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Enjoy the Great Outdoors Washington Camping in North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park consists of deep valleys, jagged mountain peaks, glassy lakes, beautiful waterfalls, glaciers, diverse plant and wildlife, and much more. Located in northern Washington, North Cascades National Park is the largest of three national park services that comprise the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. The other 2 are Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. These complementary protected lands are pretty much run as one park. With over 300 glaciers, mountains, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, forests and more, this is an amazing Washington camping destination!

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The weather in North Cascades National Park is as diverse as the land itself, and climate, temperature and weather depend greatly on season and location. The park is usually covered in a thick layer of snow fall through spring. Mid June through late September tends to have the nicest weather when all but the highest parts of the park are free from snow. The west slopes receive most of the wet weather blowing in from the Pacific Ocean, and consequently, the eastern slopes tend to be warmer and drier, especially in summer. The difference between the two sides is drastic. The west slopes receive an average of 76 inches of rain and 407 inches of snow a year more than the east slopes! The extreme level of winter snow means that Highway 20, the only road between the east and west sides of the park, is closed 4 months out of the year. Weather is unpredictable year round, so visitors should be prepared for just about anything. The park is open year round, although winter weather restricts facilities, roads and trails. There is no entrance fee to enter the park.

Outdoor activities abound once you reach the park. There are wonderful scenic drives that offer tremendous views of the park. You can fish in a lake or a river. Raft down a river or climb a mountain. Hike a mountain trail or explore a deep, green forest. Take a boat ride on the Ladt of the Lake and visit the historic town of Stehekin which is located at the heart of Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Watch out for over 200 species of birds, gray wolves, deer, wolverine, or a member of 80 other species. Go on a guided tour with a ranger and learn about the park’s history. Bring your horses and explore the park that way. No matter what you enjoy, North Cascades National Park has something for everyone, making it an excellent Washington camping destination!

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