Hiking Project Logo

North Cascades National Park

Suggestions? Local tips? Tell us!

Difficulty
Easy Difficult
Distance
mi
 - 
mi
Rating
Distance
mi
 - 
mi
Difficulty
Easy Difficult
Rating

Weather Averages


High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w/
 
J F M A M J J A S O N D

392 mi 631 km of trail 4 Featured Hikes

Gems 1 Gem Easy Trails 14 Trails Intermediate Trails 34 Trails Hard Trails 31 Trails

Located just three hours northeast of Seattle, the alpine landscape of North Cascades National Park invites visitors to explore. Considered the "American Alps", this mountainous park holds countless serrated peaks ensconced by over 300 glaciers. It's these persistent bodies of ice that produce the eponymous cascades this park is best known for. If you listen closely, you will hear the North Cascades calling... and you must go.

To learn more about North Cascades National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Local Info

Visitor Centers:
Opening and closing dates and hours vary seasonally for visitor centers at North Cascades. Check the park's website for current operating hours.

  • North Cascades Visitor Center: Hours vary by season. Closed September 28 to October 2 and November 1 to April 16.
  • Park and Forest Information Center: Hours and closures vary by season.
  • Wilderness Information Center: Hours vary by day of week and season. Closed October 12 to May 8.
  • Golden West Visitor Center: Hours and closures vary by season.
  • Chelan Ranger Station: Open 7:45 am to 4:30 pm, year round (closed federal holidays).
  • Glacier Public Service Center: Open 9 am to 3 pm, weekends year round.
  • Methow Valley Ranger District*: Open 7:45 am to 4:30 pm, weekdays year round (closed federal holidays). *Late June to September: may be open on weekends and holidays (call 509-996-4003 for details).
  • Skagit Information Center: Hours vary by season. Closed September 28 to late May.

Visiting Tips

North Cascades National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, winter weather tends to dictate when certain facilities and roads are open. From late May to October, campgrounds, visitor centers, and roads are generally open. For a listing of current road closures, as well as campground and trail conditions, please visit the park's website.

Fees & Passes:
To learn more about park fees, permits, and reservations, click here.

Camping & Lodging

North Cascades National Park offers guests a spectrum of camping experiences. Whether your idea of camping is from a car, RV, boat, or a trek into the wilderness, there is something for you. For more information on amenities, current conditions, making reservations, and seasonal closures, visit the park's website.

Car Camping:
  • Goodell Creek Campground: $16 per night (Main Campground) and $25 per night (Goodell Group Camps). Open year round.
  • Newhalem Creek Campground: $16 per night. Open May 26 through the fall. Group sites available for $32 per night.
  • Gorge Lake Campground: Free. Open year round.
  • Colonial Creek Campground: $16 per night. Open May 22 to Sept. 20. Group sites available for $30 per night.
  • Hozomeen Campground: Free. Open May 22 to Oct. 31.

Boat-in Camping:
  • Diablo Lake: 7 sites
  • Ross Lake: 60 sites
  • Lake Chelan: 24 sites

To learn more about boat-in camping in North Cascades, click here.

Wilderness Camping:
A backcountry permit is required, and permits for specific areas are limited. To maximize your chances, visit high-use areas midweek or after Labor Day, and always have a backup itinerary planned. For information on obtaining a backcountry permit, click here.

Lodging:
In addition to the multitude of camping experiences North Cascades has to offer, there are also other more established overnight accommodations and lodging. To learn more about these opportunities, click here.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

North Cascades National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs that vary by season. All programs, unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

In addition to the free ranger-led programs, be sure to check out Skagit Tours for one of their three recreational and educational journeys. You can find more information about them here. Lastly, if you're interested in exploring the "American Alps" with a knowledgeable guide, take a look at the programs offered by the North Cascades Institute. You can find a list of their experiences here.

For more general information on the tours offered in North Cascades National Park, visit the park's website.

Maps & Guidebooks

To download a variety of free brochures to help plan your visit, click here.

Food & Drink

If you're in the mood for a hearty meal and happen to be in the Stehekin area, be sure to check out the North Cascades Lodge. The dining room is the only full-service restaurant in Stehekin and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner May 15 through October 15. If you're craving something a little sweeter, pop into the Stehekin Pastry Company. They offer a variety of baked goods as well as espresso, ice cream, and a limited breakfast and lunch menu.

While visiting the Newhalem area, be sure to stop by the Skagit General Store. Established in 1922 as an employee commissary to serve the needs of the workers and their families on the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, the original building is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was opened to the public in the 1940s. Today, employees and visitors alike can purchase milk, soda, snacks and unique hand crafted gifts, plus camping and picnic supplies.

Other Activities

Those looking for other ways to explore the area in and around North Cascades National Park will not be disappointed by the variety that it offers. Road biking, climbing, fishing, horseback riding, backcountry camping, mountain biking, and wildlife viewing are among the many activities people enjoy in the summer. In the winter, you can continue your exploration by snowshoeing or cross country skiing on most of this area's summer trails.

Gems in North Cascades National Park - 1

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

Featured Hikes in North Cascades National Park - 3

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Hikes

Trails in North Cascades National Park - 75

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

15.4 mi 24.7 km
#1 Cascade Pass Trail
Stehekin, WA
15.4 mi 24.7 km Stehekin, WA
Minor Issues
Update
Muddy, Snowy - Lots of slush and mud on the switchbacks, and a good foot of powder snow up by the pass. Trail is easy to follow, however.
54 days ago
2.3 mi 3.7 km
#2 Sahale Arm
Stehekin, WA
2.3 mi 3.7 km Stehekin, WA
Unknown
Update
Stehekin, WA
9.2 mi 14.9 km Stehekin, WA
Unknown
Update
14.4 mi 23.2 km
#4 Copper Ridge Trail
Peaceful Valley, WA
14.4 mi 23.2 km Peaceful Valley, WA
Unknown
Update
18.9 mi 30.4 km
#5 Thunder Creek Trail
Diablo, WA
18.9 mi 30.4 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
10.3 mi 16.6 km
#6 Fisher Creek Trail
Diablo, WA
10.3 mi 16.6 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
Diablo, WA
0.8 mi 1.3 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
Peaceful Valley, WA
4.6 mi 7.5 km Peaceful Valley, WA
Unknown
Update
1.1 mi 1.8 km
#9 Tapto Lakes
Diablo, WA
1.1 mi 1.8 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
1.6 mi 2.6 km
#10 Horseshoe Basin
Stehekin, WA
1.6 mi 2.6 km Stehekin, WA
Unknown
Update
19.4 mi 31.2 km
#11 Devils Ridge Trail
Stehekin, WA
19.4 mi 31.2 km Stehekin, WA
Unknown
Update
2.4 mi 3.9 km
#12 Agnes Gorge
Stehekin, WA
2.4 mi 3.9 km Stehekin, WA
Unknown
Update
0.7 mi 1.1 km
#13 Trappers Peak
Diablo, WA
0.7 mi 1.1 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
4.6 mi 7.4 km
#14 Monogram Lake
Diablo, WA
4.6 mi 7.4 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
11.8 mi 18.9 km
#15 Hannegan Pass Trail
Peaceful Valley, WA
11.8 mi 18.9 km Peaceful Valley, WA
Unknown
Update
Diablo, WA
1.2 mi 2.0 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
0.7 mi 1.1 km
#17 Ross Dam Trail
Diablo, WA
0.7 mi 1.1 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
9.6 mi 15.4 km
#18 Chilliwack Trail
Hope, BC
9.6 mi 15.4 km Hope, BC
Unknown
Update
17.4 mi 28.0 km
#19 Little Beaver Trail
Diablo, WA
17.4 mi 28.0 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update
Diablo, WA
3.6 mi 5.7 km Diablo, WA
Unknown
Update

Photos of North Cascades National Park - 174

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Classes & Events Near You

Find More Classes and Events

Shop REI Adventures

Find More REI Adventures


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking