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Skagit Tours Returning This Summer

Skagit Tours return this summer after a one-year hiatus with enhanced educational opportunities and a new dining component.

Skagit Tours return this summer after a one-year hiatus with enhanced educational opportunities and a new dining component. 

You can get a sneak preview here.

Visitors enjoy one of the waterfalls on the Diablo Lake cruise.

Budget challenges forced Seattle City Light to suspend the popular tours in 2010. It was only the third time in the 82-year history of the tours that they have been canceled. The last time was in 2002 as a result of the financial impacts of the energy crisis and the heightened security issues following the terrorist attack of 9-11. The tours were reinstated the following year. 

The Diablo Lake Boat Tour will operate Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in July and August. The tour will begin with lunch at the North Cascades Institute’s Environmental Learning Center where the chef focuses on organic, local and sustainable food. After lunch, participants will learn about the natural wonders in the area from North Cascades National Park rangers and ride the Alice Ross III across Diablo Lake guided by educators from the North Cascades Institute. 

The Environmental Learning Center at the North Cascades Institute.

The cost is $29 for adults, $15 for youth 12 and under and $25 for seniors 62 and older. Book your visit at

Seattle City Light has generated hydroelectric power on the Skagit River since 1918. Today there are three dams providing power to the citizen-owners in Seattle. 

These engineering marvels are a testament to the vision and foresight of J.D. Ross, one of the first superintendents of Seattle City Light. 

The steep canyon of the upper Skagit River formed a natural barrier that kept fish from spawning further up-river, while also providing an ideal location for generating power. As the three dams were built, care was taken to reduce the impact on the natural beauty and pristine environment of the North Cascades and the Skagit River. 

Today, City Light continues its long history of environmental stewardship along the Skagit. Management of the upper Skagit has resulted in numerous awards by City Light for resource sustainability and habitat preservation. In fact, runs of threatened and endangered salmon species on the Skagit are the highest of all the tributaries to Puget Sound. 

Because 90 percent of City Light’s power resources are from clean, renewable hydroelectric power, in 2005 the utility became the first – and remains the only – electric utility in the U.S. to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.