 2 (US-2) -- Crossing Washington West-East
From Everett, the highway wanders around the town of Snohomish and then goes through Monroe where it merges with SR 522. Route 2 meanders through the small towns of Gold Bar, Startup and Sultan before it begins its climb over the Cascade Mountains.
U.S. Route 2 crosses the Cascade Mountains at Stevens Pass which is at elevation 4,056, at the border of King and Chelan counties. Stevens Pass is a popular ski destination and draws people from both West and East of the Cascades to Cowboy Mountain and Big Chief Mountain. The Stevens Pass Ski Area has several ski schools that operate on the mountains. The BNSF railroad operates a rail road line which lies 2,000 feet below the Stevens summit.
After crossing the Summit, Highway 2 provides a very scenic and windy drive through pine and deciduous forests. A lot of tourists take this route to Leavenworth, a Bavarian-themed mountain get-away.
East of Leavenworth, Highway 2 travels through the Columbia River valley and the towns and cities of Orondo, Wilbur, Davenport, Reardan, Spokane and Newport before it enters Idaho.
In 1997 the U.S. 2 Safety Coalition was formed after there were several car accident fatalities in eastern Snohomish County. During a period of 9 years, there were 50 fatal accidents on the highway between Snohomish and Stevens Pass. Of the 50 fatal accidents, 18 have been "crossover" accidents in which the driver crossed the center line. The Safety Coalition would like to the highway to be made safer by creating a divided highway with a barrier between the East and West lanes. The coalition's mission is to devise ways to make the highway safer and to reduce gridlock, fatalities and serious injury accidents.