WENATCHEE - The scenic Cascade Loop, which makes its way through north central Washington, has been designated as a National Scenic Byway.

The Federal Highway Administration made the announcement on Tuesday.

“Scenic roads have always been popular with travelers, and support a wide array of area businesses too,” stated Tom Everett, executive director of the Federal Highway Administration. “Whether hotels, eateries or gas stations, Scenic Byways…support the nation’s small business community and are economic drivers for entire regions.”

The 440-mile Cascade Loop covers the Puget Sound, through the Methow and Skagit Valleys and the Wenatchee Valley.

The Cascade Loop Association has been working for nearly a decade to receive the National Scenic Byway recognition. Cascade Loop was the only designation made in Washington this year.