When to Go

Family camping in the North Cascades of Washington in the Fall
Holly Werran, Courtesy REI
In the North Cascades, each season brings a wealth of different things to do. When to go depends on what you want to experience while you’re there.

The North Cascades are home to spectacular summer hiking and camping. They also have world-class winter recreation, such as skiing and snowshoeing. Mild temperatures on the west side allow for great fall and spring recreation.

“In the North Cascades, each season brings a wealth of different things to do.”


A typically wet winter and early spring in the Pacific Northwest makes spring a great time to visit the North Cascades. Visitors are sure to see many spectacular waterfalls, including these well-known marvels:

  • Rainbow Falls near Stehekin
  • Gorge Falls off U.S. Highway 20


The east side of the North Cascades experiences hot, arid summer weather. But head to the west side and you will find milder temperatures and a climate perfect for hiking and camping.


At 6,800 feet in elevation, Hart’s Pass is the highest destination you can drive to in Washington state. It is a spectacular place to view breathtaking vistas bursting with fall colors. In the fall, you also can see the stunning golden larch trees, whose needles turn a rich gold color.


If you’re an avid cross-country skier, you won’t want to miss visiting Methow Valley during the winter. When you go, you’ll find more than 120 miles of peaceful, freshly-groomed trails through a pristine snowy landscape.

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