Favorite photos from our June 19-26 Youth Leadership Adventure trip on Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park! View more at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncascades/sets/72157645436983814. Learn about this unique backcountry program at www.ncascades.org/youth.

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 www.ncascades.org/get_outside 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 www.ncascades.org/signup/programs/base-camp.

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: http://ncascades.org/signup/programs/skagit-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 Weeklyhttp://www.cascadiaweekly.com/currents/art_and_poetry_at_village_books

Excited to announce our 2014 Sourdough Speaker Series spring lineup! Join us in the North Cascades in May for a special meal and presentation with The Galloping Gourmet, or for a “Microbrews and Mountain Photography” with Icicle Brewing Company and Garrett Grove. Details at www.ncascades.org/speakerseries. 

Each Sourdough event begins with wine and hors d’œuvres on the deck of our lakeside dining hall before moving inside for an informal gourmet dinner of primarily local and organic foods prepared by our renowned kitchen staff. A presentation by our guest speaker will follow, with ample time for questions and discussion. Following Sunday morning’s continental breakfast, we’ll offer a naturalist-led activity to get you outdoors exploring our wild and scenic neighborhood.

The cost for each event is $150 per person based on double-occupancy. All proceeds from these engagements benefit summer youth activities in the North Cascades, so eat, drink and be merry for a good cause!

Register at www.ncascades.org/speakerseries or by calling (360) 854-2599.

Beaver at Red Tail Reach on Whatcom Creek, Bellingham. Photo by Andrew Reding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/

Nice camouflage! Do you know the species? #birding #naturequiz

North Cascades Institute is excited to announce that our full slate of 2014 Learning Center Classes and Field Excursions are now online and open for registration! Highlights include Exploring Yellow and Jones Islands by Boat and Boot, Mountain Photography and Microbrews, Landscape Watercolors in the North Cascades, Wild Eats from Land to Sea in the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker: Discovering Hidden Cinder Cones and Crater Lakes, Wild Poetry at Hart’s Pass, In the Company of Corvids: Ravens, Crows and Jays and more than two dozen other exciting, hands-on learning adventures.

Full list at www.ncascades.org/classes.
Download a beautiful 2014 calendar poster here.

Please call (360) 854-2599 or email nci@ncascades.org for more information and to register.

"Midair food fight between adult and immature bald eagles

The immature got the bird, the adult swooped in. They wrestled over the carcass in midair, splitting it, then each ate its portion. Semiahmoo County Park, Blaine, WA.”

© 2014 Andrew A Reding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/13129573133/

Institute staff meeting at Blue Lake last fall. Not a bad office!