You are here

A Primer On the North Cascades, Both the Region and the National Park


North Cascades National Park captures a slice of the North Cascades region. But what lies beyond? NPS photo of camping near Easy Pass.

Too often we focus on a specific national park, and don't look too far beyond its borders at the lay of the surrounding land. But it's important to do that, because those landscapes are integral to the park itself. Well, here's a video that is a great primer on the North Cascades region in Washington state, and its namesake national park.

Spend the nearly 27 minutes watching this public television production (KCTS) and you'll get a better understanding and appreciation of the landscape, learn some of the climbing history that was established in the North Cascades, and even see a portion devoted to the "Mountain School" the North Cascades Institute runs at North Cascades National Park to connect youth to nature.

Also profiled is the natural return of wolves to the region, and how affected communities are dealing with the predators. Wildfires are examined, and so are efforts supported by the National Park Foundation to get children involved in learning about native plants and gaining a sense of stewardship for our parks.

The video is longer than most we offer, but it's worth the time. Enjoy!


Thanks! I look forward to watching it this evening. This is an area and park that has intrigued me for a long time but I know very little about.

I was eager with anticipation and excited to watch this program. However I was truly disappointed after viewing it. I've never seen a "documentary" where the host (Enrique) is on camera so much standing in front of the video. Imagine if we had to watch Morgan Freeman stand in front of the "Marching with Penguins" all the time? Also the host was terrible. He looked like he knew nothing about the topic and appeared to just be reading with no real emotion what so ever. Was he part of this documentary or did he just show up to "read" what was written for him while he stood in front of the action. I also couldn't believe how bad the editing was. The still pictures of wolves were obviously just taken off the internet so why not pick better pictures or get some decent video? While the topic deserves an A+ this production was simply a D at best. I expect much better work from KCTS and question my contributions when this is the product that appears to be "mailed in." It reminded me of eating not so good pizza, it's still OK but not very good in comparison.

I must echo your comments. As an avid outdoorsman who frequents the Cascades weekly I was hoping this show would be an hour but mercifully it was only a 1/2 an hour. It looked like a typical story you'd see on the news but only longer without any creativity. It did seem very thrown together. I edit my own home video and was in disbelief by some of this program. Near the end there's an interview with someone and the camera goes wild to shoot an Eagle above. I'd have done an edit to get rid of the jerky camera work but I guess it could be argued that it added to "the moment" to show the jerkiness up to the Eagle. The problem is that after seeing the Eagle the camera continues jerking down like it's trying to find something, which it does not, and then an edit occurs. Huh? Even on my home editing I know enough to avoid that and to make an edit after seeing the Eagle before more jerky camera to nowhere. Also the KCTS lettering on the screen covered up other wording. This all seemed very thrown together and I agree while the topic was good the show looked like it was thrown together in one day.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide