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 »
Buckner Orchard Walk
What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more, to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes, or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness!
- Helen Keller, from The Story of My Life
Strolling through the Buckner Orchard is a peaceful step out of time. Imagine the families who planted these trees and worked the land, and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and those who followed, if you are here in season. This hike is an excellent stop for anyone touring the scenic sites of the valley, or those looking to explore our history.
Walking along Buckner Lane from the Stehekin Valley Road is a great way to reach the orchard. The path is lined with cedar trees, and follows the original hand dug irrigation ditch that waters the orchard still today. Notice how this small irrigation channel creates a lush microclimate amidst the dry ponderosa pine forest.
Self-guided walk booklets found at two points within the orchard tell the story of the historically registered Buckner Homestead and the family that built it. Enjoy viewing the historic structures and farm equipment, remnants from the orchard's past. There are also nice views of McGregor Mountain from various points along the walkway. The National Park Service still maintains Buckner Orchard as a working apple orchard today. If visiting during the fall, feel free to pick some ripe apples to enjoy a taste of the orchard!
Backcountry Camping: There is no camping at the orchard, but camping can be found within a few miles along the Stehekin Valley Road at Harlequin or Purple Point campgrounds. There is also a group site at Harlequin, and a stock and group site at Purple Point. A backcountry permit is required for all overnight stays. Permits are limited.
Access: From Stehekin landing, walk, bike, or take the shuttle bus 3.1 miles (5 km) from Stehekin Landing to a gravel lane on the left (south) side of the road. Alternatively, look for a path on the left, beginning just past the Old Stehekin School as you are heading up-valley, just before the gravel road turn-off. Known as Buckner Lane, this short trail follows the irrigation channel and provides another route into the orchard.
For more information on current trail conditions, permits, regulations and trip planning please see the Wilderness Trip Planner.
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...