Art and Adventure in North Cascades National Park

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Date: August 12, 2010
Contact: Charles Beall, 360-854-7302

North Cascades National Park invites you to discover art and adventure in your park. If you enjoy unusual and creative works of art inspired by the North Cascades, then explore the works on display at the North Cascades Visitor Center. If you enjoy family-friendly adventure, then search for a letterbox or earthcache. 

At the North Cascades Visitor Center, near Newhalem, a large triptych of Cascade Pass by Sedro-Woolley resident Becky Fletcher is on display above the exit of the main lobby. Its grandeur may inspire you to hike the 3.8 miles to Cascade Pass, perhaps even beyond, to Sahale Glacier or into the Stehekin River Valley. 

Out the back door of the Visitor Center sits Cascading Core Stratigraphies, an art installation blending scientific inquiry, natural features and processes, and cultural history. It was created by Columbia Basin College art teacher Greg Pierce.This is an interactive sculpture that invites you to engage with the complexity and variety of rock and glacial formations found in the park. Examples of key rock types are laid out in a stylized moraine field with fault lines dividing regional terranes. Three tall pillars of recrystallized rock and ash form an inspiring geological and historical record of this remarkable region. This is truly a one of a kind display that invites you to learn more about the fascinating geology of the North Cascades. 

On display in the children's area of the Visitor Center is a watershed mural created by Artist-in-Residence Kathleen Durkin and students from Concrete Elementary School. It will remain on display through the summer and then will return to its home at the school.  

These works stem from the park's Artist-in-Residence program that invites artists from all disciplines to immerse themselves in the North Cascades and share their interpretation of the place and its people with the public through performances, classes, and donations of works of art. The North Cascades Visitor Center has many such donations on display.  

North Cascades National Park contains the easternmost of 17 "Letterboxes" placed throughout the beautiful Skagit River Watershed – with Washington Park in Anacortes hosting the westernmost one. Gather your family and learn about this watershed while exploring its varied ecosystems and recreational lands. More information about the Skagit Watershed Letterbox Trail, including clues, is available at 

The town of Newhalem, which hosts the Skagit Information Center and Skagit General Store, is also the launching point for "Goat Snare" – an easy, family-friendly virtual letterbox in which the searcher looks for clues from signs instead of looking for an actual box. You can access this challenge at  

There are also several virtual earthcaches to find in the park. Discover more about these educational opportunities at (Please note that any new placements, virtual or otherwise within the park must be approved by the National Park Service. Please contact Community Outreach Specialist e-mail us with questions or proposals.) 

For more information about North Cascades National Park, visit  

For directions to the park, visit 

For more information about the park's Artist-in-Residence Program, visit

Last updated: August 11, 2017

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810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


(360) 854-7200

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