• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam

    After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »

  • Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues

    A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »

  • Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014

    Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »

Geology Club Questions

1. Explain three differences between a U-shaped valley and a V-shaped valley. Where might you find a V-shaped & U-shaped valley in North Cascades National Park? How are each of these landforms created?

2. What is the name of the main Wilderness area located within North Cascades National Park? What animals might you find in this area? List seven of the endangered/threatened species located within the park.

3. What are the three components that make up the North Cascades National Park Service Complex? What are the names of the three hydroelectric dams located within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area? What is the major highway that travels through the park? What are the names of the two national forests that surround North Cascades National Park?

4. What are the two major volcanoes located near the park complex? List three differences between those volcanoes and the mountains located within North Cascades National Park. What is the highest peak located within the park complex? What National Scenic Trail passes through the park?

5. Approximately, how many glaciers are located within North Cascades National Park? How do the glaciers influence the Skagit River Watershed? Explain why the number of glaciers located within the North Cascades National Park is decreasing.

6. List seven of the “Leave No Trace” guidelines. Why are these guidelines so important in protecting the Wilderness and other areas within North Cascades National Park?

7. What are the three different categories of rock? What examples of these three categories of rock might you find within North Cascades National Park Service Complex? Explain how each of these rocks was created.

8. Create a poster explaining the importance of protecting the Wilderness areas of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex? (Your artwork might be posted in our Glacier Geology Club art gallery.)

9. Explain the three main forms of erosion that take place within the park. What examples of chemical and mechanical weathering might you observe? What are some methods of limiting the impact in erosion at North Cascades National Park?

10. Explain why the water in Diablo Lake appears green and the water in Ross Lake appears blue. What lake located within North Cascades National Park is the third deepest in the nation and how was this lake originally created? How deep is this lake?

11. Until the early 1970s, there was no road that traveled through North Cascades National Park. How did indigenous people travel through this area? What Native American tribes explored & settled in the region? What archeological site is located near the town of Newhalem?

Did You Know?

lupine is a common flower in dry sunny areas

In addition to Wilderness, Recreation Areas and National Park designations there are also five Research Natural Areas in the complex: Silver Lake, Pyramid Lake, Boston Glacier, Stetattle Creek and Big Beaver Valley.