1. When do we need to make reservations? Many of our trips book out so make your reservation as soon as you have chosen a trip and date. We will confirm your trip, and send you a confirmation upon receipt of your deposit. For the Spring Birding Trip on the Skagit during the Tulip Festival, weekdays are far less crowded that the weekends, so if you can find time during the week this is the best time.
2. What do we wear?
Wenatchee: (June, July, early August) Eastern Washington is desert climate with warm, hot weather. Even when it is cool in Seattle, it can be very hot on the Wenatchee Bathing suits underneath, with layers on top is appropriate. Fast drying clothing is recommended, such as nylon shorts, synthetic or fleece tops. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat with a visor is important. Shoes are required at all times. You will want to bring dry clothing for the trip home. Sandals with straps or old sneakers will do if you do not mind cold feet.
Skagit Spring & Fall: These trips, during the shoulder months can be unpredictable. September can be a gorgeous month on the Skagit, but it is always better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. This is why you should layer your clothing for these excursions. Synthetic fleece, poly-pro or wool tops keep you warmer and dryer than cotton. Neither of these are white water trips, so you would not get wet from the river, just wet weather. Shoes are required, and you may want to wear waterproof boots, or have dry shoes at the end of the trip. Remember you loose your heat through your head and your feet, so you will want a hat and dry feet. Bring rain gear, and hope you won’t need it.
Skagit Eagle: (November, December, January, February) The weather in Washington during the winter can be so terribly unpredictable. Sometimes it is bitter cold and other times, such as this past winter it was mild, gorgeous weather. During the winter you must dress for the cold with synthetic fleece, poly-pro or wool tops and pants, appropriate outer wear jackets, hats, gloves, long underwear, and appropriate dry warm footwear with heavy wool socks. It can be cold on the river, and if you are dressed for the cold you will enjoy your trip far more. You can always remove some of your layers, we bring dry bags for this as well as packing cameras and snacks.
3. How big are the rapids? All rivers are different. Rivers are rated on the International Scale of Whitewater I-VI. Class I is “moving water,” Class II is “splashes,” Class III is “wet and fun,” Class IV is “big drops,” Class V is “violent rapids,” and Class VI is considered “unrunnable.” Our float trips on the are Class I & II. The Upper Skagit River has Class II & III, while the Wenatchee is Class III & IV.
4. How deep is the river? River depth changes constantly depending on the gradient and width of the river.
5. Can we bring cameras or video cameras? For the float trips on the Skagit cameras are an important part of your adventure, and we encourage you to remember your trip on film or to bring extra batteries for your digital cameras. You may want to bring a plastic zip lock bag for your camera in the event of rain, or we will have dry bags where you can stow some for your gear.Wenatchee River , we suggest bringing waterproof, disposable cameras and leaving the video camera at home unless it is waterproof. There is no guarantee that your camera and video camera will not get wet.
6. Do we have to paddle? There are different types of raft boats used for different situations. Oar framed boats allow the guide to use a pair of oars to control and move the raft. Sometimes customers paddle along with the guide according to his or her commands. Since the guide essentially has 100% control, guests may opt to to get involved and help paddle or simply just sit back and enjoy the scenery. “Paddle” boats do not have the frame so participants and the guide all have a paddle. No experience is necessary. The guide will teach you how to do it as you go. In general, our eagle watching trips on the Skagit are with framed boats where the guide uses oars and the passengers are thus able to take in the scenery and take photos along the way. If you would rather have a “Paddle” boat trip, we can provide that as well, but you will have to work.
7. How cold is the water? The rivers we run rely on snow melt as their main source of water. This means early season the water is very cold. Later in the season the water does warm up somewhat but it is still cold.
8. How do we get back to our car? On all our trip we provide shuttle transportation back to the meeting place at no extra charge.
9. Will I get wet? No, on the Skagit River Float Trips. Most definitely yes on the Wenatchee River and the Upper Skagit White Water trip. The trip, the water level and the class of white water will determine how wet you get. Also consider the season. If you raft when the snow is rapidly melting so the water is higher, you will get wetter.
10. What are the minimum and maximum age limits? And what type of physical condition do you have to be in? Our float trips on the Skagit River are for people ages 6-104. We have taken people in their 90s on these trips. We have also taken groups of paraplegics, and special education groups with escorts. You select the trip that is right for you or your group. If you have any questions, please ask us ahead of making your reservation. These age limits & physical condition do fluctuate depending on the water level.
11. Are we required to sign a waiver? Yes, our insurance company, as with all outfitters, requires us to have you sign a waiver & release of liability. It is here for you to read in advance. You can print and sign this in advance.
Waiver & Release of Liability. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask at the time of your reservation!