• 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 »

Mammals

Nature and Science

Bat studies reveal secrets of North Cascades

Wilderness of the North Cascades hosts wildlife less common in the more populated areas of Washington State. 75 mammal species in 21 families can be found in the North Cascades. Three species (gray wolf, grizzly bear, and Canada lynx) are listed as "threatened" or "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. Grizzly bears and gray wolves have both been documented as residing in rugged terrain. Both are emblematic of the need for large contiguous areas of undisturbed wilderness that are necessary for these species to exist. Other species associated with wilderness areas that have been documented in the North Cascades include black bear, wolverine, river otter, cougar, lynx, and bobcat.

Bats, the only mammals capable of true flight, are among our least understood mammals. Twelve species of bats are thought to inhabit the North Cascades. National Park Service biologists, recently conducting a parkwide bat inventory, documented eight bat species using habitats within the park. Among those species found in the Cascades, the western small-footed bat weighs as little as four grams. Nocturnal and seldom seen, all bats found in the Cascades are insectivorous and most are closely associated with mature forests.

Mule deer, including the black-tailed deer subspecies, are the most common ungulates (hoofed mammals) in the North Cascades. Occasionally elk, moose and mountain goats can be found here. In subalpine and alpine habitats, hoary marmots are common and can be seen and heard whistling at any sign of predators, such as golden eagles and coyotes. Pika (pronounced Pie-ka) are common on mid to high elevation talus slopes.
 

Additional Resources:

Mammal Checklist (PDF 81 kb)

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...