North Cascades National ParkPhotos, Pictures, Prints

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Mount Shuksan

North Cascades National Park is a national park located in Washington State. The park features rugged mountain peaks, and boasts 318 glaciers—which is the most of any park in the lower 48 states.

Unfortunately, all the glaciers in the park have retreated significantly from 1980-2005 and the rate of retreat is increasing. The recent warmer climate has led to more summer melting and more winter melting events, reducing winter snowpack.

Nearly all of the national park is protected as wilderness, so there are few maintained buildings and roads. For this reason, the park is most popular with backpackers and mountain climbers.

Mount Shuksan, in the northwest corner of the park, is one of the most photographed mountains in the country and the second highest peak in the park 9,127 ft (2,765 m). Meanwhile, Mount Baker at 10,778 feet (3,285 m) has some of the highest recorded snowfall anywhere in the world. This is due to its dramatic rise above sea level, with the San Juan Islands located only 60 miles away.

The North Cascades is one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. Elusive mammals like the gray wolf, fisher and wolverine wander the wilderness in small numbers, while more adaptable Columbia black-tailed deer, Douglas squirrels and pikas delight park visitors in abundance. A wide variety of birds breed within the park boundaries. Fish and amphibians lurk in the clear mountain lakes and streams. The rich forests, rocky slopes and clean waters teem with invertebrate life.

Most of the Park requires backcountry camping skills to access and photograph the high and remote peaks. The most accessible areas outside of the Park include Picture Lake and Artist’s Point near Mount Baker.

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