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 »
Skagit Gorge Climbing Route Development Agreement
Agreement Regarding Establishing New Rock Climbing Routes in the Skagit Gorge Area, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Pending Completion of the General Management Plan
The National Park Service and the Washington Climber's Coalition have signed an interim agreement regarding route development within Ross Lake NRA. The agreement lifts the voluntary moratorium on new climbing route development at the "Newhalem Crags" within the Skagit Gorge. The agreement outlines the terms and conditions for new climbing route development at the Newhalem Crags, and is specifically intended to provide temporary guidance to climbers regarding access and route development in the area. Long-term guidance regarding climbing and route development is currently being developed via the Ross Lake General Management Plan (GMP) process.
Climbers are strongly encouraged to remain engaged in the planning process. The next opportunity for public comment will be in Summer 2010, when the draft GMP/Environmental Impact Statement will be released for public review and comment. For more information, please download the climbing agreement (pdf 548 kb).
Key Points for Climbers:
The NPS recognizes that rock climbing and the establishment of climbing routes is a legitimate historic and present day use of public lands within the Ross Lake NRA.
The agreement lifts the voluntary moratorium on new climbing route development at these sites within the Skagit Gorge: The Diablo Crags, Newhalem Crags (east and west) and Town Crags within the Skagit Gorge.
The moratorium on establishing new bouldering sites in the Skagit Gorge and elsewhere remains in place.
Any new routes developed within the designated areas must follow Leave No Trace ethics for climbers, such as minimizing the visual impact of bolts and fixed anchors, helping control erosion and the proliferation of social trails by using only the main access trails, and packing out all garbage.
Intentional damage to the environment (e.g. removing vegetation, terracing) to enable climbing and route development is prohibited.
Climbers accessing the Newhalem Crags should exercise extreme caution in the approach, which is along the side of SR 20 in an area with very narrow shoulders and heavy traffic. Walk behind the guardrails where feasible.
In the event of an emergency, the nearest phone is in Newhalem by the General Store. Some cell phone service providers cover the area.
Did You Know?
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...