NORTH CASCADES VIDEO: 3 Dams, 2 NRAs, 1 Secluded Park
There are three parks in Washington. All are under a three hour drive in different directions from Seattle and require criss-crossing through the city. This made our 3-park tour extremely convenient since Elizabeth’s sister and aunt both live in Seattle and were incredibly awesome hosts and tour guides during our rest days. We loved spending some extra time around the city to enjoy the sights (especially as Elizabeth’s mom and dad flew up to meet us). Although, after all the big city time we were always excited to get back into the serene sanctuaries of our parks.
In 2015, Olympic was the 7th most visited park with 3.3 million visitors. Mount Rainier was 18th with 1.2 million. North Cascades was 54th with a mere 20,677 visitors (5th least visited!). We knew North Cascades was the runt of the family, but were very surprised at how big the difference in popularity actually was. The low visitation is especially ironic since the 3 hydroelectric dams of the Skagit River within the park supply 25% of Seattle’s electricity.
North Cascades definitely plays like a crown jewel of the NPS. First, its huge footprint in the young Cascade Range uniquely encompasses Lake Chelan and Ross Lake National Recreation Areas. Gorgeous mountain and lake views are right off the road. Hikes into an infinite backcountry of towering peaks where you’ll see no one. The largest concentration of glaciers in the Lower 48 states. Gushing cascades flowing from those glaciers down the mountains. And that’s only the small sliver that we could glimpse during our 4-day visit! So take a peek at our North Cascades video and you’ll want to help boost those stats.
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