Stephen Mather Wilderness
|Stephen Mather Wilderness|
|Location||Whatcom / Chelan / Skagit counties, Washington, USA|
|Nearest city||Marblemount, Washington|
|Area||634,614 acres (2,568 km2)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
The Stephen Mather Wilderness is a 634,614 acres (2,568 km2) wilderness area honoring Stephen Mather, the first director of the National Park Service. It is located within North Cascades National Park, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, and Ross Lake National Recreation Area in the North Cascade Range of Washington, United States.
It is bordered by the Pasayten Wilderness to the northeast, the Mount Baker Wilderness to the northwest, the Noisy-Diobsud Wilderness to the west, the Glacier Peak Wilderness to the southwest, and the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness to the southeast.
The North Cascades National Park "Complex" consists of three units which make up Stephan Mather Wilderness: 505,000-acre (2,044 km2) North Cascades National Park, which boasts 504,614 acres (2,042 km2) acres of designated wilderness; 117,600-acre (476 km2) Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a slim piece of land just east of the park that has 74,000 acres (299 km2) acres of designated wilderness; and 62,000-acre (251 km2) Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, at the southeast corner of the park, with 56,000 acres (227 km2) of designated wilderness.
The Stephen Mather Wilderness provides a protected area for a wide variety of wildlife, including elk, mule deer, gray wolf, mountain goat, moose, and bighorn sheep. Species of wolverine, bat, duck, hawk, owl, frog, loon, chipmunk, coyote, squirrel, bear, falcon, eagle are also fairly common.
There are approximately twenty-eight species and subspecies of fish found in the wilderness, including the threatened bull trout and anadromous runs of coastal cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden, steelhead, and five species of salmon found in the Skagit, Nooksack, and Chilliwack drainages.
Common recreational activities in the Stephen Mather Wilderness include backpacking, camping, wildlife watching, climbing, and hunting. There are some 13 miles (21 km) of trails in the wilderness, include the Pacific Crest Trail, which crosses the southeastern corner of the park for about 13 miles (21 km). Much of the area can only be reached by multiday hikes, often combined with mountaineering, through remote, trailless territory.
- NPS: Stephen Mather Wilderness — North Cascades National Park.
- NPS: Map of Stephen Mather Wilderness
- Wilderness.net: Stephen Mather Wilderness
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to North Cascades National Park Service Complex.|