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North Cascades National Park

One of the least visited of the national parks, North Cascades is almost unimaginably scenic, with steep evergreen-covered slopes, jagged rocky summits, alpine meadows, waterfalls, glaciers (half of all the glaciers in the lower 48 states are here), and gorgeous mountain lakes. Ninety-two percent of the area covered by the park is designated wilderness; Ross Lake National Recreational Area runs through its midsection. Highway 20 is the only driving road through the forest. A paradise for backcountry hikers, remote corners of the park are reported to sustain such scarce mammals as Gray Wolves, Grizzly Bears, and Fishers. More than 1,700 plant species have been identified in the North Cascades, the highest number of any national park. Along Highway 20 are a short loop walk (Happy Creek Forest Walk) through an old-growth forest, and superb views at Diablo Lake Overlook.

The complex also includes Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, which rests in a glacially carved trough in the Cascades Range. Chelan is one of the nation's deepest lakes, reaching a depth of 1,500 feet.

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  • biking
  • boating
  • camping
  • climbing
  • fishing
  • handicap
  • hiking
  • horses
  • paddling
  • rv
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