Interstate 5 Bridge Collapse Detour
I-5 is closed in both directions in Skagit County south of Burlington. WSDOT has published the following detour map. Also consider State Route 530 through Darrington from the south or State Route 9 from Bellingham and the Lower Mainland to reach the park. More »
North Cascades National Park is renowned for its varied and rugged climbing terrain. Here you will find climbing routes of high quality and aesthetic appeal, guarded by remote, rugged access and weather volatility, resulting in mountaineering experiences of mental and physical challenge, solitude, and fulfillment.
The numerous peaks and over 300 glaciers present a variety of challenges and rewards: classic mixed mountaineering routes, intricate glacier travel, technical rock climbing and scrambling, all within a premier wilderness setting. Approach routes are often arduous, requiring strenuous crosscountry travel, sometimes for days or through thick slide alder, rocky avalanche shoots and scree slopes, icy creeks or rivers, steep snow, or traversing slopes in steep, slippery terrain. The physical and mental challenge can push climbers to their limits, and changes in the weather can foil a summit bid. But when you finally stand on the top of a summit in the North Cascades, looking out over a jagged, glaciated mountain range that finds its finest and highest expression here in the park, as you tower over the alpine meadows and deep valleys, you will understand why these peaks draw climbers and wilderness travelers again and again, and you will begin to plot your next climb in these mountains.
How do I get a backcountry permit? What are the latest conditions for my route? I’d love to go climbing but I’m not certain of my skills—are there guides who can teach me? Learn about these plus how to be a good steward of climbing areas and routes.
The most important element of any climb is planning for your safe return. Check the weather and avalanche forecasts, learn about search and rescue procedures in the park, the Voluntary Climbing Register program and how it can help you in the event of an emergency, and more.
For more information, call or visit the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. This ranger station is the park’s main backcountry permit office, and is staffed by experienced wilderness rangers, including climbing rangers who when they are not in the field are on hand to answer questions and help with trip planning. Current ranger station hours, phone number, and location are all found at the link above.
Sport Climbing in Skagit Gorge
There are opportunities for both sport climbing and bouldering in the Skagit Gorge along SR 20 between Newhalem and Diablo. For more information on crag locations, restrictions and requirements regarding new route development, access, and more, please visit the park planning page or the Washington Climbers Coalition, or download a copy of the interim agreement for climbing in this area (pdf 548kb).
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.