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 »
Food Storage Requirements
It only takes one instance of poorly stored food to create a bad habit for wildlife. The backcountry is their only home. As temporary visitors to the backcountry, we have the responsibility to protect their home and a responsibility to leave camps safe for other visitors. Thanks for doing your part to keep wildlife--and wilderness--wild and safe.
Proper food storage is essential and required (by law) for the health and safety of humans and animals in North Cascades National Park Complex. Many bears (black bears, but including the occasional grizzly bear) make their home in the North Cascades, and sightings are not uncommon. Bears are opportunistic, omnivorous eaters who will take advantage of easily available food sources, particularly in the fall when they are fattening up for the winter.
Deer, mountain goats, marmots, squirrels, chipmunks, mice, and some birds are also opportunistic eaters who will take advantage of unattended or improperly stored food. In a quest to obtain food, all of these organisms have chewed and/or ruined tents or other unattended gear.
Animals learn quickly and will return to areas where they obtain food. This can be unhealthy for the animals, who can lose their natural wariness and foraging ability, and problematic for you and/or the next visitor.
Help protect yourself, your gear, and all wildlife by using one of these methods to store your food properly:
Food hang: bring a waterproof sack dedicated to food and garbage storage and at least 50 feet (15m) of lightweight cord on your camping trip. Hang the food, garbage, cooking gear, and other scented items (such as toothpaste, deodorant, soap, sunblock, etc.) at least 10 feet (3 m) above the ground and 5 feet (1.5 m) out from the limb and from the tree trunk. Since trees with large limbs are not always present, this technique can require some time and ingenuity.
Food canister: This is an excellent alternative to a food hang. Food canisters are available free of charge for loan at the Wilderness Information Center and some other Ranger Stations. Canisters that are available through the Park Service have been tested on bears and approved for use by the Park's bear biologist.
Any improper practices can result in property damage, loss of food, or personal injury to yourself or to parties visiting the area later. Improper food or trash storage can also result in a federal citation.
Examples of UNSAFE or illegal food storage include:
BACKCOUNTRY FOOD STORAGE POLICY UPDATE: NOTICE OF FOOD CANISTER REQUIREMENT
In order to protect visitors and wildlife and to provide clear food storage policy direction, beginning June 1, 2013, North Cascades National Park Complex will begin requiring hard-sided food storage canisters at ten (10) backcountry camps and in five (5) cross-country zones. Food canisters are required for camping at these camps and zones between June 1 and November 15 every year. Food storage requirements for the remainder of the Park Complex will stay the same: all food and scented items must be hung (minimum 10 feet off the ground, 4 feet from any tree limb or trunk) or stored in an allowed hard-sided canister or park-provided food storage locker.
FULL STATEMENT ON FOOD STORAGE POLICY UPDATE including a list of the camps and cross-country zones where canisters are required.
Allowed food canister models include those available for loan at Ranger Stations -- Bear Vault Models BV450 & BV500, Backpackers Cache Model 812, any Bearikade model -- and any product tested and approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee listed here.
Map of Boston Basin (2.4MB pdf) including area of canister requirement
Map of Eldorado cross-country zone (1.5MB pdf) including area of canister requirement
Map of Sulphide Glacier cross-country zone (916K pdf) including area of canister requirementemail.
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.