People of the North Cascades

Author(s): Robert R. Mierendorf

Year: 1986


The mountainous lands within the North Cascades National Park Complex are the most rugged and inaccessible in the lower 48 states. This portion of the North Cascades Range remains virtually unstudied by archaeologists and ethnologists. Approximately one percent of the National Park Complex area has been surveyed, and in this area, 17 archaeological sites have been recorded on site inventory fonns. During the implementation of this study, 11 additional sites were recorded.

Review of a variety of published literature indicates that prehistoric and historic populations have inhabited mountainous environments in widespread areas around the world for many thousands of years. There is some evidence to suggest that prehistoric people used areas in today's Park Complex for at least 8,000 years. The archaeological record of prehistoric use of the North Cascades can only be understood within the contexts of regional environmental and cultural changes spanning the last 12,000 years. It is predicted that hundreds of unrecorded archaeological sites exist inside

the Park Complex boundaries. A zonal landscape classification is devised to aid in the management of prehistoric cultural resources. The six zones encompass all lands within the Park. Each zone is described according to landform, biota, archaeological sites and features, and estimated density of sites (number/km2 ). The zonal classification constitutes a nonexplanatory model of land use.

Reconnaissance level and intensive, inventory level surveys are recommended in order to find additional sites. Five sites are recommended for testing and evaluation of significance according to criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places; ten sites should be recorded in more detail; six sites should be revisited; no action is recommended for seven sites. Other recommendations are made concerning the long term management of prehistoric cultural resources in the National Park Complex.

Cite this Record

People of the North Cascades. Robert R. Mierendorf. Seattle, Washington: national park service. 1986 ( tDAR id: 243937) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8RX99T5

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Site Type
Rock Art

Investigation Types
Archaeological Overview

Spatial Coverage

min long: -121.748; min lat: 48.615 ; max long: -120.872; max lat: 48.991 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Sponsor(s): National Park Service

Record Identifiers

NADB document id number(s): 5605158

NADB citation id number(s): 000000242457

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
people-of-the-north-cascades.pdf 5.89mb Nov 2, 2011 4:30:26 PM Public