A wonderfully dark sky away from there cities, the North Cascades National Park is a wonderful dark sky place. Diablo Lake Overlook, Washington Pass Overlook, and Ross Lake Overlook serve as great places to go see the Milky Way and the sky.
There are a plethora of options to do astronomy in the area.
- How far outside of Seattle? ~107 miles depending on the route taken. This makes the drive around 2 hours depending on traffic and stops.
- Google Maps Location
There are a plethora of camping options that are best found at the following website: https://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/camping.htm These sites will help make sure that you can find appropriate accommodations for overnight trips. Here are some examples:
Colonial Creek South Campground in North Cascades National Park is a remote, yet bustling campground nestled in old growth forest. Located on the south side of State Route 20 near mile marker 130, there are 94 campsites that are surrounded by forest and located on Diablo Lake.
Located close to the town of Newhalem along the Skagit River, Goodell Creek is surrounded by forests and hiking trails. The campground has individual campsites as well as two group sites. It is private and secluded, yet the town, a visitor center and other amenities are close by. The entire facility offers drinking water, vault toilets, and paved roads. Individual sites at this campground operate on a 6-month rolling basis.
Upper Goodell Creek
Upper Goodell Group Campground is a quiet, remote facility for tent camping on the banks of Goodell Creek in North Cascades National Park. The campground is the perfect place to relax while watching the rushing creek cascade over its rocky course. The area is more remote and up a slightly steeper road than nearby Lower Goodell Group Campground. The elevation is 500′ above sea level. Both Upper and Lower Goodell Group Campgrounds are convenient hubs for day trips to the visitor center, hiking trails and the nearby town of Newhalem. The facility has a picnic shelter and pit toilet for visitors’ convenience. No potable water. Water is available at the main Goodell Creek campground on the south side of State Route 20. The campground has one group site, which can comfortably fit 12 to 20 people with a maximum capacity of 30. Individual sites at this campground operate on a 6-month rolling basis. Group sites operate on a 12 month rolling basis.
Lower Goodell Creek
Located on the banks of Goodell Creek in North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Don your walking shoes and hit the trails, explore the nearby community of Newhalem or relax next to the cascading creek. Both Upper and Lower Goodell Group Campgrounds are convenient hubs near visitor centers, hiking trails and town amenities. $75 per night, this is a group campground. The facility has a picnic shelter and pit toilet for visitors’ convenience. No potable water. Water is available at the main Goodell Creek campground on the south side of State Route 20. The campground has two group sites, which can each comfortably fit 12 to 20 people each; the capacity is 50 per site. The nearest store is in Newhalem.
The current weather can be found here, which shows the forecast for today and then for 4 days in the future.
Current Seeing Conditions/Forecast Charts
The following are the dark sky forecasts for the area.