Skagit Tours

Skagit Tours: Encounter the beauty, adventure and fun of the North Cascades!

ST-SubheadNorth Cascades Institute, in partnership with Seattle City Light and North Cascades National Park, offers day visitors fun, interactive tours of the Upper Skagit Valley. Experience the jaw-dropping beauty of Diablo Lake and the North Cascades while also learning about the fascinating history of the Upper Skagit Hydroelectric Project. Read on to discover the many different options that await you...


Diablo Lake BOAT TOURS

Boat ToursPopular boat tours aboard the Alice Ross IV exploring the stunning beauty of Diablo Lake while learning about the interesting natural and cultural history of the region. Your experience includes a delicious, locally-sourced lunch at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. Tours are offered Thursdays-Monday from June 30 - Sept 25.

Diablo Lake Afternoon Cruise

ST-Evening-CruiseVisiting North Cascades National Park but don’t have a lot of spare time? This tour is the same as the popular Diablo Lake Tours but a shorter day without lunch at the Learning Center. Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays from July 2 - September 4. 

Gorge Powerhouse & Newhalem Tour

ST-GorgeStep back in time on this guided walking tour of Newhalem and Seattle City Light's Gorge Powerhouse. Learn about the town's colorful past as a construction camp and how it still thrives today, supporting operations for the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project and visitors to the North Cascades.  A unique part of the tour is a look inside of the Gorge Powerhouse, which is normally closed to the public, to see how hydropower is made and managed. After the tour, enjoy a picnic lunch made from local and organic ingredients. Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays from July 2 - September 4.


ST-Newhalem-NightThe quiet town of Newhalem has a lively past and once hosted hundreds of visitors who marveled at the “wonders of electricity" produced by the Skagit Hydroelectric Project. The unique opportunity to experience Newhalem at night once again is back with a free guided walk to Ladder Creek Gardens and optional "Dam Good" chicken dinner or vegetarian lasagna at the Gorge Inn. Tours are offered Thursdays and Fridays from June 30 - September 2.

Newhalem Walking Tours

ST-Newhalem-WalkingTake a free guided walking tour of Newhalem and the nearby trails with National Park Service rangers and guides from Seattle City Light and the North Cascades Institute. These 45-minute tours could include Newhalem's historic Main Street, Ladder Creek Gardens, Trail of the Cedars, and/or the Gorge Powerhouse Visitor Gallery. A self-pay lunch is also available at the historic Gorge Inn around noon on the weekdays. Tours are daily at 11 am and 2 pm, no registration required.

In the News

“The boat ride is pretty awesome,” wrote Terry Richardson, Travel Writer for The Oregonian. “It's as close as you'll get to seeing an Alaskan landscape in the lower 48 states.”

"Towering peaks, unbelievable turquoise waters and a fascinating cultural and natural history are more than enough incentive to visit," wrote Jessi Loerch for the Everett Herald. "Skagit Tours will give you a good introduction to the region."

"We visited three powerhouses, and got to go inside one and back in time in two. We ate an amazing, locally sourced lunch at the North Cascades Institute and got a short-but-sweet tour of the nonprofit’s Learning Center on the shores of Diablo Lake... We climbed aboard a boat to get on the waters of Diablo Lake and take a closer look at Ross Dam," explains Amy Kepferle of the Cascadia Weekly. "I know there’s much more to what lies off Highway 20 than what you can see from your car."