Ladder Creek Falls
The Skagit General Store is located in Newhalem. It opened in 1922 as a commissary for City Light workers building the Gorge Powerhouse and later Diablo and Ross Dams. Today, youll find our store well-stocked with merchandise, and goodies, including homemade fudge.
Climb aboard Old Number Six, a restored Baldwin steam engine and ring its big brass bell. Located next to the Skagit General Store in Newhalem, this locomotive used to run between Newhalem and Rockport and offered the only access to the area prior to construction of the North Cascades Highway. Picnic tables and restrooms are nearby.
The Trail of the Cedars begins at the foot of Main Street in Newhalem. It winds one half-mile through an old forest grove and passes the Newhalem Creek Power Plant, which provided electricity during Skagit construction.
Ladder Creek Falls and Rock Gardens, located behind Gorge Powerhouse in Newhalem, is a refreshing woodland retreat with benches, exotic plantings, and close-up views of spectacular Ladder Creek Falls. Cross the Skagit River using the pedestrian suspension bridge next to the powerhouse, and follow signs to the trail. The historical light show has been restored and operates year-round from dusk until midnight.
The Ross Crypt is located at the base of Ross Mountain in Newhalem, the crypt is the final resting place for J.D. Ross and his wife Alice. Ross, often referred to as the "Father of Seattle City Light", led the first Skagit Tour in 1928.
The North Cascades Visitor Center, operated by the National Park Service, offers interactive wilderness exibits and theater programs in a rustic lodge setting.
Goodell Creek Campground, Raft Launch and Picnic Shelter, located just west of Newhalem, is a starting point for excellent rafting and wildlife observation.
The Gorge Overlook Trail is 3.5 miles east of Newhalem. The area overlooks Gorge Creek Falls and has an accessible interpretive loop trail with views of Gorge Dam and Lake.
Diablo Lake offers the best accessibility of the three reservoirs Gorge, Diablo and Ross. The brilliant turquoise color of the lake is caused by fine glacial sediment. A seasonal boat launch at Colonial Creek Campground is popular with kayakers, canoists, fishermen and others. Three boat-in campgrounds offer a very special wilderness experience.
The Happy Creek Trail is a half-mile wheelchair-accessible interpretive trail that begins approximately 5 miles east of Diablo on Highway 20, just past the Ross Dam trailhead. This trail is a raised boardwalk that follows the course of a woodland stream.
The Walking Tour of Historic Newhalem will introduce you to the historic features of the town and the nearby hydroelectric plants– Gorge and Newhalem–following the footsteps of those proud citizens who visited the town in the 1930´s. ( print flyer, pdf 288kb)
More information about the area can be found at the North Cascades National Park, North Cascades Chamber of Commerce, and North Cascades Institute websites.
Due to heightened security, Seattle City Light has restricted access to certain areas of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project.
There is no public access to Ross and Diablo Powerhouses and the Incline Railway. Other seasonal attractions, including the Gorge Powerhouse Visitors' Gallery, are open May through September. Ladder Creek Falls, the Trail of the Cedars and the Gorge Dam Overlook Trail remain open year-round for public use.
For additional information about Skagit Tours, please email the Skagit Tours Information Center or call (360) 854-2589.
For more information about Boundary Tours, please email SCL_BoundaryTours@seattle.gov or call (509) 446-3083.
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