The climate of the area is moderate, with summer highs in the 90's (often) and winter lows around 10° (rare). The annual average temperature is 50°; the summer 24-hour average temperature is 64°. The air-quality is excellent. With a typical inland Pacific North West maritime climate (the frost-free growing season averages 193 days), rainfall averages 80" per year, with most of the precipitation during the winter. Snowfall is seldom heavy ands varies year-to-year. Although the North Cascades Highway usually closes in winter, the towns of Marblemount, Rockport, Newhalem and Diablo remain accessible year-round for travelers coming from the West
Residents work locally in forestry-related industries, tourism/retail trade, home-based construction & service businesses, for government entities (National Park Service, US Forest Service, Seattle City Light, WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife, etc), or commute to more urbanized areas to the west. Many senior residents are retired. Many occupations are seasonal in nature.
State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway, follows the Skagit River for much of its length. The river, arising in British Columbia, is the second largest river in Washington State. The Skagit is joined by the Sauk River at Rockport and the Cascade River at Marblemount (elev: approx 350'), and it flows into Puget Sound near La Conner. Sauk Mountain backdrops Rockport, and it's peak can be put within hiking distance by leaving Highway 20 at milepost 96 and travelling seven miles on Sauk Mtn Road (gravel) to the trailhead, with spectcular views of snowcapped peaks and river valleys. At Marblemount, you can continue up the Skagit Valley, or take a side trip up the Cascade River valley, with El Dorado glacier visible in the distance. This is truly the "back door" to the North Cascades National Park, and some of it's most beautiful scenery is only afforded to those who venture here up to Cascade Pass. This route was the one the Indian and packers used to cross the mountains, but was rejected by the highway builders as being too great an engineering job.
The terrain is typical of a glacially carved mountain valley, with rocky forested hillsides and gravely soils, with the best soils in the flat wide areas along the river course. Soil percolation for septic drainfields is excellent.
The water quality of the Skagit and Cascade Rivers is rated "AA". Surface streams are clear & cold and are derived from glacial melt water. Abundent ground water is pumped from shallow wells, at a temperature of 41° to 50°.
Marblemount and Rockport are unincorporated towns in the 3rd Commissioner District of Skagit County. County offices are at Mt Vernon (55 miles from Marblemount), with an outreach office located at Concrete (16 miles). Newhalem and Diablo are unincoporated towns in the 1st District of Whatcom County, with county offices at Bellingham.
Fish - Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Steelhead, all 5 Salmon species, which include Chinook, Coho, Chum, Sockeye (only to Baker River),
and Pinks (Humpies)
Interstate 5 is 48 miles West at Burlington