North Cascades National Park is located in Northern Washington about 3 hours west of Seattle.  It is surrounded by national recreation areas and national forests creating a huge play land for you to explore. Whether you only have a day to drive through and check out the viewpoints or weeks to get deep into the wilderness North Cascades National Park should be on your bucket list and here is why:

It’s Free!

That’s right, there is no entrance fee (or even a gate) for the park.  Some trailheads do have a day use parking fee, however the Interagency Annual Pass is accepted.

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Hiking in North Cascades

It’s Not Crowded!

You will not have to wait in long lines, fight for parking spots, or feel like you are hiking with thousands of your closest strangers here.

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Plenty of Room to Park the Bus at the Trailhead

Camping is Cheap!

There are tons of options including free spots and the most expensive campsites are only $16.  However, all of these are dry camping options.  If you need hookups you will have to look outside the park.

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Hiking in the Newhalem Campground

You Don’t Have to Do a Crazy Hike to Get Crazy Views!

There are tons of stunning viewpoints like this one of Diablo Lake that you can just drive up to.  There are also quite a few short hikes like Rainey Lake that have a big payoff.

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Diablo Lake Scenic Viewpoint

You Can Actually Hike With Your Pup!

Most of the trails are actually in the national recreation area or the national forest, so dogs are allowed (on leash of course).  They are also allowed on the sections of the park that are part of the Pacific Crest Trail.  There are still sections that are National Park that they are not allowed so talk to a ranger or confirm which type of land you are on before setting out on a hike.

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Miles happy to be at Rainey Lake

They Have a Nighttime Hike With Lights!

The company town of Newhalem is very proud of its hydroelectric plant and the power of electricity so they created a garden with light up water features to show off their pride and joy.

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Waterfall All Lit Up

Mountains! Glaciers! Forests! Lakes! Rivers! Oh My!

Seriously, there is stunning beauty in every direction!

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You can see more by checking out our youtube video:

Have you been to North Cascades National Park before? What was your favorite part?

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