• 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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  • 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 »

Lightscape / Night Sky

Spend an evening in the wilds of North Cascades and you will rediscover the wonder of utter darkness punctuated by the countless points of light that since the dawn of time have ignited the imagination of humanity. As an increasing number of open spaces are converted to urban or suburban areas, the beauty and wonder of the night sky fades into memory. The universe becomes obscured by the dull electric glow of every street lamp, house light and neon sign that casts its light into the night sky, making places of undisturbed darkness like the North Cascades vital and unique. With over 600,000 acres designated as the Stephen Mather Wilderness, most of the park complex is free from the disturbance of man-made lights. Here the heavens seem to shine with more vigor and vibrance as the wilderness serenades us with its symphony of nighttime activity. Seventy percent of all animal life is nocturnal creating a cacophony of sounds in the darkness—the flutter of wings as the western tanager arrives in darkness from Mexico to breed; the nibbling of a field mouse foraging for food; the silent sound of predator stalking prey as the wind sings a soft melody among the treetops. This is the music of the wilderness at night—a perfect complement to the spectacle of the stars.

Did You Know?

Grizzly bear track in North Cascades National Park (1989). Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA/Roger Christophersen

Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.