One of the most accessible waterfalls along State Route 20 is Ketchum Falls. This 161-foot tall waterfall is located near mile post 124 and is often missed by passing motorists. Tucked in a cleft alongside the road, you may only get a glimpse of it as you cruise by at 45 miles per hour. To enjoy this waterfall it is best to come early in the season, as it will be a trickle by the end of July. Simply park your car at the first highway pullout east of mile post 124 and walk back along the shoulder of the road to get an up close and personal view of Ketchum Falls.
Where did Ketchum Falls get its name? It was named by members of the pioneering Davis Family after Seneca Ketchum, the newspaper editor in Sedro-Woolley from 1898 to 1901 sent a photographer into the Cascades to capture pictures of the scenery. Have any of you caught glimpses of Ketchum Falls as you drove along the highway? [Image description: Water tumbles down a series of cascades.] 📷: A. Killion
As the summer progresses and visitation increases, we are seeing more and more evidence of vandalization and intentional littering throughout the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, with an increase in Stehekin and along State Route 20 and Newhalem.
A more recent phenomenon appearing in National Park Service sites are painted rocks used for a social media scavenger hunt. These rocks are usually painted with a solid color, or a design, and display some sort of artist or organization tag which can correspond to a hashtag. While this activity can be fun and beneficial while getting people outdoors, exploring and spreading kindness, the paint, glitter, or mod podge used to cover these rocks may melt or wear off in the hot sun, causing damage to the natural soils, delicate environment, and any wildlife and insects that may ingest or come in contact with it. Visitors who have come to enjoy and experience the landscape as it is naturally may also find these rocks visually intrusive.
Leaving these rocks in National Parks, or on any federal public lands, is considered littering and a form of vandalization, is disrespectful, and is illegal. If you see others engaging in these acts, please report this activity to the nearest park ranger or visitor or information center.
The information on this post pertains specifically to National Park sites, as the mission of the NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of each park for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. We do this by observing Leave No Trace principles (https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles). Be sure to always check the rules and regulations for state, city, and other parks, as well as private land and business owners before choosing to participate in this activity, as they may differ from those for National Park Service sites.
Thank you to all of the visitors who do visit with respect. Let us all leave no trace, educate others about proper stewardship of public lands, and enjoy these wonderful landscapes as they are. Keep exploring, keep creating, keep spreading joy, and let us all be respectful of each other and the world in which we live.
“If an animal’s eyes are in the front, it likes to hunt. Eyes on the side, it likes to hide.” #Repost @ncascades
Check out our latest blog post (link in bio) about mountain school’s partnership with the National Park Service and how we work together to teach lessons about North Cascades National Park’s wildlife, cultural and natural history.
Who’s excited for NOCA50? 🙋🏽♀️🙋🏼♂️ Join the park and the Washington’s National Park Fund as we turn 50!! The season in the park is underway and we turn 50 years in 2018.
What do you want to see in the next 50? @wanatlparkfund
Are you looking to hit the trail? The Wilderness Information Center opens daily 8 am - 5 pm this Saturday, May 5, for all your backcountry permit needs. Backcountry permits are required for overnight stays in boat-in and backcountry campsites.
Dreaming of mountain views and haven’t heard back about your backcountry reservation? You will soon. Rangers continue to work diligently to process the remaining reservation applications, but the volume of applications was much higher this year compared to 2017. If you submitted your application during the lottery period (March 15-31), plan to receive an email notification no later than next week.
Applications received after March 31 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis once the lottery applications are processed. Learn more about backcountry camping in the North Cascades at http://go.nps.gov/1gzk3o