Join us this summer in the North Cascades

The glorious summer weather that makes Western Washington one of the best places in the country to be finally arrived on July 4! North Cascades Institute is offering programs to people of all ages every day of the week at our Learning Center, on Diablo, Ross and Baker Lakes, up Highway 20, out in the field….we are everywhere!
If you, perhaps in the company of friends or family, want to get in to the North Cascades over the next couple of months to learn about the ecology of this special place, enjoy the views of towering peaks and rushing rivers, exercise your creative muse or simply relax and unwind at our lakeside retreat, we most certainly have a program just right for you. Read on to find out what’s coming up next, browse our catalog online or request one to be sent to you in the mail, or simply call our friendly registrars for a personal consultation at (360) 854-2599.
There truly is nothing like summer in the Northwest and we’re here to help you and your loved ones make the most of it with memorable experiences full of learning and adventure!
P.s. If you are just passing through for the day, or exploring on your own, you can still connect with the Institute by visiting one of our bookstores and gift shops located along Highway 20 in Sedro-Woolley, Newhalem, Marblemount, Stehekin and on Diablo Lake. We offer high-quality outdoor apparel, camping gear, beautiful posters and postcards, field guides, recreation maps, kids’ activities, permits and more, with all proceeds going back to support Institute programs!
Coming up at North Cascades Institute
Family Getaways in the North Cascades, July 20-22 and August 3-5
Northwest Naturalists Retreat, July 27-30
Digital Wildflower Photography with a Pocket Camera, August 14-16
Cascades carnivores and our Changing Climate, August 17-19
Diablo Creative Arts Retreat, September 6-9
Diablo Downtime, September 14-16
Street Smart Naturalist in Seattle, September 15
Sourdough Speaker Series: Edible Pacific Northwest, September 29-30

Retreats in the North Cascades: Natural History and Art
Two of our biggest, most action-packed and rewarding weekends of the year are coming up.
The July 27-30 Northwest Naturalists Retreat is our annual gathering in the mountains where we invite experts to share what they’ve learned in their respective professions and disciplines, and to shine their light on varying aspects of the natural world.  In 2012, we’re exploring the interconnected realms of forest and fire ecology, climate change, and the powerful native traditions of storytelling. Students will spend a day in the field learning with each instructor and we’ll gather as a group in the evenings for in-depth presentations, discussions and sharing. Come be a part of a community that is curious about our local ecology and passionate about learning more.
The September 6-9 Diablo Creative Arts Retreat will recharge your artistic inspiration as the Cascadian summer winds down into the subdued pleasures of autumn. Gather with a collective of creative minds at our wilderness getaway in North Cascades National Park. With grand views of Diablo Lake and Colonial and Pyramid peaks, our campus offers inspiring vistas as well as comfortable lodges, delicious meals and productive places to work. There are three instructors with different mediums to choose from this year, including “Designing an Artifact: Weaving an Artistic Basket” with Melinda West, “The Artful Map: A One Page Journal” with Jocelyn Curry and “Drawing and Painting the Wild Journal” with Kristen Gilje.
Information and registration for the Northwest Naturalists Retreat and Creative Arts Retreat at, or (360) 854-2599.
Skagit Tours explore the best of the North Cascades through September 3
Our second year of offering interpretive tours of the fascinating natural and cultural history of the Upper Skagit Valley is underway with guided trips heading out every Thursday through Monday. Your options include:
Thursdays – Mondays, 11 am – 2:45 pm
These tours offer explorations of Diablo Lake aboard the historic Alice Ross III and lunch at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the area, view glacier-clad peaks and tree-topped islands, hear stories about the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project and enjoy the deep-blue waters of glacier-fed Diablo Lake.
Fridays – Sundays, 10 am – 3:15 pm
These explorations offer guided shuttle tours exploring highlights of the North Cascades Highway and a catered picnic lunch. An experience for the more adventurous, this option combines a shuttle tour, several short hikes and lunch for a unique way to see and learn about the North Cascades, the North Cascades Highway and the Skagit Hydroelectric Project.
For more information or to register, visit, call (360) 854-2589 or email
We highly recommend booking a room through our Base Camp program to extend your stay before or after your tour!

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