10 Things to do in North Cascades National Park That You Shouldn't Miss

November 7, 2021 Jeremy Dunfee

The least visited national park in Washington, it has a great deal to offer including a spectacular rain forest.

1. Washington Pass Overlook

North Cascades National Park, WA +1 509-996-4000 http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/washington/washington-pass-overlook-trail
Excellent
85%
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5.0 based on 128 reviews

Washington Pass Overlook

Scenic overlook from which you can see famous natural sights including the Liberty Bell Peak and Early Winter Spires.

Reviewed By charless503 - Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

On our trip from Seattle to Winthrop, my wife and I stopped first at the beautiful Diablo overlook and then at the Washington Pass both stops to enjoy the scenery and to break the 4 hour drive on the Hwy 20. The view of the mountains is absolutely stunning.

2. Devils Loop

North Cascades National Park, WA
Excellent
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Hiking trail that ends at Ross Lake.

3. Beaver Loop

North Cascades National Park, WA
Excellent
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

Beaver Loop

This 26-mile hiking trail is considered by many to be the most beautiful and challenging trail in North Cascades Park.

4. Maple Pass Loop

North Cascades National Park, WA
Excellent
94%
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6%
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5.0 based on 53 reviews

Maple Pass Loop

A scenic trail passing by lakes and meadows.

Reviewed By 718kristens - Tennessee, United States

Best hike! I couldn’t stop taking pictures because the views were amazing. Hiking sticks were very helpful. We went counter clockwise. It was a gradual incline to the top and not too steep back down. Most hikers were wearing masks or put them on when we passed. We started around 8am. Took us about 6 hours total with lunch at the top and lots of breaks for my 12 year old. Take plenty of water. I never felt unsafe. Well marked path once you’re on it. Weather was much cooler and easier in the early morning hours. Bugs were not a problem (october). Parking was available. Don’t forget to pay your $5 fee at the box or display your pass.

5. Hidden Lake Peak Trail

North Cascades National Park, WA
Excellent
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5.0 based on 5 reviews

Hidden Lake Peak Trail

Hidden Lake Peak Trail is 4.5 miles, steep and is a full day or overnight hike.

Reviewed By shesekmatok - Los Angeles, United States

Hi fellow travelers ☺️ Will start with a caution. The road leading to the trailhead is more suitable for high rise SUV, than a sedan, especially if u r its owner. It's a 4 miles of a narrow dirt road, with rocks, stones and small craters (huge potholes). Drove a Toyota highlander, which made it through nicely, but it wasn't easy. There's a parking spot for sedans, I think about 0.5 miles from the trailhead. But u still get to drive most of the way. Got to the trailhead, great ???????? It doesn't matter how far u can go, it's worth a visit. I'll let the pics do the talking. The trail is 4.5 miles up and 4.5 miles down. Elevation gain approximately 3000ft. Started my day at 0730 and was back by 1330. Not a competition ☺️ just giving u a time frame. 3.5 hours to the top and 2 hours downhill. More people started the hike later in the day. But all in all it's not heavily trafficked. Temp when I left, was low fifties and at the top, was cold as well. Be prepared if u r, like myself, a sun lover. Sun came out, only on the way back and for a short while. Was mostly cloudy. There are parts, that the vegetation encloses the path. My advice, wear long trousers/legging. Will not lie, it's a grueling hike, but definitely doable and worth it. Starts with a hike through a green and dense forest, with water everywhere. Then, lots of summer blossom, colorful and views of the surrounding mountains. Then come the boulders and some left over snow, wich is more icy. U even get to walk on it, which I didn't like much, since I'm clumsy. **Tip** The trail has a few false paths, that were done by hikers with backcountry permit. These lead u to a camping spot and off trail. Neat trick is to download the map of the area on Google maps for offline use (no service up there) and u can see if u r on the right path. Used it a few times. Have fun and take lots and lots of pictures ????????‍♀️????????‍♀️????????‍♀️????????‍♀️ Questions? Feel free to ask ????

6. McAlester Pass-Rainbow Lake Loop

North Cascades National Park, WA
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5.0 based on 1 reviews

McAlester Pass-Rainbow Lake Loop

Challenging hiking trail that crosses snowfields and Rainbow Creek.

7. Blue Lake Trai

Highway 20, North Cascades National Park, WA 98862
Excellent
87%
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5.0 based on 39 reviews

Blue Lake Trai

Reviewed By shesekmatok - Los Angeles, United States

Come early, u will have the lake for yourself, come late, u will share... A lot. There's a pit toilet at the trailhead ???? And one picnic table ????????‍♀️ 5$ fee at a self service station, if u don't hold an annual park pass. Started at 0640 am and it was cold ???? in the 40's. Took me 15 minutes to get warmer and and an hour to reach the lake. Just a time frame... The trail isn't steep, elevation gain is about 1000 ft. Beautiful scenery all the way, pics say it all. The lake is much more than I have expected. Stayed around it for about an hour and was amazed by the views, from many angles ???? A bit further there's a small loop that leads to a small pond. The way back was a treat. I could jog down hill parts of it. Just watch ur footing. On the way down, met 20 fellow hikers. Most of the trail was shaded. When the sun came through, so did the bugs. Questions? Feel free to ask ☺️ Have fun ????????‍♀️????????‍♀️????????‍♀️????????‍♀️

8. Cutthroat Lake

North Cascades National Park, WA
Excellent
83%
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17%
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5.0 based on 6 reviews

Cutthroat Lake

9. Diablo Lake Overlook

Hwy 20 Mile Marker 132, North Cascades National Park, WA 98284-1263 +1 360-854-7200 http://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/accessibility-at-diablo-lake-overlook.htm
Excellent
80%
Good
18%
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5.0 based on 126 reviews

Diablo Lake Overlook

Reviewed By 273triciaa - Louisville, United States

picnic tables and a great view...great stopping spot on your drive through NCNP...but it can get busy.

10. North Cascades National Park

North Cascades Highway, North Cascades National Park, WA +1 360-854-7200 http://www.nps.gov/noca/index.htm
Excellent
78%
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5.0 based on 46 reviews

North Cascades National Park

Reviewed By 38sallyj - Chelmsford, United Kingdom

.The scenery here was amazing, forests, mountains and lakes, Lake Diablo was incredible, the blue water was fantastic. Definately worth visiting this National Park. We visited America for a month, so we bought the Annual Park Pass, at $80, it saves a lot of money, you can access as many parks as you wish, and only pay the once.

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