Welcome to North Cascades National Park
Inaugurated in 1968, North Cascades National Park feels like Alaska transplanted into the lower 48, a thousand square miles of dramatic, daunting wild country strafed with mountains, lakes, glaciers (over 300 of them) and wildlife, but with almost no trace of civilization. Erratic weather, massive precipitation, thick rainforest and vertiginous cliffs have long ensured the remoteness of the park's mountains: steep, alpine behemoths furnished with names like Mt Terror, Mt Fury, Mt Despair and Forbidden Peak. Aspiring bushwhackers and free-climbers love the unique challenges offered by this eerie wilderness (most of the peaks weren't climbed until the 1930s). The less adrenaline-hungry stick close to arterial Hwy 20 and prepare for the drive of a lifetime (in summer, anyway: road access is nonexistent during winter).