The always popular Skagit Tours at Seattle City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric project return this summer. The news is being greeted with enthusiastic response from the public.
One September tour is already filled and reservations are underway for all the enhanced Skagit Tours offerings.
“Budget challenges forced City Light to suspend tours in 2010, but the new tours are better than ever,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “We’re pleased to see such strong support from people who want to visit the North Cascades this summer.”
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.
Tour offerings also have been expanded. In addition to the popular Diablo Lake boat tour, visitors can now take a van and hiking tour of the Hydro Highway and a free walking tour of Newhalem and the Gorge Powerhouse visitor gallery.
Among the themes the tours will focus on are:
- City Light and Skagit history, people, construction and operations
- Natural resources, wildlife, vegetation, fish and glaciers
- Cultural landscape, tribes, miners and early settlers
In the Fall, there will be two new specialty tours: one at Ross powerhouse and another focused on the history of City Light and the natural beauty of the North Cascades in the Fall.
“The Council is very glad to see that City Light can bring back the popular tour program this year,” said City Councilmember Bruce Harrell after a presentation by City Light to the full City Council. “These tours are a great way for the public – and especially City Light customers – to see what an incredible resource we have. Our Skagit dams provide clean, renewable and low-cost energy for City Light customers. And the environmental work City Light is doing on the Skagit to protect fish and wildlife is impressive. The salmon runs from the Skagit are the best of any tributary in Puget Sound.”
Skagit Tours started in 1918 and have been suspended only two times before the 2010 interruption – once during World War II and for security reasons following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
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.