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Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Topic: North Cascades National Park

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October 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Go wild and free in national parks and beyond: A list of fee-free days

Go wild and free at national parks, national forests and other federally-managed public lands with 11 fee-free days in 2015. There will be no entrance fee charged on the following days, according to this chart from the U.S. Forest Service: 2015 Free-free Days Dates Event Participating Agency Jan. 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day U.S. Forest Service U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau…

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Comments | More in Fees, national forests, national parks | Topics: fee-free days, mount rainier national park, North Cascades National Park

August 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Cascade River Road work delayed, so head for the hills

If you had canceled your annual fall hike to North Cascades National Park’s Cascade Pass because of the pending closure of the Cascade River Road, go ahead and make plans after all. The national park announced Wednesday that a major repair that would have meant a long closure this fall of the road’s last three miles…

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Comments | Topics: Cascade Pass, Cascade River Road, North Cascades National Park

August 18, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Chat rewind: Advice, tips on Washington’s national parks

Want some tips on where to stay,  hike or just enjoy the scenery, and scenic drives,  in Washington’s national parks? Brian Cantwell and Kristin Jackson, the travel and outdoors editors/writers for The Seattle Times, answered reader questions about about Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park in a live…

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Comments | More in national parks, Reader photos, Washington state | Topics: Mount Rainier Nationa Park, North Cascades National Park, olympic national park

July 31, 2014 at 2:57 PM

A flood of lovely national-park photos: Submit yours

Today’s the last day to submit your photos of Washington’s national parks for our Seattle Times photo contest. There’s been a flood of photos – more than 350 and still counting. The majority are of Mount Rainier National Park which looms large in Washingtonians’ psyches and lives. But there also have been some lovely photos submitted…

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Comments | More in national parks, North Cascades National Park, photo contest | Topics: mount rainier national park, North Cascades National Park, olympic national park

June 21, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Reader pictures from Washington’s national parks

We’re writing about Washington’s three big national parks, with stories on Mount Rainier  and Olympic National Park and North Cascades  National Park. In recent weeks we’ve asked readers to submit their best images from Washington’s national parks for a photo contest. THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered; you can…

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Comments | More in Contest | Topics: mount rainier, national parks, North Cascades National Park

May 15, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Helicopter photo shows where Seattle skier died on Shuksan; body now recovered

Above is a photo of the area where a Seattle skier died in a fall caused by a snow slide Wednesday morning on Mount Shuksan, in North Cascades National Park, northeast of Bellingham. Here’s the text of a statement released Wednesday night from North Cascades National Park: “At 10:45 this morning, North Cascades National Park dispatch received a report…

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Comments | Topics: Mount Shuksan, North Cascades National Park, skier killed

October 10, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Recreation, economic blues as federal lands stay closed

At Olympic National Park, a gate blocks access to the park's Elwha  Valley near Port Angeles. Park roads are closed because of the federal government shutdown.

At Olympic National Park, a gate blocks access to the park’s Elwha Valley near Port Angeles. Park roads are closed because of the federal government shutdown. (AP/Keith Thorpe)

Washington’s national-park  gems — Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades — remain closed, thanks to the federal shutdown. Locals can, with some effort and confusion, figure out other places to go for scenic drives, hikes and other recreation.

But for out-of-state and foreign visitors, the national-park closures are ruining long-planned trips and have local businesses near the parks worried about lingering economic impacts.

“People come from China, Germany, everywhere to see Mount Rainier,” said

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Comments | More in federal shutdown, national parks, Northwest, U.S. Forest Service | Topics: federal lands shutown, mount rainier national park, Mount St. Helens

August 15, 2013 at 11:22 AM

North Cascades Highway may reopen on weekend

Look -  no cars on the North Cascades HIghway, which is blocked by mudslides.  But a portion of the road from the Methow Valley  up to Washington Pass (which is by the Liberty Bell peaks in the background) remains open to bicyclists and drivers who want to get to trailheads. A portion of the road on the west side also is open.

Look – no cars on the North Cascades Highway, which is blocked by mudslides. But an eastside  portion of the road, from the Methow Valley up to Washington Pass (which is by the Liberty Bell peaks in the background),  remains open to bicyclists and to  drivers who want to get to trailheads. A portion of the road on the west side also remains open. (Chris Fox photo)

Crews are working long hours to clear mudslides on the North Cascades Highway, and it’s possible that the popular mountain road could reopen this weekend, says Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Adamson. In the meantime,  some bicyclists are having a field day pedaling up and whizzing down part of the blissfully empty road that remains open.

 The road, also known as Highway 20, is a scenic and popular route that leads from Western Washington to  the Methow Valley. It was shut down  Saturday night because of mudslides touched off by an intense rain/hail storm. By Sunday, eight mud slides just west of Rainy Pass had buried

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Comments | More in highways, North Cascades | Topics: North Cascades, North Cascades Highway, North Cascades National Park

August 14, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Cascade Pass Trail open, but expect damage throughout national park

After the washout, before the fix: A visitor walks among damage where Boston Creek washed out Cascade River Road after a Sunday storm. (National Park Service photo)

After the washout, before the fix: A visitor walks among damage where Boston Creek washed out Cascade River Road after a Sunday storm. (National Park Service photo)

The Cascade Pass Trail in North Cascades National Park remains open despite a weekend road washout, but storm damage to that trail and others in the region remains under assessment by wilderness rangers. Hikers should be prepared for difficult going in places.

For access to Cascade Pass, one of the most popular hikes in the park, hikers must trek an added three miles from a closure point at Milepost 20 on the Cascade River Road, which was washed out by a flood of water and logs during a Sunday evening storm. The Cascade Pass Trail leads to Sahale Arm, Sahale Glacier and Stehekin backcountry such as Horseshoe Basin.

After being trapped behind a road washout overnight, hikers drive out Monday afternoon over a temporary roadway built by National Park Service workers. (National Park Service photo)

After being trapped behind a road washout overnight, hikers drive out Monday afternoon over a temporary roadway built by National Park Service workers. (National Park Service photo)

The washout created a chasm 60 feet wide and 15 feet deep where Boston Creek crosses the gravel road, preventing 70 hikers and their vehicles from exiting the area overnight and through most of Monday. They were able to drive out late Monday afternoon after National Park Service employees built a temporary gravel driving path. The temporary path is not considered reliable for use by other motorists, however.

Hikers are being allowed to park at the Eldorado Creek parking area and walk over the temporary path, said Rick Acosta, information officer for the national park. A park service engineer is evaluating a permanent fix, but it’s too soon to guess how long the road closure might last, Acosta said. No other repair work is going on yet, he said.

The Sunday storms and others over the weekend likely caused other damage in the park that hasn’t all been reported or evaluated. One of the trapped hikers, Victoria Jurgens, reported of her Sunday hike back to the Cascade Pass Trailhead: “The water was running down the trail so hard that it was sloshing up over the tops of my boots! It was pretty wild…We encountered

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Comments | More in national parks, Northwest, Outdoors, Parks | Topics: Cascade Pass Trail, Cascade River Road closure, North Cascades National Park

August 12, 2013 at 3:12 PM

65 stranded by Cascade River Road washout in N. Cascades

The National Park Service supplied this low-resolution photo of the washout on Cascade River Road, the only photo immediately available.

The National Park Service supplied this low-resolution photo of the washout on Cascade River Road, the only photo immediately available.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms over the weekend took a double whammy at primary driving routes in the North Cascades, including a Sunday afternoon washout of the Cascade River Road, a key access to North Cascades National Park backcountry.

The washout, at Boston Creek, 1.5 miles below the popular Cascade Pass Trailhead, stranded 65 people in their cars overnight.

The same series of storms caused multiple landslides closing Highway 20 west of Rainy Pass (see story here).

National Park Service employees were at the Cascade River Road site Monday assisting stranded visitors, and a temporary one-lane road may be opened by day’s end to allow the 25 to 35 trapped vehicles to drive out, according to an email from Ken Hires, Stehekin District Interpreter for the park. Friends and family members of the stranded hikers have been

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Comments | More in highways, national parks, Northwest, Outdoors, Parks | Topics: Cascade Pass, Cascade River Road, North Cascades National Park

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