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

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Highway 20 Will Be Closed East of the Park For Culvert Repairs On Oct 21 & 22.

    Highway 20 will be completely closed between mileposts 147 & 157 (Granite Creek to Rainy Pass) from 6 a.m. Oct. 21 to 4 p.m. Oct. 22. The Easy Pass trailhead will be inaccessible during this time. More »

  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet in Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs from October 8-17. During the drawdown, boats with trailers will not be able to launch or take boats off the water. Hand-launched vessels will still be able to launch. More »

  • Cascade River Road will be open as normal through fall/winter 2014

    Cascade River Rd. will be open in 2014 until snow conditions make it impassable to vehicles, as normal. The road closure that was planned to begin September 8 has been postponed beyond 2014 due to unforeseen circumstances. More »

Air Quality

Views from Thornton Lakes and Trapper's Peak. Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA Staff

Looking down into a hazy Skagit Valley from Trappers Peak.


Recognizing the value of the fresh mountain air of the North Cascades, Congress designated North Cascades National Park as a Class I area, affording it the highest degree of air quality protection. Unfortunately, the park lies in the path of prevailing westerly winds blowing from rapidly growing urban-industrial and agricultural areas in Puget Sound. The mark of humankind's activity can be found everywhere within the park. Windborne pollutants are deposited on glaciers in the park via precipitation. As the ice melts, water carries the pollutants into the food chain, moving from tiny aquatic insects called macroinvertebrates to fish to land mammals and eventually even back to humans.

Consequently, park managers are cooperatively involved with the US Geological Survey, the National Park Service's Air Resources Division and others to assess air pollution impacts and protect air quality related resources. The air resources management program at North Cascades includes monitoring, research and data dissemination. Pollutants such as particulate matter, ozone, acid deposition, mercury and pesticides have been monitored in the park. The park and cooperators have also studied the impact of those pollutants on visibility, water quality, vegetation and wildlife. Data are used to inform management strategies and regulatory activities that affect park air quality.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

North Cascades National Park Service Complex includes 684,000 acres near the crest of the Cascade Mountains from the Canadian border south to Lake Chelan.