North Cascades National ParkWashington State 

The most glaciers of any U.S. park outside Alaska.

North Cascades protects portions of the northern section of the Cascade Mountain Range. It is one of the snowiest places on earth and there are few maintained buildings. The park, located 90 minutes east of Bellingham, is popular with backpackers and mountain climbers.

North Cascades consists of a North Unit and a South Unit. The park is divided by Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Ross Lake is the most accessible part of the area as Highway 20 (the “North Cascades Highway”) travels through it. The recreation area contains three reservoirs and offers hiking and camping to visitors. In 2010, the Seattle Times called the three lakes the “most jaw-dropping and accessible water-and-mountain panoramic vistas you’ll find anywhere”

The North Cascades National Park Service Complex includes the contiguous units of North Cascades, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Ross Lake is by far the most popular segment of the group, with North Cascades among the least visited national park designated units in the lower 48 states. Part of the reason is due to the ease of accessibility of Ross Lake compared to the North Cascades.


There are more than 300 glaciers in the complex. This is a third of all of the glaciers in the lower 48 states and the most glaciers of any park in the United States outside of Alaska. Boston Glacier is the largest glacier in the park, located on the north side of Boston Peak.

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