When to Go
When to Go
The spectacular, craggy peaks of the North Cascades—often likened to the Alps—are breathtaking in any season. Summer is peak season, especially along the alpine stretches of Route 20; weekends and holidays can be crowded. Summer is short and glorious in the high country, extending from snowmelt (late May to July, depending on the elevation and the amount of snow) to early September.
The North Cascades Highway is a popular autumn drive in September and October, when the changing leaves put on a colorful show. The lowland forest areas, such as the complex around Newhalem, can be visited almost any time of year. These can be wonderfully quiet in early spring or late autumn on mild, rainy days. Snow closes the North Cascades Highway from November through mid-April.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $174 & up -- SF: 4-Star Hotel near Union Square, 45% Off Expedia
- $186 & up -- 5-Star Seattle Hotel, Save 50% Expedia
- $169-$189 -- Downtown Seattle Hotel incl. Memorial Day — $169-$189 Renaissance Seattle Hotel
- $140 & up -- Seattle 4-Star Downtown Hotel, Save 50% — $140 Sheraton Seattle Hotel
- $175 & up -- Downtown Seattle 4-Star Hotel, 40% Off — $175 The Westin Seattle