When is the best time to visit North Cascades National Park?

I live in Seattle and sometimes I just want to get away from the crowds. A coworker told me that I should visit the North Cascades, as she’s had the park pretty much to herself numerous times. When’s the best time to visit North Cascades National Park?

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Answer provided by
Eric Schad
Answered on May 13, 2022
With only about 38,000 visitors a year, North Cascades is one of the hidden gems of Washington and the second-least-visited national park in the contiguous United States.
If you’re planning a trip, the best time to visit North Cascades National Park is in the summer. During this time, the park experiences less rain and the temperatures make hiking more tolerable.
To help you plan your trip, here are a few exciting attractions and ideas:
  • Hike around the scenic rim of Thornton Lake.
  • Take pictures and experience one of 300 glaciers that dot the park.
  • View some of the park’s wildlife, which includes bighorn sheep, black bears, elk, lynx, bobcats, pika, and more.
  • Drive the 30-mile North Cascades Highway, which offers picnic areas, short hikes, and numerous overlooks.
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