4 Towns Near North Cascades National Park (Where To Stay)

Whenever I plan a vacation I’m gungho about actually doing the thing…and pretty much none of the logistics.

Several years ago I was all caught up in planning the perfect family backpacking trip in North Cascades National Park until my wife was like, “Where are we going to stay the night before?”

Valid question. I had no idea what towns were close by North Cascades National Park and even less idea of where to stay within those towns.

However, with a lot of research (and even more help from my wife) we were able to figure out which towns were closest and where you should stay on your own trip! Whether you’re looking for a basecamp the night before a backpacking trip or just want to do some day hikes there are plenty of solid options.

We’ve been to the park several times in the past couple of years and typically make it a point to stay somewhere new so I can personally recommend most of these and the other recommendations come from friends and travelers we’ve talked to while hiking the Cascades.

So let’s check out some of the best towns near North Cascades National Park, where they are, what amenities they provide, and where to stay while you’re there!

Marblemount, Washington

Location and Accessibility

Marblemount, Washington is located in the North Cascades region of Washington State. It is accessible by car via Highway 20 or by plane to nearby airports such as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) or Bellingham International Airport (BLI).

What to Do

The most popular attraction in Marblemount is (obviously) the North Cascades. However, there are a bunch of other things to do as well!

For an unforgettable experience, embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure on the Skagit River, or try your hand at fishing for salmon and trout in the pristine waters.

Birdwatching enthusiasts can explore the diverse ecosystem at the Skagit Wildlife Area, while history buffs can delve into the past at the Skagit County Historical Museum.

For a more leisurely experience, delight in the local cuisine at charming eateries and sample fresh produce from the nearby farms.

Where To Stay

Buffalo Run Inn: A rustic, charming inn that offers private rooms and suites. The location is convenient for those exploring the national park, and the inn has a restaurant on-site, the Buffalo Run Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Marblemount Homestead: A cozy bed and breakfast with several private rooms, each with its own unique décor. The hosts provide a delicious homemade breakfast and can offer suggestions for local hikes and attractions.

Newhalem Creek Campground: For a more budget-friendly and nature-immersive experience, consider staying at the Newhalem Creek Campground. It’s located just outside Marblemount and is managed by the National Park Service. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as restrooms and potable water.

    Winthrop, Washington

    Location and Accessibility

    Winthrop, Washington, is a charming, Western-themed town situated in the Methow Valley of North Central Washington. It can be accessed by car via Highway 20 or by air at the nearby Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee.

    What to Do

    In the winter months, the Methow Valley is transformed into a snowy paradise, providing ample opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling along the extensive Methow Trails network.

    During the warmer months, outdoor enthusiasts can embark on scenic hiking and biking trails or explore the picturesque valley on horseback.

    The Methow and Chewuch Rivers invite visitors to indulge in fishing, rafting, and kayaking adventures, while the Pearrygin Lake State Park offers a tranquil escape for swimming, picnicking, and camping.

    The town’s Western charm is reflected in its unique shops, galleries, and local events such as the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival.

    Where To Stay

    Hotel Rio Vista: Located in the heart of Winthrop, this hotel offers riverfront rooms with private balconies and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It’s within walking distance of the town’s restaurants, shops, and attractions.

    Sun Mountain Lodge: A luxurious mountain resort situated a few miles outside of Winthrop, featuring well-appointed rooms, suites, and cabins. The lodge offers a range of amenities, including a spa, pool, dining options, and various outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking, and skiing.

    Winthrop Inn: A comfortable and budget-friendly motel offering clean rooms, an outdoor hot tub, and easy access to the town’s amenities. The inn also has a BBQ area for guests to use.

    River’s Edge Resort: Nestled along the Methow River, this resort offers a variety of accommodations, including cabins, chalets, and suites. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a peaceful, riverside retreat with access to the town’s attractions.

    Mazama, Washington

    Location and Accessibility

    Mazama is a small town located in the North Cascades of Washington State. It is easily accessible from Seattle by car via Highway 20 or from Spokane by taking I-90 East to US 97 North. The nearest airport is in Wenatchee, which is about an hour away.

    What to Do

    Like Winthrop, Mazama sits in the middle of the Methow Valley.

    Known for its world-class cross-country skiing, the extensive Methow Trails system offers a winter wonderland experience for skiers of all skill levels. As the snow melts away, the area reveals breathtaking hiking and mountain biking trails, such as the Pacific Crest Trail and Goat Peak Lookout, which promise awe-inspiring panoramic views.

    The Methow River provides opportunities for fly fishing, rafting, and kayaking adventures, while nearby Patterson Lake invites visitors to bask in the sun, swim, or paddleboard.

    You can explore the beautiful natural surroundings on horseback with guided trail rides or immerse yourself in the tranquility of the valley by practicing yoga and meditation at the Mazama Ranch House. With its enchanting blend of outdoor recreation, stunning landscapes, and peaceful atmosphere, Mazama, Washington, offers a rejuvenating escape for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

    Where to Stay

    The Inn At Mazama: A cozy lodge that offers comfortable rooms, cabins, and a hostel-style bunkhouse. The inn features an on-site restaurant, hot tub, and easy access to nearby trails and outdoor activities like cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking. We stayed in Unit 9 on our previous stay here and highly recommend it.

    Freestone Inn: A luxurious and rustic retreat located near the Mazama trailhead. The inn offers well-appointed guest rooms, suites, and cabins with scenic views of the surrounding mountains. Amenities include an outdoor pool, hot tub, and an on-site restaurant.

    Rolling Huts: For a unique glamping experience, consider staying in one of these modern, minimalist huts on wheels. Each hut features a small kitchen, sleeping platforms, and a private outdoor area with a fire pit and picnic table. The huts are situated in a picturesque meadow, providing easy access to nearby trails.

    Mazama Campground: Operated by the U.S. Forest Service, this campground is a more budget-friendly option for those looking to immerse themselves in nature. The campground offers tent and RV sites, as well as basic amenities like restrooms and potable water.

    Concrete, Washington

    Concrete, Washington is a small town located in the North Cascades region of the state. It is situated along Highway 20 and is easily accessible from Seattle or Vancouver. The town has a population of just over 1,000 people and offers plenty to do for those looking to explore the area.

    Location and Accessibility

    Concrete is located on Highway 20 in northern Washington State, about two hours east of Seattle and three hours north of Vancouver. It’s easy to get here by car or bus, but there are also some great hiking trails nearby if you’re feeling adventurous.

    What To Do

    There are many outdoor activities available near Concrete such as fishing, camping, hiking, biking, rafting, and kayaking on nearby rivers like the Skagit or Sauk Rivers. You can also take a scenic drive through the Cascade Mountains with breathtaking views at every turn. If you’re looking for something more low-key then check out local attractions like antique stores or art galleries in downtown Concrete.

    Where To Stay

    Cascade Mountain Lodge: A comfortable and budget-friendly motel offering clean rooms and basic amenities. It’s a convenient option for travelers looking for a simple place to stay while exploring the North Cascades.

    Thousand Trails Grandy Creek Campground: Part of the Thousand Trails network, this RV campground provides a range of amenities, including a pool, playground, and sports facilities. In addition to RV sites, the campground offers tent sites and cabin rentals.

    Ovenell’s Heritage Inn: A family-owned ranch situated a few miles outside of Concrete, offering cozy log cabins with full kitchens and private baths. The ranch provides opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and fishing.

    Camping Near North Cascades National Park

    Campsite Near Diablo Lake

    Colonial Creek Campground: Located on the shores of Diablo Lake, this campground offers both tent and RV sites with access to potable water and restrooms. The Thunder Knob Trail and the Diablo Lake Trail are nearby for hiking opportunities.

    Newhalem Creek Campground: Situated near the Skagit River, this campground offers tent and RV sites along with restrooms, potable water, and a dump station. The campground is near the North Cascades Visitor Center and the Trail of the Cedars, which offers a scenic walk through an old-growth forest (no redwoods though).

    Goodell Creek Campground: This peaceful campground is located along Goodell Creek, offering a more secluded camping experience. The sites are primarily for tent camping, with some RV sites available. Amenities include restrooms and potable water.

    Gorge Lake Campground: A small, primitive campground on the shores of Gorge Lake (known for its incredible waterfall), this location is ideal for those seeking a more remote experience. There are no potable water sources, but vault toilets are available. This campground is suitable for tents and small RVs.

    Lone Fir Campground: Located along the North Cascades Highway, this campground offers tent and RV sites with access to restrooms, potable water, and a dump station. The area is known for its beautiful fall colors and provides access to several hiking trails.

    Hozomeen Campground: For a more remote and rustic experience, Hozomeen Campground is located near the Canadian border on the shores of Ross Lake. The campground is accessible only by boat or a long gravel road and offers basic amenities like vault toilets and picnic tables.

    These are just a few of the many excellent campgrounds available in and around North Cascades National Park (not to mention the dispersed camping opportunities).

    Keep in mind that some campgrounds may require reservations, while others operate on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s always a good idea to check the park’s website for the most up-to-date information on campground availability, fees, and facilities.

    FAQs About Towns Near North Cascades National Park

    What town is closest to North Cascades National Park?

    The closest town to North Cascades National Park is Marblemount, Washington. Located in Skagit County, the small unincorporated community lies at the western entrance of the park and provides easy access for visitors looking to explore its rugged beauty.

    The town itself offers a variety of services such as lodging, restaurants, gas stations, and other amenities necessary for travelers. It also serves as a great base camp from which to launch outdoor adventures into the surrounding mountains and forests.

    How many days do I need to visit North Cascades National Park?

    The amount of time needed to visit North Cascades National Park depends on the activities you plan to do.

    If you are looking for a day trip, it is possible to explore some of the park’s highlights in one day.

    However, if you want to take advantage of all that the park has to offer, such as hiking trails and scenic drives, then two or three days would be recommended.

    Which is better Mt Rainier or North Cascades?

    It really depends on what type of experience you are looking for. Mt Rainier is a popular destination due to its stunning views and easy access from Seattle, while the North Cascades offer more rugged terrain and a greater variety of activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing.

    Both locations have their own unique beauty that should be experienced in order to make an informed decision. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference; if you’re looking for breathtaking views with easy access then Mt Rainier may be your best bet, but if you’re seeking a more adventurous outdoor experience then the North Cascades could be the right choice for you.

    What towns are on the Cascade Loop?

    The Cascade Loop is a 400-mile scenic highway that winds through the Pacific Northwest, taking travelers through some of the most stunning landscapes in Washington State.

    The loop starts in Seattle and passes through towns such as Leavenworth, Winthrop, Twisp, Mazama, Marblemount, Concrete, Darrington, and Granite Falls before ending back in Seattle.


    Whether you’re looking for a quiet mountain getaway or an adventure-filled outdoor experience, the towns near North Cascades National Park have something to offer everyone!

    While we mostly utilize them as a jumping-off point to visit the park there is an abundance of other activities in the area that will keep your family occupied if they don’t fancy hiking or being outdoors.

    So don’t wait any longer – start planning your trip today and explore all that these towns near North Cascades National Park have to offer!

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