Find Posts By Topic

Skagit Tours and Recreation 2023

Photo by Kiley Barbero

For almost 100 years, Seattle City Light has provided public tours of the dams, powerhouses, reservoirs, and town that comprise the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, and that tradition continues this year. 

City Light, in partnership with the North Cascades Institute, a nationally recognized leader in environmental education, offers fun, interactive tours on Diablo Lake aboard the Alice Ross IV. Experience the beauty of Diablo Lake and surrounding North Cascades National Park, learn about the rich cultural and natural history of the area, and, with one of the tour options, enjoy a delicious lunch at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. 

Tours run from June 29 to October 1, 2023.

  • Diablo Lake and Lunch Cruise 
    • June 29 through September 4. 
    • Thursday through Monday. Check-in beginning at 10:45 a.m.  
  • Diablo Lake Afternoon Cruise 
    • June 30 through September 3. 
    • Friday through Sunday. Check-in beginning at 2 p.m. 
  • Diablo Lake Fall Morning Cruise 
    • September 9 through October 1. 
    • Saturdays and Sundays. Check-in beginning at 10:45 a.m. 

For more details on specific dates and times, and to book a reservation, visit the North Cascades Institute’s registration page. For a quick overview of the importance of the Skagit Hydroelectric Project, watch this short video.

Skagit Recreation Opportunities in 2023

Explore the historic community of Newhalem and nearby attractions including Ladder Creek Falls and the Trail of the Cedars.



Skagit Information Center 

  • Hours:  Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Friday – Monday, May 26 – May 29 (Memorial Day) 
    • Friday – Sunday: June 2 – June 25   
    • Seven days a week: June 30 – Sept. 4 (Labor Day) 
    • Friday – Sunday: Sept. 8 – Oct. 1 
  • Note:  Face coverings are optional  

Gorge Powerhouse Visitor Gallery  

  • Hours:  Open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Memorial Day weekend through October 

Trail of the Cedars 

  • Hours:  Open 24 hours year-round. 
  • Details:  A three-quarter-mile loop trail to Newhalem Powerhouse offering views of large western redcedars and the Skagit River. 
  • Directions:  The trail starts in Newhalem at the end of Main Street opposite Highway 20. 
  • More information about the Trail of the Cedars is available on the National Park Service website

Ladder Creek Falls Trail and Gardens 

  • Hours:  Open 24 hours year-round. Lighted from dusk to 11 p.m. 
  • Details:  A half-mile loop trail provides spectacular views of Ladder Creek Gardens the waterfalls, including a series cascading through a slot rock canyon. Visit at night for a light show that illuminates the falls. 
  • Directions:  The trail starts at the parking lot across the river from the Gorge Powerhouse. Follow the trail to the right and cross the suspension foot bridge. 

Skagit General Store 

  • Hours:  The General Store is generally open all week depending on staff availability. 
    • Monday 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Tuesday – Sunday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Details: Located on Main St., Newhalem, WA, next to the Skagit Information Center. Public restrooms available.  


Note that public restrooms available are available across Diablo Dam.

Diablo Lake Ferry 

The Ferry Schedule for 2023, May 29 – Nov 1, is as follows:

Diablo to RossRoss to Diablo
11 a.m.11:30 a.m.
2 p.m.2:30 p.m.
  • Details:
    • Capacity is 47 passengers with baggage. No reservations required. Priority boarding given to Ross Lake Resort guests and backpackers/campers with NPS backcountry permits. 
    • Cash only, $10 per adult each way, $5 per child each way (4–12)   
      3 bag limit, Additional baggage: $10

North Cascades Environmental Learning Center 

Sourdough Trailhead 

Stetattle Creek Trailhead 

Questions about Skagit Recreation? Call us at (206) 386-4478 or email us.