• 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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  • 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 »

  • Lone Mountain Fire - National Park Service Trail Closures

    The Lone Mountain Fire in North Cascades National Park is approximately 5 mi NW of Stehekin in the Boulder Creek drainage. Boulder Creek Trail is closed. More »

  • Re-opening of Adjacent U.S. Forest Service Road and Trails that Access North Cascades NP Complex

    The area closure of the Twisp River Road and the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest due to wildfires has been lifted as of August 19, 2014. More »

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?

Junior Ranger Totem: Raven

Anyone can become a North Cascades Junior Ranger! Pick up one of the four FREE activity booklets at any of the visitor or information centers. Complete the activities and earn your official junior ranger badge! Download the booklet here. More...