Get Outside and Explore North Cascades National Park

The Learning Center is located in the heart of North Cascades National Park and we’re always excited to help people explore, learn about and appreciate this unique region. During your stay, our experienced staff naturalists serve as teaching guides, providing informal natural history education that adds depth and meaning to your retreat experience.

You can choose to learn more about the North Cascades during your stay by gathering for stories around a campfire, exploring our local trails, paddling on Diablo Lake or taking a guided hike in North Cascades National Park.

Just outside your door, a series of local hiking trails link to a larger network of adjacent National Park Service trails, perfect for a short walk or a launching point to a longer expedition. Popular trips include a hike to spectacular views of a waterfall along Sourdough Creek (3.5 miles roundtrip) and longer afternoon hikes along the Diablo Lake Trail to Ross Dam. 

    We offer canoe outings on Diablo Lake where you can explore inlets, islands and Thunder Arm. Our staff can lead canoe trips in our tandem canoes or in our 2 large canoes, including a custom Salish-style 18-person canoe. There is also a nearby Seattle City Light walk-on ferry access to Ross Lake.

    To unwind after a day of meetings, or to celebrate your special occasion, we encourage guests to gather in our amphitheater or outdoor shelters for a campfire beneath the stars. Campfires are a powerful way to help guests connect, bond and reflect about their stay at the Learning Center.