The North Cascades
The North Cascades became a national park on October 2, 1968. It is located in the north central area of Washington. Since its inception the parks mission statement has evolved to include concerns of the entire ecosystem. (www.seattleinsider.com) When you go to the North Cascades in Washington, you can visit and do a variety of things. Some major tourist attractions are the beautiful ice sculpted, jagged mountains, which rise above deep-forested valleys-terrain carved by moving ice. The Park Complex contains more glaciers than any other national park in the United States outside Alaska. These glaciers are an important source of water for salmon, other wildlife, plants, and people in the Puget Sound region. The cascading waters, which provide a large and expanding nearby population with a wide variety of recreational opportunities, from boating and camping to climbing and backpacking. The vast wildlife also is a major attraction because it is the core of one of the largest protected wild areas in the United States and is a substantial portion of it is designated wilderness. Humans here are visitors, who come to enjoy nature on nature’s terms. The park provides a habitat for one of the greatest diversities of plant life in North America including rare and sensitive species. Some wildlife that live here are a variety of fish, deer, moose, geese, all kinds of birds, horses, bald eagles, wolves, grizzly bears, mountain lions, mountain goats and black bears. Ancient forest holds millions of living organisms and thousands of diverse life forms. The history of the park in general is also a tourist attraction for the park its was after all home to at least 4 tribes whose descendants now live nearby and includes, within its boundaries, three contemporary communities. (www.northcascades.net)
The park and its breathtaking features attract 400, 000 visitors per year. The highest visitation time is usually in August and the lowest is in January. When visitors are here they can do the following: go backcountry camping, hiking, mountain climbing, fishing, horseback riding, wildlife and bird watching, scenery viewing, boating. Facilities include hiking trails, horse rentals nearby, small boat rentals, and professional guide, climbing, pack train services.
It has been stated that there have been no known fires or floods that have occurred in this area. The wildlife and vegetation is basically the same as it is now. (www.nps.gov)
Some educational programs offered at the North Cascades National Park are: field seminars, retreats, graduate programs, teacher workshops, volunteer service learning, skagit watershed education project, and the Northwest Mountain School which is a school for mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking and more.
The North Cascades is a valley terrain carved by moving ice. The climate is different on the western and eastern parts of the mountain. The western side of the mountain gets more rain and is cooler and more lush. The eastern side is in a dryer climate and has warmer temperatures during the summer and colder during the winter. (www.seattleinsider.com)
The location of the park is in the north central area of Washington. The highest peak in the park is Mount Adams at a point of 12,276 ‘/3742m. (http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Washington)
The lowest point is Lake Chelan, which reaches a depth of 1, 500 feet. It is one of the nations deepest lakes. Other landforms are Ross Lake, North Cascades National Highway, Diablo Lake, Gorge Lake and other deep valleys, waterfalls, glaciers, jagged peaks and steep ridges all located within the 505,000 acres of the park. (Hubley, Glaciers of the Washington Cascade pg.669)
The inception dates of the North Cascades National Park are:
National Park – October 2, 1968
National Recreation Area – October 2, 1968
Wilderness – November 16, 1988
The park was originally initiated by the Euro-American Explorations and surveys, and Early Regional Explorations.
Some current events taking place at the North Cascades National Park are pollution caused by Dirt bikes, ATVs and snowmobiles. To help prevent this a
Weak Proposal has been formed. Along with this event, the park also has annual clean-ups and retreats to keep the park clean and beautiful.
Overall the North Cascades is a beautiful place to visit. It has many attractions and a variety of things to do.
1.Hubley, R.C., 1956, Glaciers of the Washington Cascade and Olympic Mountains; their present activity and its relation to local climatic conditions: Journal of Glaciology, v. 2, no. 19, p. 669-674.
2.Readers Digest: Atlas of the World. 1987, Philippine. Readers Digest Asociation
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