The Nooksack River

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More about the Nooksack River

The Nooksack River system is a unique wild treasure in NW Washington State. All three forks start in designated wilderness areas of Mount Baker and the North Cascades National Park. The river flows west from glaciers and snowfields on Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan in the North Cascades to the coastal waters of the Salish Sea. It weaves its way through forests, farmlands, and several communities carrying its rich waters to the delta in Bellingham Bay. The Nooksack River is one of the few remaining river systems in Washington that supports all five species of native Pacific salmon, as well as steelhead, bull and cutthroat trout. Bald eagles, black bears, cougars, mountain goats, elk and many birds are among the wildlife that depend on the Nooksack River and need its free-flowing wild habitat intact to survive and thrive. Major forests line the shores in places providing habitat and shade. Many communities rely on the river for clean water to drink, irrigate crops and for its native salmon runs.

Maintaining and restoring habitat and allowing the river’s natural processes to flourish are critical for not only the fish and wildlife species that call the Nooksack home but also for farming, drinking water and recreation. The snow and glaciers provide our supply stock for summer-fall water.

There are outstanding recreation opportunities including whitewater boating, hiking, biking, mountaineering, camping, wildlife viewing, photography, fishing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and skiing. Recreation and tourism brings revenue from visitors drawn to the majestic scenic area. The Nooksack River provides serenity, solitude, inspiration, fresh water and breathtaking scenery.