• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • 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 »

Cycling on the North Cascades Highway

Bicyclist on State Route 20. Image Credit: NPS/NOCA/David Snyder
Bicyclist on State Route 20
NPS/NOCA/David Snyder

Welcome to the North Cascades Highway! Although a scenic and adventurous cycling trip, special road conditions require additional attention. This webpage provides tips for an enjoyable and safe pedal along this beautiful route. You can also download a handout (PDF) of this page and additional safety information.

Amazing geologic scenery can be beautiful as well as threatening. Make sure to watch out for rolling rocks along the way, especially along steep cliffs. Ride to the inside of rock falls if possible to keep from going into traffic.

Because bicyclists will be sharing the road with motorized park visitors, special considerations must be made for road travel. Use caution with blind corners and hills. Although the shoulder line separates the bicyclist's path from that of the motorist, both motorists and bicyclists can cross these lines at anytime. Stay alert and make yourself visible with head and tail lights, and reflective clothing.

Between the towns of Newhalem and Diablo there are two tunnels. The longer of the two, closer to Newhalem, is fitted with a "BIKES IN TUNNEL" flashing safety light that can be turned on at either end. Before entering the tunnel, turn on all head and tail lights. There may be rocks inside the tunnel which have dislodged from the tunnel walls. Be prepared for safe maneuvering. Reduced road space can force cars and bikes together.

Other Bicyclists
You will also be sharing the road with other cyclists. Know the correct hand signals and areas of possible bike traffic. Think ahead and know what to do if you do meet other cyclists. Be comfortable with explaining to others what it takes to make it a safe trip.

Cycling route on the North Cascades Highway. Image Credit: NPS/NOCA
Cycling route on the North Cascades Highway.  (click for cycling map and guide)

Milepost (MP) 105.3: North Cascades National Park Wilderness Office (1 mi down Ranger Station Road): INFORMATION
MP 106: (elev. 358') Town of Marblemount: FOOD, PHONE, BIKE SUPPLIES (limited). Caution: congested area, car traffic.
MP 110-116: Caution: Small shoulder for westbound cyclists.
MP 119.5: Goodell Creek Campground: CAMPING, WATER, TOILETS
MP 119.9: North Cascades National Park Visitor Center, Newhalem Creek Campground (0.5 mi from entrance): INFORMATION, PHONE, TOILETS, WATER, CAMPING
MP 122.4: Tunnel #1: Caution: Be prepared to stop at "Bikes in Tunnel" safety light switch, and be aware of car traffic in tunnel. Remove sunglasses.
MP 123.4: Gorge Creek Falls, Gorge Overlook Trail: Caution: Grated bridge. Gorge Creek Falls Bridge can be slippery when wet.
MP 124: Tunnel #2: Caution: Be aware of car traffic in tunnel.
MP 127.5: Junction to Seattle City Light village of Diablo, camping at Gorge Lake: Highway 20 crosses over Gorge Lake. Emergency telephone at Stetattle Creek Bridge, 1 mile towards Diablo.
MP 130: (elev. 1300') Colonial Creek Campground, Thunder Creek Trail: WATER, TOILETS, CAMPING
MP 132: Diablo Lake Overlook: TOILETS, VIEWS, NO WILDLIFE FEEDING. Caution: fast moving traffic.
MP 134: Ross Dam Trailhead: TOILET
MP 134.4: Happy Creek Forest Walk (0.3 mi trail): TOILETS, SIGHTS
MP 157: (elev. 4660') Rainy Pass Rest Area: TOILETS. Facilities may be closed due to snow.
MP 162.4: (elev. 5477') Washington Pass Overlook (1 mi to overlook): TOILETS, INFORMATION, WATER, VIEWS. Facilities may be closed due to snow.
MP 169: Lone Fir Campground: CAMPING, TOILETS, WATER.
MP 177.7: Early Winter Campground: CAMPING, TOILETS
MP 179.6: Town of Mazama: FOOD, WATER, TOILETS, PHONE

Did You Know?

lupine is a common flower in dry sunny areas

In addition to Wilderness, Recreation Areas and National Park designations there are also five Research Natural Areas in the complex: Silver Lake, Pyramid Lake, Boston Glacier, Stetattle Creek and Big Beaver Valley.