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Parking Pass for Hiking in North Cascades?

Bloomington, IN
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4 posts
7 reviews
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Parking Pass for Hiking in North Cascades?

I keep reading that a parking pass is needed to park at trailheads in North Cascades park. I have a National Park pass, and one site says that will take the place of the parking pass, but another site says that only an "upgraded" Eagle pass will take the place of the parking pass.

I've never heard of needing a parking pass for a trailhead. Does anyone have any information on this? Thanks!


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276 posts
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1. Re: Parking Pass for Hiking in North Cascades?

OK, here's the deal. If you look carefully at the North Cascades, you'll see that the National Park is not really accessible by roads. The places you can get to along highway 20 are all part of Recreation Areas. I believe there are a couple of long, bouncy dirt roads that drive to the edge of the park (one from Marblemount, if memory serves) but most any hike you do in the area will begin in a National Forest Recreation Area. And yes, the National Forest Service throughout the area (all of Oregon and Washington) requires a parking pass to park at trail heads. They're pretty inexpensive and available at ranger stations all over the area. We were up there last summer; where are you heading?

Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
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2. Re: Parking Pass for Hiking in North Cascades?

They are called the NorthWest Forest Pass, and can be purchased at many places, such as REI, GI Joes, and lots of small stores up closer to the mountain. They are $5 per day, or $30 for an annual pass. You can get away from needing one if you park at least 1/4 mile away from a trailhead. The rangers do check the lots and give tickets if one is not displayed.