• 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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  • State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam

    After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »

  • Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues

    A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »

  • Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014

    Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »

Wolf Sightings and Distribution


Where have wolves been seen in the North Cascades?

Since 1984, wolves have been seen roaming in the vicinity of Ross Lake (Ross Lake National Recreation Area in Washington and Skagit Valley Recreation Area in British Columbia) on both sides of the International Boundary. Wolves were photographed near Hozomeen (shown at left) at the north end of Ross Lake in 1991. Locations of other sightings in the North Cascades include McAlester Pass, Pasayten Wilderness and Twisp River drainage of the Okanogan National Forest, Glacier Peak Wilderness, and Stevens Pass.

What kinds of wolves are they?

Gray wolves (Canis lupus), sometimes called timber wolves. This species once roamed much of North America from Alaska to Mexico -- from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

How many gray wolves are there in the North Cascades?

No one knows but probably very few. No one knows whether the population is increasing, decreasing or remaining the same.

Are there gray wolves in Washington State outside the North Cascades?

Yes. Wolves have been sighted throughout the Cascade Range and in the Selkirk Mountains in the state's northeast corner.

Are gray wolves reproducing in the North Cascades?

In 1990, adults with pups were seen in the Hozomeen area. This was the first known reproduction of wild wolves in Washington State in at least 50 years! Since 1990, biologists have seen three separate groups of adult wolves with pups in the Cascades. Wolves mate in February or March. About 63 days later a litter averaging six pups is born.

What about gray wolf numbers in the rest of North America?

Gray wolves once roamed the continent from as far north as the Arctic to as far south as Mexico. Today they occupy about one percent of their former range in the contiguous United States. More than 1,000 gray wolves live in northern Minnesota. Small populations live in Wisconsin and Michigan. Ten to 15 more live in Michigan's Isle Royal National park and about 30 in or near Montana's Glacier National Park. Gray wolves are common, however, in Alaska and parts of Canada.

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.