• 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 »

Miners

From the 1850's to the 1950's, gold and silver were periodically mined from the rugged wilderness peaks of the North Cascades.
 
Black Warrior Mine
The story of mining in the North Cascades is one of broken dreams. In the 1850s, prospectors began searching for gold along the banks of the Skagit River. After gold was discovered along Ruby Creek in the late 1870s, hundreds of miners swarmed over the upper Skagit valley. They found little gold, and the rush was over by 1880.

Over the next few decades, miners turned their attention to other minerals, primarily silver and lead, located higher in the mountains. New claims were established in the high country around Cascade Pass, including Doubtful Lake, Boston and Horseshoe Basins and Bridge Creek. A rich silver deposit was found just below Boston Glacier near the headwaters of Thunder Creek in 1892, and another rush was on. Some silver was located, but the costs of getting the ore out were too high. By 1913 most of the Thunder Creek mining companies had folded. Mining continued along the Stehekin drainage through the 1910's until metal values dropped and it became too costly. Interest in mining in the area did not resume until WWI increased the demand for metal and then again during the 1940's to 1950's for the last time. Short working seasons, unpredictable weather conditions, difficult transportation, limited accessibility and lack of working capital were all factors that hampered the development of large-scale mining in the North Cascades. The only exception was the Holden Mine which was located outside of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, southwest of Stehekin.
 
(Adapted from "Sharing the Skagit: An Educator's Guide to the Skagit River Watershed" from the North Cascades Institute. © 1993.)

Did You Know?

Long horned beetle

There are more insects in the Park than any other group of animals; in fact, 95% of all animal species on earth are insects. Take your time to explore the breathtaking world of butterflies, beetles, and bugs. More...