• 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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  • 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 »


The four charts (Figures 10-13) summarize data collected over the past 18 years for each glacier. The vertical axis is the amount of water gained (winter balance), lost (summer balance), and retained (net balance) in meters of water equivalent (m.w.e.) averaged across the glacier. We use water equivalent as a measure because of the varying density of snow, ice and firn. This system allows us to summarize the melting of all three as one value. The horizontal axis lists the year of measurement on each glacier. Winter balance is always positive, while the summer balance is always negative. The net balance varies depending on whether or not the snowfall from the previous winter exceeded melting the following summer. Melt is greatest at the lowest elevations, often exceeding eight vertical meters. In addition, the data show a tendency for cool summers following wet winters, along with hot summers following dry winters. When these seasonal factors are coupled, the glaciers respond by positive balance and extreme negative balance, respectfully.
Figure 10
Figure 10 - Noisy Glacier Mass Balance
Figure 11
Figure 11 - Silver Glacer Mass Balance
Figure 12
Figure 12 - North Klawatti Glacier Mass Balance
Figure 13
Figure 13 - Sandalee Glacier Mass Balance

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

North Cascades NPSC has over 300 glaciers, more than any other park in the lower 48 states. More than half the glaciers in the 48 states are concentrated in this mountainous wilderness region called the North Cascades.