Highway remains open through federal shutdown

Campgrounds, trails closed; rangers patrol park complex

— North Cascades Highway – state Highway 20 – remains open despite the federal government’s partial shutdown.

The highway runs through North Cascades National Park and national forest land. Federally managed facilities, including parks and campgrounds, are closed, the state Department of Transportation said.

The North Cascades National Park Complex includes the park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Closed facilities include the visitor center in Newhalem, Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount and the park headquarters in Sedro Woolley.

Other closed areas include Ross Lake Resort and water taxi, Hozomeen Campground, North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, Golden West Visitor Center, and the lodge, restaurant and store in Stehekin.

All federal campgrounds, trails and roads are closed.

Park rangers are patrolling the area.

The National Park Service said visitors spend $26 million a year in communities around the park complex, where 120 employees are on furlough and about 40 concession employees are affected. The park service website also is down.

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State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge

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