• 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 »

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?

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.