• 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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  • Lone Mountain Fire Burns Above Lake Chelan - Trail Closures

    The Lone Mountain Fire is burning in North Cascades National Park approximately five miles northwest of Stehekin in the Boulder Creek drainage. As a precaution Boulder Creek Trail has been closed entirely. The westbound War Creek Trail is also closed. More »

  • USFS closes Easy Pass Trail from State Route 20

    Due to fire activity near the trail, the US Forest Service has closed the Easy Pass trail and trailhead on State Route 20. This area has been receiving precipitation. The highway remains open.

Plants

Extreme variation, in rock and soil types, exposure, slope, elevation, and rainfall is reflected in the diverse plantlife here. Eight distinctive life zones support thousands of different plant species in the North Cascades greater ecosystem. No other US National Park surpasses North Cascades National Park in the number of plant species recorded. Over 1,630 vascular plant species have been identified, and estimates of non-vascular and fungal species could more than double this number for total plant species in the North Cascades.
 
Plant life in the North Cascades is extremely varied, reflecting differences in rock and soil types, exposure, slope, elevation, and rainfall. Eight distinctive life zones support thousands of different plant species in the North Cascades greater ecosystem. No other US National Park surpasses North Cascades National Park in the number of plant species recorded. Over 1,627 vascular plant species have been identified, and estimates of non-vascular and fungal species could more than double this number for total plant species in the North Cascades. Some of these plants are threatened or endangered, and changes such as air pollution and global warming might affect their survival. Other threats include invasive non-native plants that are referred to as exotic species. Exotic species are capable of displacing native species and changing biotic communities. Resource managers at North Cascades National Park are taking action to reduce this threat by removing these invasive plants. This can be particularly difficult because these plants utilize trails, waterways, wind, and roads to colonize the area. Restoration of habitats changed by human activity has been a priority since the park was established in 1968. As leaders in developing methods of revegetation in the National Park Service, the plant propagation crew has grown thousands of native plants from seeds and cuttings. Taken from areas adjacent to damaged sites, these seeds and cuttings are later returned as young plants to restore campsites and trampled areas of the park.

Some native plants are threatened or endangered, and changes such as human impacts, air pollution and global warming might affect their survival. Invasive non-native plants are capable of displacing native species and changing biotic communities. Resource managers at North Cascades National Park are taking action to reduce this threat by removing these invasive plants. This can be particularly difficult because these plants utilize trails, waterways, wind, and roads to colonize the area. Restoration of habitats changed by human activity has been a priority since the park was established in 1968.

Did You Know?

North Cascades is now on Flickr!

North Cascades National Park is uploading its digital image library to Flickr! Be inspired, download your favorite images, or even add your own vacation photographs to the group pool: Friends of the North Cascades. More...