Find your inner forest spirit among the rare old-growth stands of Rockport State Park.
The park’s ancient trees, having never been logged, form a landscape and ecosystem seldom seen nowadays, a canopy of towering evergreens so dense that minimal sunlight shines through.
Breathe in the crisp smell of conifers and feel the earth beneath your feet, then look up and marvel at the Rockport giants, some more than 250 feet tall. Check out the Discovery Center, which is open most weekends throughout the year, and ask about guided ranger walks.
Wind your way down the loamy trail to the Skagit River Overlook, or try the steeper Sauk Mountain Trail on adjacent U.S. Forest Service land. This park has a trail for every ability level, including the wheelchair-friendly, ADA-accessible West Loop Interpretive Trail, which meanders for a mile through immense old-growth trees and lush vegetation.
The campground, closed due to tree-fall hazards, is an excellent place to picnic and teach kids to ride bikes. Camping is available at nearby Rasar State Park.
Rockport State Park is a 632-acre day-use park and provides an extraordinary example of old-growth forest. The park stands at the foot of the climbable Sauk Mountain, elevation 5,400 feet, and allows visitors to catch a glimpse of a now rare ecosystem.
The park provides restrooms, grills, and one picnic shelter without electricity, available first come, first served.
5 miles of hiking trails
1 mile of ADA-accessible hiking trails
Come to the park for a Deep Forest Experience December through mid-February. Take an interactive hike through the forest with a knowledgeable guide. Visit the park's Discovery Center with your family for engaging activities and displays about this area and to build a craft to take home.
The David Douglas Historical Marker is located in the park. David Douglas was a horticulturalist who discovered the Douglas fir in 1825. The species was eventually named for him. Some of the park's Douglas firs stand as tall as 250 feet.
The North Cascades National Park Visitor Center is located in Newhalem, 23 miles east of the park.
The Evergreen Trail at Rockport State Park is a 3-mile hiking trail through old-growth forest. The Sauk Springs and the Skagit View trails offer another mile of easy hiking with a river overlook.
Sauk Mountain Trail is accessed by U.S. Forest Service Road 1030, located on the west boundary of the park. From Highway 20 to the Sauk Mountain trailhead is approximately 8 miles of gravel logging road. The hike from the trailhead to the summit is approximately 2 miles. The trail has numerous switchbacks and is moderately steep. The summit offers good views of the Skagit Valley and the North Cascades.
For more information on trails and trail conditions in the North Cascades National Park and the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, call (360) 854-7200 or (360) 856-5700.
Rafting and kayaking are allowed on the Skagit River, accessible from Highway 20 but not from within the park.
The Skagit tribes were the first settlers in the area, living in a village of longhouses at the confluence of the Sauk and Skagit rivers where they prospered from the abundant salmon and bountiful evergreen forests.
In 1885, Leonard Graves homesteaded the land around the present town of Rockport. Graves sold the land to Albert von Pressentin in the 1890s, and within a few years, the town grew to include a hotel, post office, store, school and mills. Ferry services crossed the Skagit River, and daily trains ran between Rockport and Burlington.
The property that is now Rockport State Park was owned by Sound Timber Company. In 1935, Sound Timber sold the property to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for $1. Washington State Parks acquired the property from DNR in 1961.
The park was a popular destination for tent and RV campers, but in May 2007, Rockport was closed to camping because the old-growth forest was showing signs of structural instability that could have put campers at risk.
The old-growth forest is estimated to be 400 to 600 years old, and many of the trees were around prior to Euro-American contact in this country.