Park Essentials


Visitor centers along North Cascades Highway are accessible by wheelchair. Hikes include Sterling Munro, Skagit River Loop, and Rock Shelter, three short trails into lowland old-growth forest, all at mile 120 along Highway 20 near Newhalem, and the Happy Creek Forest Trail at mile 134.

Park Fees and Permits

There are no entrance fees to the national park and no parking fees at trailheads on park land. A Northwest Forest Pass, required for parking at Forest Service trailheads, is $5 per vehicle for a calendar day or $30 for a year. A free wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry; these are available in person only. Dock permits for boat-in campgrounds are also $5 per day. Car camping is $16 per night at Colonial Creek, Goodell Creek, and Newhalem Creek campgrounds during the summer (when water and other services are available) and free off-season; free at the primitive Gorge Lake and Hozomeen campgrounds. Passes and permits are sold at visitor centers and ranger stations around the park area.

Park Hours

The park never closes, but access is limited by snow in winter. Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway), the major access to the park, is partially closed from mid-November to mid-April, depending on snow levels.

Cell-Phone Reception

Cell-phone reception in the park is unreliable. Public telephones are found at the North Cascades Visitor Center and Skagit Information Center in Newhalem, and the Golden West Visitor Center and North Cascades Stehekin Lodge in Stehekin.

Previous Travel Tip

Car Travel

Next Travel Tip

Visitor Information

Trending Stories


Find a Hotel


Fodor's The Complete Guide to the National Parks of the USA: All 63 parks from Maine to American Samoa

View Details