On our second to last day in the North Cascades National Park (NOCA), we decided to check out the Newhalem Visitor Center and the surrounding area. The visitor center consists of an impressive building full of countless beautiful, interactive exhibits, and a series of trails. It is located across the Skagit River from the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) near milepost 120 and the town of Newhalem.
On the final day of our visit to the North Cascades, we helped out at the Concrete Summer Learning Adventure Camp. The program’s threefold mission is to combat summer learning loss, to provide opportunities to eat and learn about healthy foods, and to establish a connection between local children and the National Park Service. After a quick introduction to the program and staff, we helped set up for the kids’ arrivals.
This week, we were lucky enough to visit the North Cascades Institute (NCI) where we had a tour led by the lovely Chris Kiser, a Program Coordinator at NCI. Completed in 2005, NCI is located right on Diablo Lake, a gorgeous, turquoise lake just south of Ross Lake tucked into the mountains with incredible views in every direction. To start off, Chris amazed us with the fact that the North Cascades National Park (NOCA) is the second most ecologically diverse National Park in the country. NOCA is also the only park “complex” in the United States, meaning it includes both National Park and National Recreation.