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Stay Safe When Outdoors

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Safety Tips

Use caution on forest and park access roads.

At trailheads, safeguard your possessions out of sight. Lock your vehicle.

Bring extra water on hikes. A fine filter may be necessary, since even clean-looking water can carry giardia. Water may not be available near camps; treat and/or boil all water.

Know your limits and when to turn back.

Hiking over challenging terrain with inadequate skill or equipment is the primary cause of accidents in the North Cascades. Staying on trails, wearing adequate footwear and possessing a good topographic map can minimize the hazards of this rugged land.

Be prepared for insects. You may encounter mosquitoes, wasps, bees, biting flies and ticks. After hiking, check yourself for ticks, which may carry Lyme Disease.

Some stream crossings are not bridged. Cross streams in the morning (when they are lowest), scout for the safest crossings, or turn back if the rushing water is unsafe.

Trails suffer storm damage every winter; please use caution and notify the park or forest if you encounter downed trees or washed out sections of trail.

When horses are approaching, hikers should talk to make their presence known and step off the trail on the low side.

Backcountry Safety

Don't let a pleasurable outing turn into an unexpected tragedy by not being prepared. Entering into a mountain experience - even a day hike - should not be taken lightly.

Be well informed; contact park or forest for most up-to-date conditions.

  • Research maps & trail handbooks.
  • Carry the "10 Essentials"
  • Leave no trace.
  • Let others at home know your plans.
  • Make the best decision for your safety, including turning back.

Information provided by the National Parks Service North Cascades Challenger

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