• 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.
hide Alerts »
  • Lone Mountain Fire - 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 and War Creek Trails are 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.

Wetlands, Marshes and Swamps

Amidst the high peaks, deep forests and cold rivers for which the park is renowned wetlands, marshes and swamps may be the last thing people think of when they visit. Although they are not the most prominent aspects of the park ecosystem, they are one of the most important. They prepare the ground from which, in time, will spring forth an ancient forest. Wetlands also provide perfect habitat for many amphibians, invertebrates and aquatic plants. Some of the most outstanding wetlands in the park are nestled along the lower stretches of the Chilliwack River. The area is a magnificent expanse of relatively inaccessible and pristine wilderness, which has been recommended for designation as a Research Natural Area. Here, near the Canadian border, is located one of the largest wetlands in the park, boasting forested, scrub/shrub, emergent and open water wetlands. As with all ecosystems, this environment is dependent on the plants and creatures that dwell there. Much of the wetland is maintained by a colony of beavers that dam the streams with freshly cut alder boughs, stream debris and packed mud. The standing water and the animal and plant activity that occurs within it saturate the ground with nutrients preparing it for the forests of future generations. The wetland is dependent on the beaver colony just as the beaver colony is dependent on the wetland and future old-growth forests are dependent on them both. The wetland environment provides us with yet another example of how all things in nature are interconnected, even the wetlands that so often go overlooked.

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...