• 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 »

Best Ideas for Summer fun in the North Cascades

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Date: May 19, 2009
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.


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?

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.