North Cascades National Park


The Cascade Mountain Range is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. Stretching from Canada through Oregon, the Cascades parallel the coast and are responsible for the wet weather this area is known for. The Cascades are also known for creating beautiful vistas of snow capped peaks. While I was familiar with the Cascades and have admired them from afar for years, in March I decided to go to Seattle a day early for a business trip, drive a few hours north, and explore North Cascades National Park.

North Cascades National Park is home to the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project. Three dams – Gorge, Diablo, and Ross – turn water into power for the city of Seattle. Though Seattle is over 100 miles from the park, these dams generate about 25% of its electricity. The industrial use of the wilderness is very visible in some places.

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I am certainly a fan of untouched, wild places. But I also recognize the needs and price of civilization. Ultimately, I’m amazed by hydroelectricity. Humans are smart!

Pure wilderness still rules much of the park.

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As I mentioned in the video, the road through the park wasn’t open for the season yet (nor was the Visitor Center). This certainly stalled our plans of fully exploring North Cascades National Park, but any day spent in the mountains and along glacial lakes will always be a win in my book. Plus now I have a reason to go back for another visit soon.

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Have you been to North Cascades? What do I need to see/do on my next visit?

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