Among the colossal snow-dusted mountains and conifer forests you will find excellent walking trails and unbeatable views.
Gaze across pristine subalpine lakes and fish for cod or trout at North Cascades National Park. Wander through meadows of colorful wildflowers and thick forests and marvel at 300 glaciers sparkling in the sun.
Known as the American Alps, this park offers dramatic contrasting terrains ideal for outdoor adventure. Traverse more than 400 miles (640 kilometers) of networked trails and several rows of towering peaks. The potential for exploration is endless.
Visit Diablo Lake in the park’s southern region. The Environmental Learning Center offers guided lake tours. Enjoy breathtaking views from the 389-foot (118-meter) dam across the water and up the surrounding mountains. Ross Lake nearby is even larger, stretching for 32 miles (51 kilometers) and crossing the Canadian border. Walk along the west bank trail through maple and conifer forests or fish for cod, trout and inland salmon.
Some of the best walking routes are easily accessible from the state road. Take a rugged hike on the Thornton Lake Trail to a large pool. Navigate through lush woodland as well as fields of Indian paintbrushes, bluebells and monkey flowers. Look up to clear skies as you hear the cries of bald eagles and turkey vultures. For a serious hike, follow the rocky 5-mile (8-kilometer) Sourdough Mountain Trail. This is one of the best vantage points in the park, with sweeping views toward Ross Lake and Jack Mountain beyond.
Farther south along Cascade River Road, uncover more dramatic scenery and secluded trails. Cascade Pass is a short but challenging walk providing the easiest access in the park to alpine conditions. Eldorado, Magic and McGregor mountains provide views of inspiring peaks as the icy surface of Sahale Glacier shimmers in the distance.
North Cascades National Park is located in the northwest corner of Washington State. Drive to the park in 2 hours from Seattle and 3 hours from Vancouver. Entry is permitted year-round and there is no admission fee.
From the West Coast to the East Coast, U.S. national parks offer affordable adventure for all types of travelers. Enjoy your trip to North Cascades National Park in Washington.