• 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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  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet in Early Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs from October 1-15. 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 »

  • 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 »

Wolves in the North Cascades: Questions and Answers

Written by North Cascades National Park Interpretive Staff
Funded by the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission
 
Wolf
Among the rare animals living in the North Cascades Mountains is one that may surprise you - the wolf. North Cascades National Park and its neighboring public lands in Washington and British Columbia are an impressive expanse of wild country. These lands preserve the hope that animals now rare will have room to live. The wolf's presence here, though in numbers much reduced from long ago, is testimony to the wildness of these mountains.

What is it about the wolf that fires people's imaginations, repelling some and attracting others? Wolves are shy, intelligent animals with complex social structures. Can we distinguish between the reality of the wolf and the legends we have created? Can we accept this fabled predator as part of the diversity of life on earth, occupying its well-earned niche in the scheme of things? Can we enjoy its howl in the North Cascades where it can roam free?

The questions and answers here provide pertinent information about wolves and their status in the North Cascades.
 
 
Young wolf
Getting Involved

If you see a wolf-like animal or its sign, observe its behavior and appearance, and report as quickly as possible by calling 1-888-WOLF-BEAR (1-888-965-3232). Protect, but do not disturb, tracks or droppings. Take pictures and make notes as soon as possible and record the location.

Learn more about wolves to distinguish between legend and reality. Read both popular accounts and scientific reports to satisfy your curiosity and make intelligent choices about the future of these animals. Express your opinion.
 
For More Information

Contact us if you have more questions, or visit this additional Internet resource.

"In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
-- from The Outermost House by Henry Beston
 
Additional Reading

  • The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, L. David Mech, University of Minnesota Press.
  • The Wolves of Mount McKinley, Adolph Murie, University of Washington Press.
  • A Society of Wolves: National Parks and the Battle Over the Wolf, Rick McIntyre, Voyageur Press, Inc.
  • The Return of the Wolf, Steve Grooms, NorthWord Press, Inc.
  • Wolf Wars, Hank Fischer, Falcon Press.
  • War Against the Wolf: America's Campaign to Exterminate the Wolf, Rick McIntyre, ed., Voyageur Press, Inc.

    Disclaimer: These books are listed as examples of titles available on this subject. Their listing does not indicate endorsement by the National Park Service.

Did You Know?

Grizzly bear track in North Cascades National Park (1989). Photo Credit: NPS/NOCA/Roger Christophersen

Grizzly bear tracks can be a reliable indicator of species? Grizzly bear and black bear forepaw tracks are distinct from one another and often times better than a photo of the bear to confirm an observation. So don't just look up, look down.