Cross-country travel in the North Cascades is a rewarding and revealing experience for those who are prepared to undertake its rigors. Routefinding is an essential skill, and travel requires greater care in order to protect the wild country you are passing through.
To protect this wild experience, please follow the following regulations: Cross-country zones begin a mile from designated camps and a half mile from trails—out of site as well. When traveling cross-country, camping is allowed only on durable surfaces such as snow, rock, or bare ground. Camping in meadows or within 100 feet of water sources is not allowed. Fires are not allowed. Human waste must be buried in a cathole or (when above treeline in snow or on glaciers) carried out in a blue bag.
If you are planning a climb, you can also visit the mountaineering page.
KEY to Cross Country Zones
Zone name – Corresponds to cross country zones as shown on the Wilderness Trip Planner Map (18x22 PDF 1,802 KB). This document is available by calling the Wilderness Information Center, or the Sedro-Woolley Information Center, or email us to request a copy.
Maximum party size – Maximum number of people that are allowed in each party. Most zones allow only 6 people per party; however, some of the most easily accessibly zones allow 12. Stock parties take note: Where stock are allowed, the maximum party size includes number of people and stock combined—no more than 6 total pairs of eyes.
Maximum number of parties – Maximum number of permits issued for each zone for each night. Each party requires one permit.
Comments – Additional information about a specific cross country zone
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.