Take caution and check for road closures due to wildfires in the North Cascades.
June 11, 2020

Denise Shultz
North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park Service Complex Increases Recreational Access

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local public health authorities, North Cascades National Park Service Complex is increasing recreational access for overnight use (day use reopened during previous phase). The National Park Service (NPS) is working 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.

Diablo Lake North Cascades National Forest Whatcom County 1

Beginning June 12, North Cascades National Park Service Complex will reopen access to:

  • Campgrounds.
  • Wilderness Information Center (backcountry permits/info.)
  • Backcountry campsites/overnight stays (NOTE: Many trails have not yet been assessed or cleared; downed trees, washouts, and other hazards may be encountered; access to Sourdough Mtn. Trail and Diablo/Ross dams may be restricted through Seattle City Light managed areas.)
  • Hozomeen--accessible only from the United States side by hiking or boating via State Route 20/Ross Lake; the international border gate will remain closed until further notice.
  • Stehekin marina and public docks (all boat ramps reopened during the previous phase.)

With public health and safety in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • All visitor centers.
  • Group campsites in Goodell, Colonial, and Newhalem campgrounds.
  • Cascade River Road - seasonally closed; will reopen after snow is removed and winter road damage has been repaired.

“We urge visitors to bring all of their own supplies, including hand sanitizer, face coverings, toilet paper, and food and beverages,” said Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich. “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 continue 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 many areas are accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased in and services may be limited. 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 COVID19 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.

        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
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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