Summer’s return opens a whole host of opportunities for exploring the North Cascades on one of the always popular Skagit Tours at Seattle City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric project, starting June 21.
Seattle City Light customers have a chance to see first-hand where their power comes from by visiting the three hydroelectric dam projects on the Skagit River only 90 miles northeast of Seattle. The scenic Highway 20 winds its way past the dams as visitors travel across the North Cascades.
Visitors also can take the time to stop for a visit to some familiar favorites, such as a Diablo Lake adventure on the Alice Ross or a stop at the Ol’ No. 6 steam engine in Newhalem, have been bolstered by guided shuttle tours of the North Cascades Highway along with fine dining at the North Cascade Institute’s Environmental Learning Center. Visitors also can take a free guided walking tour of the company townsite at Newhalem, including the dramatic Ladder Creek Falls.
Tours range in price from $25 to $35 for adults, $20 to $35 for seniors and $12.50 to $15 for youths 12 and under. Children under 2 are free on the Diablo Lake Boat tours. Powerhouse tours are not suitable for children under 12.
Popular tour dates fill up quickly, so plan your getaway to “The American Alps” soon. Information about the summer tour schedule and reservations are available on the newly updated Skagit Tours website, www.skagittours.com , or by calling (206) 684-3030.
City Light is partnering on the tours with the National Park Service and the North Cascades Institute. Park rangers and NCI staff will serve as tour guides and lunch will be provided at the institute’s Environmental Learning Center.
Newhalem visitors who stay after sundown can experience the newly restored and enhanced light show at Ladder Creek Falls. Energy efficient LED lights illuminate its waters nightly until midnight. The original lighting system was installed in the late 1920s by then-Superintendent J.D. Ross to create a “paradise of color in the wilderness.” City Light restored the light show in October using modern, programmable equipment that uses much less electricity.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.