• 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 »

Grasses

Grass and grass-like plants include the true grasses (family Poaceae), rushes (family Juncaceae) and sedges (family Cyperaceae).

These plants all have tiny, simple flowers and are wind pollinated. They occupy a variety of habitats from low elevation wetlands to dry wind blown mountain ridges.

Within the North Cascades, true grasses include approximately 150 species half of which are native. Of the species that are non-native, the worst invader is reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinaceae). It can be found in wetlands, on lakeshores, and river edges.

Rushes and sedges are invaluable for their ability to stabilize stream banks, filter sediments, and along with many true grasses they provide habitat and food for numerous animals and other organisms.

Did You Know?

Cascading stream

The North Cascades are well known for the abundant waterfalls that lace the mountains. Two of the best known waterfalls are Gorge Falls between Newhalem and Diablo along State Route 20 and Rainbow Falls in the Stehekin Valley.