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Contact: Denise Shultz
Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, and in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Transportation reopening of State Route 20, North Cascades National Park Service Complex is increasing recreational access for day use. The National Park Service (NPS) is working Servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
Beginning May 29, North Cascades National Park Service Complex will reopen access for to:
Ross Lake Overlook
Gorge Creek Falls Overlook
Trails for day use only. NOTE: Many trails have not yet been assessed or cleared; Downed trees, washouts, and other hazards may be encountered
Hozomeen (U.S. side) for non-vehicle, day use only. The international border gate will remain closed
All boat ramps and associated water on Diablo Lake, Gorge Lake, and the Skagit River
Stehekin marina and public docks for day use only
With public health and safety in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:
All backcountry campsites
All visitor and wilderness information centers
Cascade River Road remains seasonally closed. It will reopen after snow is removed and winter road damage has been repaired.
“We will be glad to welcome visitors back to the North Cascades”, said Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich, “but there are challenges in doing so. Due to the current public health emergency our essential seasonal staff arrived later than usual, and many of the spring activities to get ready for the summer season have been delayed.”
“We urge visitors to bring all of their own supplies, including hand sanitizer, face coverings, toilet paper, food, and beverages,” Taylor-Goodrich continued. “Once you arrive, please park only in designated areas, pack out everything you bring, and if you encounter a crowded trailhead or overlook, seek another location to recreate.”
The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount. At North Cascades National Park Service Complex, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and monitor them regularly. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.
While day use areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased in and services may be limited. “Recreate Responsibly”: park visitors should follow local area public health orders, practice Leave No Trace principles, avoid crowding, and avoid high-risk outdoor activities.
The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases. We will continue to monitor all park activities to ensure that visitors adhere to CDC guidance for mitigating risks associated with the transmission of COVID-19, and take any additional steps necessary to protect public health.
Details and updates on park operations will continue to be posted on our website at nps.gov/noca and social media channels. Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Last updated: May 29, 2020