Wildlife Safety

Wildlife Hazards

North Cascades National Park Service Complex contains a wide variety of wildlife species, as well as the opportunity to view animals in their natural setting. Always enjoy wildlife from the safety of your car or from a safe distance. Do not approach wildlife.

Feeding, harassing, or molesting wildlife is strictly prohibited and subject to fine. Bears, mountain lions, mountain goats, or any other species of wildlife can present a real and painful threat, especially females with young.

You must stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other large animals, including elk, mountain goat, deer, moose, and coyotes.

Learn more about bear safety.

A person and multiple animals arranged along a line, to show proper wildlife safety distances.

Mountain Lions

Mountain lions (also known as cougars) usually do not like confrontation. If you see one, give it plenty of space so it can get away. Never approach cougar kittens. Leave the area immediately.

  • Do not run or turn your back on a lion.
  • Gather children with adults. Quickly pick up and hold small children.
  • Stand in a group with your companions.
  • If the lion moves toward you, wave your arms and make noise. Make yourself look large, intimidating and in control: stand up tall, open your jacket, yell, throw things.
  • Back away slowly while facing the animal.
  • If attacked, fight back aggressively. Stay standing. Hit as hard as possible especially to the head. Use a stick or rock as a weapon. Throw dirt in the eyes. Protect your head and neck.

Report all mountain lion sightings to a park ranger.



Ticks are most active in spring and early summer. Several serious diseases, like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, can be transmitted through ticks. Completely remove attached ticks and disinfect the site. If rashes or lesions form around the bite, or if unexplained symptoms occur, consult a physician.


Rodents and Hantavirus

Deer mice are possible carriers of Hantavirus, which is spread from the feces and urine of infected rodents. Initial symptoms are almost identical to the onset of flu. If you have potentially been exposed and exhibit flu-like symptoms, you should seek medical care immediately. Avoid rodent infested areas. Camp away from possible rodent burrows or shelters (garbage dumps and woodpiles), and keep food in rodentproof containers.

Last updated: April 20, 2020

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810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


360 854-7200

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