Make the most of your getaway trip to Skagit Tours by exploring the popular local sights in the area. From the Old Number Six steam locomotive built almost 100 years ago to the resting place for the “Father of City Light”, there are numerous beautiful and historical attractions that can’t be missed.
Look out for these must-see local sights while you’re in the area! Click on the links below to learn more about each local attraction.
Skagit General Store
The Skagit General Store is located in Newhalem. It opened in 1922 as a commissary for City Light workers building Gorge Powerhouse and later Diablo and Ross powerhouses and dams. Today, you’ll find our store well-stocked with merchandise, and goodies, including homemade fudge. The store is open daily from May through September and Mondays-Fridays the remainder of the year; hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Skagit Information Center
Old Number Six
Stop by the Skagit Information Center across the street from the General Store for information on tours and local attractions. Pick up a brochure for the self-guided Walking Tour of Historic Newhalem which will introduce you to the historic features of the town and the nearby hydroelectric plants – Gorge and Newhalem–following the footsteps of those who visited the town in the 1930´s (print flyer)
. The Information Center is open daily from July 1 through Labor Day and on Fridays and weekends from Memorial Day through June and in September after Labor Day. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Trail of the Cedars
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 during construction of the Skagit River Project. Picnic tables, a playground, and restrooms are nearby.
Gorge Powerhouse Visitor Gallery
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 construction of the Skagit River Project. Trail of the Cedars is normally open year round. Note: Trail of the Cedars is closed through April 30, 2016 due to damage from the August 2015 fire.
The Gorge Powerhouse Visitor Gallery provides an opportunity to learn how power is generated and views of the powerhouse equipment in action. The powerhouse is located at the north end of Newhalem. Park in the small lot by bridge and walk across the bridge and up the stairs behind the powerhouse. The Visitor Gallery is open daily from May through September, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ladder Creek Falls and Gardens
Ladder Creek Falls and Gardens, located behind Gorge Powerhouse in Newhalem, is a refreshing woodland retreat with close-up views of spectacular Ladder Creek Falls. Cross the Skagit River using the pedestrian suspension bri dge next to the powerhouse, and follow the trail. The gardens are open year round; the historical light show has been restored and operates from dusk until 11:00 p.m. daily. Note: The falls and gardens are closed through April 30, 2016 due to trail damage from the August 2015 fire.
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.
North Cascades Visitor Center
The North Cascades Visitor Center, operated by the National Park Service, offers interactive wilderness exhibits and theater programs in a rustic lodge setting.
Goodell Creek Picnic Shelter and Raft Launch
Goodell Creek Raft Launch and Picnic Shelter, located just west of Newhalem, is a starting point for excellent rafting and wildlife observation along the Skagit River.
Gorge Overlook Trail
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, canoeists, fishermen and others. Three boat-in campgrounds offer a very special wilderness experience.
Happy Creek Trail
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.
More information about the area and other local attractions can be found at the North Cascades National Park, North Cascades Chamber of Commerce, and North Cascades Institute websites.
For security, certain areas of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project are restricted to public access. There is no public access to Gorge Dam, or to the interiors of Ross and Diablo powerhouses. The Incline Railway is not operable but can be viewed from the town of Diablo.