SKAGIT RIVER BALD EAGLE RAFTING
NOTICE! Our rafts are not heated and it is very cold out there right now. If you are looking for heated drift boat tours on the Skagit, we recommend Skagit River Guide Service, at www.skagiteagles.com.
Beautiful!... and cold. There is nothing like spending a morning or afternoon with our professional guide staff while taking pictures and viewing the majesty of the North American Bald Eagle as you meander down the Skagit River. Bring your hot cocoa and a loved one, family member, or close friend, as you will have plenty of amazing sites to take in and stories to tell.
Bald Eagles migrate to the Skagit River in November and arrive in large numbers at peak season (upwards of 100 birds seen per trip) during the months of December and January. Our Eagle Watching trips are conducted with the same focus on safety and prevention as all of our other whitewater and multi-day rafting trips, and are conducted with permission from the Skagit County Parks Association, and the United States Forest Service. When you decide to spend some time with your family over the holidays, or just want to get out and enjoy nature at a time when she really has a lot to offer, consider joining us for a magnificent time on the Skagit River, and watch the Eagles fly all around you.
These trips fill up fast so make sure to get your reservation in early.
Skagit River Bald Eagle Trip Details
All of our Skagit River Bald Eagle trips meet at Howard Miller Steelhead Park, located in Rockport, WA. The park is fairly easy to find as it is directly beneath and beside the bridge that goes over the Skagit on highway 530 (there is only one such bridge). The park itself was named after a well respected Skagit County Commissioner who was a known lover of the river corridor and its amazing fishing. A great deal of the recreation in the area can be attributed to this one person.
At the Howard Miller Steelhead park you will locate your guides. Please do arrive early as the park can be quite hectic around the middle of the "Eagle Festival" which goes from Christmas time through the end of January. Tourists and photographers come from all around the world to enjoy and witness these spectacular birds, as they migrate south to chase the Chum Salmon on which they feed.
Your guides will escort you into our shuttle vehicle and we will drive up river for 9 miles and put in at the Marblemount Boat Launch, just outside of Marblemount Washington. From here you will float down near the Bald Eagles in our top quality self bailing rafts, and after approximately 2 hours you will return to your car, which is waiting for you back at the park. This trip is done in accordance with the rules set forth by the United States Forest Service, as well as Skagit County, both organizations which seek to preserve and protect the river corridor and the Bald Eagle Migration for future generations to enjoy. As a result, certain restrictions are often put on our trips, such as early launch times. At this time we cannot launch a trip on the Skagit River, or be on the river with the Eagles until after 11am. Please respect these regulations and realize that we cannot go on the river until the authorities allow us to.
SUMMARY OF TRIP
Current Price: $85 (Why does this trip cost this amount?)
Length of trip: 8.9 miles
Season: December-February (depending on Eagle Migration)
Runnable River Level: All levels
River Gauge used: USGS Skagit River at Nehalem (click here to be directed to hydrograph).
Trip meets at: Howard Miller Steelhead Park, 52804 Rockport Park Rd, Rockport, WA 98283 (click here for map)
Type of Rafts used: Self Bailing Whitewater Rafts 13' to 15' in length
Maximum number of guests per trip: 28
Minimum number of guests per trip: 8
Minimum age: 5 (all minors must be accompanied by parent or guardian, and all minors must be announced at time of booking).
Minimum weight: 50lbs. (anyone under 90lbs. requires a specific life jacket so all people under 90lbs. must be announced at the time of booking or at least 3 days prior to trip departure).
River Classification: Class 1-2 (click here to be directed to the American Whitewater page for this section)
Safety Protocol: Non-whitewater section. Swiftwater rescue kits, medical trauma kits, emergency communication device.
Paddles/helmets required: no/no
Wetsuits required: no
Type of Life Jacket required: Type 3 or 5 (guests can bring their own PFD's)
Liability Waiver Required: yes (online here)
Typical time on river: 2-2.5 hours
Typical time for the complete trip: 3-4 hours (depends on river flow and rescue situations)
Food/beverage served: no
Special Note: Washington State does not have a government operated guides and outfitters licensing board. Whitewater Classification is subjective and often times misleading. If you do not fully understand the classification for yourself, it is best not left up to chance. What is often referred to as "Class 5" whitewater is considered class 3 or 4 by other, often more experienced boaters who have a larger and more apt perspective on the matter. For a closer study of river difficulty and risk, please visit our safety informative page, and read this article (click here for article).