Best Ideas for Summer fun in the North Cascades
Contact: Charles Beall, 360 854-7302
The North Cascades Are Calling!
North Cascades National Park Complex Shares Best Ideas for Summer Fun
The North Cascades are calling and inspired by the forthcoming September airing on PBS of the six-part documentary series, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, North Cascades National Park Complex has five best ideas for you. "Summer is a great time for family fun in your park," explained North Cascades National Park Complex Superintendent Chip Jenkins. "Here are five best ideas for you to experience your North Cascades." (4.7 MB PDF)
1. Become a Junior Ranger
A new Junior Ranger program is available for kids three years-old and up. Have fun while learning and exploring the North Cascades as a family. These free booklets are available at park information and visitor centers.
2. Begin a lifetime of fun
A number of new programs are being introduced this year to connect you and your family with your park. Consider sending your kids on a life-long trip along the recently developed "Pathway for Youth" through the many park and partner programs available to youth.
3. Be involved: Volunteer
Volunteers are integral to park operations and there are numerous opportunities for you to help us care for your North Cascades. Volunteering is a fun way to be healthy, outside, and surrounded by the beauty of your park.
4. Do Your Part! for Climate Friendly Parks
Recognizing the consequences of climate change, park staff is committed to reducing the park’s contribution to greenhouse gasses, supporting climate science, research and adaptive management, and leading public awareness and education. "Do Your Part! for Climate Friendly Parks" by visiting http://www.doyourpartparks.org to understand and commit to reducing your carbon footprint.
5. Enjoy the improved facilities
North Cascades National Park Complex works each year to improve your facilities, but 2009 is especially remarkable for the number of projects underway. Some of these, like open-captioning and audio description of films and the replacement of the Happy Creek boardwalk, will make your park more accessible. Others, like the new "vintage" shuttle busses in Stehekin, will add to the fun of visiting your park. Here is just a sample of the range of projects underway this summer:
· Provide open captioning and audio description in the North Cascades Visitor Center
· Replace Happy Creek Boardwalk
· New "vintage" shuttle busses in Stehekin
· Construct a new Diablo Lake Overlook educational shelter
· Restore Desolation Peak Lookout
· Construct a new trail and viewing platform above Rainbow Falls
· Replace McKellar Cabin interpretive trail educational panels
· Design and install new exhibits for the Golden West Visitor Center
· Repair wastewater treatment plants
The upper Stehekin Valley is rich with recreational experiences and a visit is highly recommended by park staff. There are numerous day hiking and fishing opportunities, vibrant spring wildflowers, and rich fall colors. The valley also provides several easy overnight trips that make for great first backpacking trips with kids. Consider using Bridge Creek Camp as a base camp, as it is centrally located for many memorable day hikes into the high country.
BEGIN YOUR VISIT
Start your park visit by talking with a friendly park ranger at one of these centers, now open daily:
· Park and Forest Information Center in Sedro-Woolley.
· Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount.
· North Cascades National Park Visitor Center near Newhalem.
· Golden West Visitor Center in Stehekin.
Trip planning and current information is available at http://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit.
Did You Know?
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.