North Cascades National Park Location And How To Reach It?

A national park in the U.S. state of Washington, North Cascades National Park is a popular tourist destination. The North Cascades National Park Complex’s main unit is the North Cascades National Park at more than 500,000 acres. The Skagit River bisects North Cascades National Park, which is divided into the northern and southern half by the reservoirs of Ross Lake National Recreation Area. On the southern boundary of the South Unit, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area is located. Nearly the whole park is surrounded by protected properties, such as the two national recreation areas mentioned above, as well as other federally and provincially owned lands in British Columbia. Among its many highlights are the jagged peaks of the North Cascades Range, the largest glacier system in the contiguous United States, several watersheds, and one of the most diverse floras in any American national park: the headwaters of numerous rivers.

An alpine scene is a little under three hours away from Seattle. Communities of life that thrive on rain and recurrent fire may be found in the west. Over 300 glaciers adorn the craggy summits. Listen to the sound of waterfalls in the woods. See a landscape that is responsive to the planet’s shifting climate. Assist in protecting the ecologically rich core of the Cascade Mountains.

Entrances and how to reach the North Cascades National Park

From Seattle, the park is situated around 115 miles away. Drive north on I-5 to Wash. 20, well known as the North Cascades Highway. I-5 exit 230 in Burlington is the primary route to North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Between Ross Dam Trailhead and Lone Fir, State Route 20 is blocked throughout the months of November through April. The Silver-Skagit Road from Hope, British Columbia is the only way to get to the Ross Lake shoreline by car.

Cars are by far the most common mode of transportation in North Cascades National Park. Bicycling is a popular and environmentally friendly alternative to driving to and from the park. Public transportation is limited.

What kind of vehicle do you intend to use for your trip to the park? If so, congratulations! Your efforts contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a decrease in petroleum usage. Plan your journey using the Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator.

Ross Lake National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park

State Route 20 (SR 20) is the primary route into both North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Silver-Skagit and State Route 542 (SR 542) serve as gateways to various northern areas of the park including Hozomeen, Mount Shuksan, and Copper Ridge.

Cascade Highway in the North

North Cascades Highway (SR 20) links with Interstate 5 near Burlington, Washington, from the west. Highway 97 and 153 meet near Okanogan and Twisp, respectively, from the east. This route between Ross Dam Trailhead and Lone Fir Campground is usually closed from November to April because of the avalanche hazard.


The Ross Lake beachfront can only be accessed through the Silver-Skagit Road to Hozomeen. Near Hope, British Columbia, there is a 37-mile (60-kilometer) gravel road that links to B.C. Highway 1 (Exit 168). Through the Ross Lake Resort, water taxi and portage services are provided.

Shuksan, Copper Ridge, and Northern Pickets

State Route 542 (SR 542) east of Bellingham provides access to Copper Ridge, the northern Picket Range, and Mount Shuksan for hikers and climbers. North Cascades Highway (NCH) milepost 82 is the starting point for Mount Shuksan’s Sulphide Glacier trek.

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Stehekin and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area are not accessible by automobile. Transportation for visitors to the Stehekin Valley is available.

By Boat

From Chelan to U.S.Route 97, passenger ferry service is available. To get to know more information on private boat and float plane access, check out the Getting to Stehekin page.

On Foot

Hikers to Stehekin starts at the Cascade Pass trailhead which is on the gravel Cascade River Road, the southbound Pacific Crest Trail from State Route 20 which is near the Rainy Pass picnic area, and from War Creek, Eagle Creek, South Creek and Gilbert trailheads on the Twisp River Road. Few of these trails are good for stock.

Scroll to Top