• 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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  • Diablo Lake To Be Drawn Down Three Feet on Sept. 17 and Early Oct., Trailer-Launched Boats Affected

    On September 17 and October 1-15 Diablo Lake will be drawn down 3 vertical feet for facility repairs. 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 »

Purple Creek Trail Reopens

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Date: September 4, 2007


The Purple Creek Trail in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area is now open. This trail was impacted by the Flick Creek Fire, which burned from the end of July through October 2006 and also experienced a significant number of downed trees from winter storms.


The Purple Creek Trail is a popular, but steep trail that originates in Stehekin and continues up to Boulder Butte, Lake Juanita, and Purple Pass where it intersects with the Boulder Trail, the Summit Trail and the War Creek Trail. The Purple Creek Trail offer sweeping views of Lake Chelan and the Stehekin Valley, but is one of the more strenuous trails found in the area.


Hikers should expect to see patches of burned area with pockets of unburned vegetation. In the areas affected by fire, vegetation is growing and many wildlife species have returned, making this an exciting time to explore and discover the natural cycle of change that follows a wildland fire.


Although numerous efforts have been taken to reduce hazards, all hikers should use caution and be aware of their surroundings. The potential for debris flow, surface erosion and flash flooding exists in fire affected areas and is greatest where major drainages cross the trail. Please do not linger in these areas, especially when it is raining. Wind can blow trees down across the trail. Even trees that appear healthy may have root damage and could be blown over during strong winds. Watch for rolling rocks and falling debris in areas with a steep slope above you. Park trails are maintained for your safety, and off-trail areas remain hazardous, so it is important to stay on the trail. 


Camping is only allowed in designated campsites in the National Recreation Area. All overnight stays in the backcountry require a free permit, which must be obtained in person and is issued on a first come first served basis.


Two fires are burning in the area. The Tolo Fire, located 15 miles northwest of Stehekin in North Cascades National Park, is now 307 acres and has very low fire activity. The fire is quietly smoldering in an alder drainage on the north flank of Tolo Mountain. No trails or camps have been impacted by this fire. The Domke Lake Complex Fire is burning nine miles southeast of Stehekin near Lucerne and Domke Lake. This wildfire is 8066 acres and actively burning. Both fires were started by lightning strikes. Neither fire has impacted Stehekin or any trails in North Cascades National Park Service Complex.


All businesses and recreational opportunities in Stehekin are open, including the newly renovated NPS concession facilities, the Stehekin Landing Resort. With the beautiful changing fall leaves, less insects, and cool nights, fall is a fabulous time to visit Stehekin. Access to Stehekin is by ferry, floatplane, or hiking over one of the many mountain passes.


For updated trail conditions, call 360-854-7245 or visit



For current fire information, visit www.inciweb.org.

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.