Family Getaways


Gather your family in the north Cascades

Connect with your family – and nature too – on the  shores of Diablo Lake. Spend quality time together while enjoying the invigorating mountain air and starry night skies of North Cascades National Park, one of the most spectacular wilderness landscapes in all of North America.

Enjoy a weekend in the mountains and leave your tent and camp stove at home and let us take care of all the details. We provide comfortable accommodations in our cozy lodges and delicious, healthful meals, with the tastes of young diners in mind, served buffet-style in our lakeside dining hall.

The most difficult choice of your weekend may be which activities your family wants to join. Will you follow our skilled naturalists as they lead kids and adults alike on adventures on Diablo Lake and the surrounding network of trails? Do you want to take part in daily outdoor games, arts and crafts, storytelling and scientific explorations? Should you spend the day hiking to spectacular views of local glaciers or simply relaxing with a book in the Wild Ginger Library? With our inspiring slate of activities designed to introduce adults and children of all ages to the wonders of the natural world, you'll be able to design your own itinerary to create the perfect weekend retreat for your family.

We welcome groups that include parents, grandparents, children, guardians, aunts and uncles and nontraditional families. Children ages two and younger can be added to the family registration at no charge. Children are the responsibility of a parent throughout the program.

Advanced Course: For returning participants looking to take on the next level, sign up for the advanced Early August Family Getaway.

Scholarships are available for Family Getaways! Please visit our Scholarship page for more information or call (360) 854-2599.

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Join us in the North Cascades! 
For personalized assistance on which program is right for you, contact our friendly registrars M-F at (360) 854-2599
 or send us an .

What people are saying


Great flexibility. Great integration of education and fun.”


The getaway exceeded our expectations several times over. The Institute, staff, food, activities, nature, warmth, love ... I could go on and on.”


This is a wonderful way for our family to spend time together. As parents we get to watch our children engage in activities led by mentors other than ourselves.... We had a fabulous experience."


The bar had been set high before we came. It was great and would be hard to better. "


This weekend was so much more than we ancticipated. Thank you!"


Exceeded expectations by far. Loved that everything was very high level — interesting and engaging.”

Family Getaways in the News


North Cascades Environmental Learning Center’s weekend Family Getaways offer a premium “camping” experience and you’ll love it..."

ParentMap Magazine,
Golden Teddy Award Finalist


Hidden high in the North Cascades National Park, you’ll find that the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center offers the best base camp for families and individuals who want the ultimate outdoors experience..."

Bellingham Watcom County Visitor's Guide


Known as a 'hub of discovery in the North Cascades,' this is a place where science, wilderness and environment are equal to fun and adventure, where people and place are connected..."

Scenic WA

Field Guide to North Cascades Institute