North Cascades National Park

North Cascades

The wildest of all Pacific Northwest wildernesses, the lightly trodden, 1000-sq-mile North Cascades National Park (inaugurated in 1968) has no major settlements and only one road. The names of the dramatic mountains pretty much set the tone: Desolation Peak, Jagged Ridge, Mt Despair and Mt Terror. Not surprisingly, the region offers some of the best backcountry adventures outside of Alaska.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North Cascades attractions

1. Diablo Lake

7.79 MILES

Just south of Ross Lake, Diablo Lake is held back by the 389ft Diablo Dam. A pullout off Hwy 20 known as the Diablo Dam Overlook provides incredible views…

2. Ross Lake

14.27 MILES

Ross Lake stretches across 23 miles north toward the Canadian border. In keeping with the wild terrain, it's accessible only by trail or water. Part of…

3. Baker Lake & Lake Shannon

18.2 MILES

Just north of Concrete are two reservoirs formed by a pair of dams on the Baker River. Washington's largest colony of nesting osprey is found at Lake…

5. Upper Skagit Bald Eagle Area

20.1 MILES

The Bald Eagle area is essentially the 10-mile stretch of the Skagit River between Rockport and Marblemount. After salmon spawn, their spent carcasses…