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Wildlife & Birding in the North Cascades

Once you round the bend below Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires, and make the approach toward Washington Pass, it is highly apparent that you're in for a truly special experience. The North Cascades is a rich and varied ecosystem containing numerous wildlife habitats.  The giant ponderosa pines of the Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest give way to Douglas-fir and Pacific silver fir as you ascend the mountains and enter the North Cascades National Park. Once you've left the rivers behind and climb higher into the wilderness you enter the subalpine world home to grassy meadows and stunted krummholz trees. Low-growing flowers and plants dominate the area. Climbing higher, toward the glacial fields, enter a world of rock and ice. One the west side of the pass, descend out of the North Cascades National Park and into the old-growth forests of the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest and into verdant green farmlands of the Skagit River Valley.

Wildlife Viewing

Shrew (Vagrant and Water) American Pika, Nuttal's Cottontail, Snowshoe Hare, White-Tailed Jackrabbits, Muskrat, Beaver, Marmot (Hoary and Yellow-bellied), Squirrel (Columbian Ground, Cascade Golden-Mantled Ground, Western Gray, Red, Douglas, Northern Flying), Chipmunk (Townsend's and Yellow Pine), Mice (North American Deer, Northwestern Deer, Great Basin Pocket, Pacific and Western Jumping), Bushy-Tailed Woodrat, Northern Bog Lemming, Vole (Water, Montane, Long-Tailed, Southern Red-Backed and Western Heather), Porcupine, Northern Pocket Gopher, Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Canada Lynx, Coyote, Red Fox, Gray Wolf, Black Bear, Raccoon, Weasel (Short-Tailed and Long-Tailed), Mink, American Marten, Northern River Otter, Wolverine, American Badger, Skunk (Western-Spotted and Striped), Deer (Mule, White-Tailed and Black-Tailed), Rocky Mountain Elk, Mountain Goats, Moose

Black bear cub and its mother

Key Birding Locations

Rainy Pass Picnic Area 

Waterfalls, alpine forest

Rufous Hummingbird, Fox Sparrow, Wilson's Warbler, Pine Siskin, Townsend's Solitaires, Thrush (Varied and Hermit)


Colonial Creek Campground 

Coniferous and riparian landscape

Red-breasted Nuthatch, Thrush (Swainson's and Varied), Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Western Tanager, Cliff Swallow, Hammond's Flycatcher, Pileated Woodpecker, Steller's Jay


North Cascades National Park Visitor Center 

6-mile forested site 

Hammond's Flycatcher, Warbler (Townsend's and Wilson's), Red-Eyed Vireo, Black-Headed Grosbeak, Thrush (Swainson's and Varied), Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Pileated Woodpecker, White-Crowned Sparrow, Winter Wrens, Kinglet (Golden-Crowned and Ruby-Crowned), American Dippers, Osprey


Marblemount Boat Launch 

80 reparian acres along two rivers

Bald Eagle, Common Yellowthroat, Tree Swallow, Spotted Sandpiper, Turkey Vulture, Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron

Birding Guide
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Wildlife Guide
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Field Guides
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North Cascades Lodging, Dining, Activities & Info
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