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Free Traveling Guides » States » Washington » Mountains

» National Parks

North Cascades National Park, Washington

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The North Cascades National Park preserves the idyllic beauty of the northern part of the snowcapped and pine-covered Cascade Mountains. The Cascades offer mile upon mile of forested wilderness, stretching from Canada down to Oregon, traversed by beautiful trails. Hwy - 20, the high mountain road that crosses the Cascades, is by far the most spectacular route top eastern Washington.

Almost 400 miles of trails and wilderness allow visitors to experience nature. The Cascade Loop, a 350 mile round-trip that channels tourist traffic along the major highways in this region, provides the opportunity to drive amongst some of the most gorgeous scenery in the country. The complete trip is feasible only during the summer, since at other times snow closes the mountain passes, and can be rather exhausting if driven all at once.

Unless you have at least three full days to explore this territory in full, you're better off choosing a few selected treks through the incredibly beautiful landscape. The towns themselves are best taken simply as bases for your travels, rather than as tourist destinations. Hwy - 20 begins its long journey inland at Anacortes, from where it crosses the coastal plains, passing the North Cascades National Park Information Center. Here, you can get information about the most popular trails and ranger-led programs.

The best time to visit this park is from mid-June to late-September. Visitors should remember that the weather is unpredictable. Summer storms are common. Those visitors who plan on traveling into the back country should be prepared for such conditions.

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