Take caution and check for road closures due to wildfires in the North Cascades.

North Cascades National Park

Spanning more than 500,000 acres, the North Cascades National Park is one of the largest of three National Park Service units in Washington State. It was established as a National Park in 1968 in order to preserve the mountain scenery, snowfield, glaciers, waterfalls and alpine meadows that make up the North Cascades. Since then it has been nicknamed the “American Alps.” 

The park offers numerous campgrounds, backcountry camps, boat-in sites, and hiking trails. Popular hikes include Thunder Knob, Cascade Pass, Maple Pass Loop, and Hidden Lake. The Gorge Overlook and Diablo Lake Overlook are also popular destinations.

Wherever your adventure takes you, don't forget to recreate responsibly: know before you go, plan and prepare, build an inclusive outdoors, respect others, leave no trace, and make the park better.  

Fire activity can cause road closures or delays on State Route 20, also known as Highway 20 or North Cascades Highway, which goes into and through North Cascades National Park. Fires and response teams may also cause closures on other roads inside the park. 

Check conditions by visiting: 

Plan Your Trip

⚠️ Campfires Banned in North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Effective Friday, July 12, 2024, campfires or the ignition of wood, briquettes, or any fuel in fire pits, fire pans and barbeque grills, are banned in all portions of North Cascades National Park Service Complex – North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. This includes all National Park Service lands and campgrounds along State Route 20 as well as Hozomeen and the entire Stehekin Valley. Stoves or grills that are solely fueled by liquid petroleum fuels for the purpose of cooking are allowed in all locations while cooking.

The North Cascades Institute is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers people to enjoy and learn about the mountains, rivers, and forests of the Pacific Northwest. The Institute offers a variety of classes, programs, getaways, and camps at their award-winning campus in the heart of the North Cascades National Park!

North Cascades can be accessed as part of the Cascade Loop!

Learn more about this amazing scenic round trip (and its wondrous connecting outings such as Chuckanut Drive up to Bellingham). Have fun exploring!

  • Use caution on access roads: watch for obstructions such as rocks, sudden bends, and parked vehicles/pedestrians.
  • Break-ins are not uncommon at trailheads along State Route 20 in North Cascades National Park. Remove your valuables and electronics and take associated electronic cords.
  • Carry the ten essentials: hydration, extra food, navigation, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first aid kit, fire, repair tools, emergency shelter. 
  • Stay on trails. Wear adequate footwear and use a topographic map/compass.
  • Report down trees or washouts to the nearest ranger station.
  • Do not depend on cell phones as there are many 'dead spots'.
  • Always tell a friend your travel plans including destination and expected return time.
  • If a fire is active in the park, do not fly drones or pull over on the highway to look at or photograph the fire.
  • View current road conditions here
  • View current trail conditions and closures here
  • View current fire closures here
  • View current lake and river conditions here
  • View current climbing conditions here.
        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
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Phone: 360-671-3990

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