Join North Cascades Institute this weekend at amazing Maple Pass during peak wildflower season for a Citizen Science BioBlitz: Maple Pass Plant Inventory!

We’ll begin Sunday at the Learning Center with dinner and an evening presentation to learn about the native plants and animals that inhabit our local alpine areas, with an overnight stay in our guest lodges. The following day, we’ll hike into the mountains to lend a hand with some ongoing inventory and stewardship projects at this stunning destination.

More Info and registration at or (360) 854-2599. A commuter rate for people who prefer to camp on their own is available. 

Learn more about our ongoing stewardship efforts in this well-loved, well-used area on our blog at

Photo by Andy Porter Photography

North Cascades National Park biologist and Institute instructor Roger Christophersen interviewed by a TV crew on Diablo Lake at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. The topic was “how is wildlife in the Pacific Northwest impacted by climate change?” Roger’s the right person to ask! The show they were filming for is called “Rock The Park” and will be airing on the CW network beginning this October.

Scenes from North Cascades Institute’s Poetry Ramble at Hart’s Pass, August 1-3, 2014. Led by poet Tim McNulty and Institute founder and executive director Saul Weisberg, this field excursion included the practice of working in field journals, wildlflower and butterfly appreciation, sketching, hiking and, of course, composing poetry in the North Cascadian high lands!

Photos by Lee Whitford

"This was THE BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE!," explains Youth Leadership Adventures student JJ Doria in the introduction to his awesome new video from his Youth Leadership Adventure trip on Ross Lake with North Cascades Institute

Bellingham REI staff recently met with the North Cascades Institute Youth Leadership program on Ross Lake. Significant stewardship karma was earned by everyone paddling 16 miles one way to the work site, over 32 miles round trip. Road access is not an option on Ross Lake. The project focused on restoring Native Riparian Sedges and Rushes along the banks of Ten Mile Island. By the end of the project over 200 plants were placed along the shores by our crew of 20 volunteers. 

More photos by Jesse Kennedy at

Favorite photos from our June 19-26 Youth Leadership Adventure trip on Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park! View more at Learn about this unique backcountry program at

We are thrilled that the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center has been included on the "Great Getaways Northwest Lodges" list in ParentMap magazine! To be included on a list that features the famous lodges at Crater Lake, Paradise at Mount Rainier, Lake Quinault and Kalaloch, Timberline at Mount Hood and others is both humbling and inspiring.

“One of the most educational places for families to stay in the Northwest, North Cascades Institute combines rustic mountain eco-lodging with nature programming in the heart of North Cascades National Park on stunning Diablo Lake.”

North Cascades Institute invites you, your friends and family to experience this Northwest treasure. Upcoming programs at the Learning Center include:

Fourth of July Family Getaway: July 4-6
Lichens of the North Cascades: July 11-13
Mid-July Family Getaway: July 18-20
Late-July Family Getaway: July 25-27
Dragonflies of the Methow: August 10-11
Mid-August Family Getaway: August 15-17
Maple Pass Plant Inventory: August 17-18
The Budding Naturalist 101: September 26-28

Details and online registration for these and other offerings are at or by calling (360) 854-2599.

We also offer Base Camp throughout the summer, where you can come up to the Learning Center on your own schedule, exploring the North Cascades at your own pace while enjoying comfortable accommodations, delicious meals and engaging naturalist-led learning adventures. Details at

Hope to see you in the mountains this summer!

Mt Baker ice. Photo by Ethan Welty. #mtbaker #glacier #ice

A perfect spring day in the North Cascades! Diablo Dam, Pyramid Peak, the Skagit River….spillway open to make room in Diablo Lake for summer snowmelt.

On April 26, 2014, our 5th annual Migratory Bird Festival brought together 130 students from North Cascades Institute’s Youth Leadership Adventures, Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Outdoor Opportunities, Interim WILD and the Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Youth Program for a day to  learn about and celebrate migratory birds at Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Sponsored by the US Forest Service, the day included a birding identification lesson and bird bingo expedition, migration challenge game, adopt-a-bird challenge and opportunities to learn about how to conserve migratory birds. Thank you to the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Interim WILD, Mt Vernon Police Department, Catholic Housing Services, Skagit Audubon, Whidbey Island Audubon, Seattle Parks and Recreation and North Cascades Institute staff and graduate students who volunteered their time to make the festival enriching and fun!

Join North Cascades Institute for fun, interpretive tours of the fascinating natural and cultural history of the Upper Skagit Valley this summer. Now registering for Diablo Lake Boat Tours and Skagit Power Tours: !

Two great readings at Village Books in Fairhaven in our “Nature of Writing” series this Saturday: Hannah Viano shares her new book “S is for Salmon: A Pacific Northwest Alphabet” at 11 am and local poet and Institute instructor Holly Hughesreads from “Sailing by Ravens” at 7 pm; awesome NW books, free events!

Read reviews of both in this week’s Cascadia Weekly