North Cascades National Park



North Cascades National Park offers van lifers a gateway to thrilling adventures. Hike through pristine alpine meadows, marvel at towering glaciers, and witness cascading waterfalls. Embark on scenic drives along the North Cascades Highway, go wildlife spotting, or paddle serene lakes. Immerse yourself in nature’s majesty and create unforgettable memories.


Campers in search of the great outdoors will find North Cascades National Park to be a haven. There’s something for every kind of explorer in Washington state’s enormous wilderness.


North Cascades National Park is a great place to go hiking because it has more than 400 miles of trails that go through breathtaking scenery. There are a wide variety of trails ranging from casual strolls to strenuous ascents to the summit. If you want to see glacier-carved valleys and towering peaks, you can’t miss the famous Cascade Pass Trail. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through the park, making it a great destination for those looking for a multi-day backpacking trip.


The park’s lakes and rivers are perfect for anglers due to their clarity. Try your luck fishing for trout and salmon in the Skagit River. You can catch trout and Kokanee salmon in both Ross Lake and Diablo Lake. Before heading out, make sure to research fishing regulations and secure the appropriate licenses.

Mountain Biking

Riding a mountain bike through the park’s rough terrain is an exhilarating experience. Even while the park itself doesn’t have many routes designed for mountain riding, the adjoining Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest has. Prepare for an exhilarating ride through beautiful forests, steep inclines, and fast descents.


The North Cascades National Park is a must-see for any van lifer who enjoys camping. Colonial Creek, Goodell Creek, and Newhalem Creek are just a few of the many parks campgrounds. Picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms may all be found at these campgrounds, making them a convenient home base for exploring the park’s attractions. Be careful to plan ahead and book a reservation, especially during certain times of year.


Boondocking in a park is the pinnacle of independence for those living in vans. You can park your camper van at one of several scattered campsites and immediately feel at one with nature. Don’t forget to respect nature by only camping in specified places and according to the Leave No Trace principles.

Park Information

Get all the knowledge you need from the visitor center before venturing out into the park. Find out the upcoming weather, trail conditions, and park warnings. Maps, informative displays, and a kind, knowledgeable staff make the tourist center an invaluable resource.

Boondocking, fishing, climbing, and mountain biking are just a few of the activities available to van dwellers in North Cascades National Park. Create lifelong memories of your van life adventure by taking in the park’s stunning scenery, rough landscapes, and peaceful wilderness.

It’s a privilege to have North Cascades National Park for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.


To travel from Seattle to North Cascades National Park, you can follow these directions:

1. Start by heading north on I-5 from Seattle.

2. Stay on I-5 for approximately 50 miles until you reach exit 230 for WA-20 East/Skagit City/Sedro-Woolley.

3. Take exit 230 and merge onto WA-20 East toward Sedro-Woolley/North Cascades National Park.

4. Continue on WA-20 East for approximately 67 miles. This scenic highway will take you through charming towns, forests, and eventually into the heart of North Cascades National Park.

5. As you enter the park, you’ll encounter various points of interest, including viewpoints, trailheads, and visitor centers. Feel free to make stops along the way to soak in the breathtaking scenery.

6. If your destination within the park is the popular visitor center at Newhalem, continue on WA-20 East until you reach the signs for Newhalem. Take the appropriate exit and follow the signs to the visitor center.

Please note that road conditions and traffic may vary, so it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or closures before starting your journey. Additionally, it’s recommended to have a reliable navigation system or map to assist you during the drive.

References and Links:

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