Mountain School is based at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center in North Cascades National Park in the heart of the North Cascades mountain range.


Located on the shores of Diablo Lake, the Learning Center consists of numerous trails and three trailside learning shelters. These outdoor spaces are students’ primary classroom during their visit to Mountain School.


Alternative indoor spaces on campus include the Wild Ginger Library, where students can choose books from our extensive collection.


And Sundew, a laboratory where students can observe our wide range of animal specimens! 


Out on the trails, students will be accompanied by a Mountain School instructor and an adult chaperone at all times. Students will spend the day navigating lush green trails, learning about local plants and animals, and connecting with each other! 

Although the Environmental Learning Center is in a remote and mountainous setting, most of the facilities and campus pathways at North Cascades Environmental Learning Center are ADA-accessible. Some pathways on campus may become seasonally-impassible in the event of extreme weather like heavy rains or snow, in which case our staff will assist with alternative routes. 


Mountain School is surrounded by 7,000,000 acres of protected public lands in Washington and British Columbia. In the middle lies 684,000-acre North Cascades National Park—our neighborhood.


With 93 percent of its area designated as Wilderness, the Park is known for its steep mountains, ever-flowing streams, tremendous biological diversity and more than 300 glaciers. The North Cascades are a national treasure and living laboratory awaiting discovery!

Travel time to the Learning Center from Burlington is approximately one hour and thirty minutes, two hours from Bellingham and three hours from Seattle. 

OSWA Seal of Compliance .png
Outdoor Schools Washington has issued Mountain School the Seal of Assurance for the completion of the Washington State Safety and Management Review. North Cascades Institute has provided evidence of safety with their policies and procedures to minimize risk for staff and students. Outdoor Schools Washington congratulates North Cascades Institute for maintaining and implementing a quality program for the students of Washington State.