Washington Tours

Waterfalls in the Northwest

Recently we took a trip across the mountain passes to see waterfalls in the Northwest and the autumn colors.  We were delighted with the sights!  November 2015 in the Northwest had considerable rain, and there were waterfalls all up and down the mountain passes, along the main highways!

blog falls2

waterfall Mt. Rainier

blog falls1

Waterfall Stehekin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We don’t usually travel in November, as it’s getting darker and colder, and everyone tends to start the indoors program, but I must say, November is the time to go seek waterfalls.  The abundance of rain made every waterfall spectacular.  Tiny streams were floods of water, white bubbling amazement.  Deception Falls and Bridal Veil Falls were beyond exclamation! I’m telling you, it was overwhelming, the amounts of water roaring down the streams.  We were unable to capture many of these falls due to the weather and driving conditions.  Here are some waterfall photos taken earlier this year.

We invite everyone from everywhere to join us on a tour. We offer private tours to many Northwest Regions; day excursions of varying length, road trips across Washington, and overnight trips cover multi states in the Northwest.  We cover history, heritage, and geology in a fun, simple way.  Join us sometime, we’d love to meet you!   www.cherylsnwtours.com.

Snoq falls-for ads

Waterfall Snoqualmie

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Waterfall Mt. Rainier

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Snoqualmie waterfall

Stehekin waterfall

Waterfall Stehikin2

waterfall stream

waterfall stream

upper before falls

upper before falls

Mt. Rainier falls

Mt. Rainier falls

 

Lake Chelan – Stehekin Tour

A Lake Chelan – Stehekin Tour was just completed, and it was great! We left Seattle at 9:00am and crossed Snoqualmie and Blewett Passes on our way to a wine tasting at Wine Girls Winery. Great wines. I personally enjoyed the smokey taste of the grapes in the My Derby Wife red, compliments of the 3 fires in 2012 in the area.

After wine tasting we arrived at Campbell’s Resort and commenced swimming in the pool and lake.  The pool was warm, the lake was cold! Dinner at Campbell’s was very good, then we took a walk through town and across the bridge before heading over to the hot tub.

Our Lake Chelan – Stehekin Tour continued in the morning we made our way to the Lady of the Lake for our 4 hour boat ride to Stehekin. My it’s beautiful and rugged out there.  Stehekin staff welcomed us with open arms and great food, then we took the bus to Highbridge and Rainbow Falls. One cannot describe Rainbow Falls, other than amazing, and wet! It felt like it was raining, and we got drenched, yet 20 feet away we were toasty and warm.  We did manage to visit the bakery before they closed, then relaxed on the deck at the restaurant and grocery store before getting ready for dinner.

The meals in Stehekin are really impressive. I’m telling you! Out there, they do a great job of providing a tasty, interesting, varied menu for meat eaters and vegetarians. We appreciated the voucher system with our group of 8.

With time on our own for several hours the next day before the 2:00 boat shoved off, we had plenty of time for kayaking, hiking, and fishing. Even the Visitors Center with the Rangers was interesting.

Next time we’ll probably add another day to this trip so we can relax and take in all the nuances. For this Discovery tour, though, it was perfect.  Thank you Campbell’s Resort staff and Stehekin for your help in planning this fun outing.

Visit www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com for more fun trips to explore the Great Pacific Northwest.

 

Stehekin Restaurant

Stehekin Restaurant

Our group

Our group

On the boat

On the boat

some of the gang

some of the gang

boat and bus!

boat and bus!

View from Stehekin

View from Stehekin

 

 

Summer Tours Bulletin 2015

2 summer tours 2015

2 summer tours 2015

Our summer tours bulletin is out, and we’ve got 2 great tours to take.

LAKE CHELAN. May 30, 31, and June 1, we’re going to Central Washington to visit beautiful Lake Chelan. Stay the first night at Campbell’s Resort, a local favorite destination in Chelan, on the lake, with a swimming pool and beach access. Then you’re off on a boat to cross the lake on a new adventure, Stehekin.  Accessible only by boat or airplane, this local gem is peaceful, relaxing and the hotel is again on the lake, with a view. Here, take a bus to Rainbow Falls, relax on the hotel grounds, or walk the trails, drinking in the peace and quiet.

This tour includes breakfasts and lunches, transportation, hotels, a tour guide with you throughout the tour, the boat ride, and time with a ranger to learn about the area in Stehekin.  We would love to have you join our tour, it promises to be a fun and relaxing 3 days!

LAVENDER FESTIVAL IN SEQUIM.  This annual adventure is on July 18 this year.  You’ll love this tour with all the NW elements:  A ferry ride over Puget Sound, stops at 3 lavender farms, a visit to Lavender in the Park with kiosks full of lavender plants and lavender scented crafts.  One farm has a resident peacock and sometimes you get to see the areas wild bald eagle overhead.  This tour smells so good!  Join us this year, sign up today. cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com.

See below for the tour flyers, and Visit www.cherylsnwtours.com for more adventures with Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC.

Lake Chelan overnight tour

Lake Chelan Tour

 

Sequim Lavender

Sequim Lavender Festival

 

 

 

2015 Tours in the Northwest

Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC has organized the 2015 Tours in the Northwest program. We invite you to join us!

Listed below are our specialty tours for the year, designed to share unique Northwest sights and scenes not known to  visitors, and often not the locals, either!

January 14-ELK FEEDING TOUR.  Craig Schnebly has been feeding Rocky Mountain elk at the L.T. Murray feed station since 1988. He has seen different elk come and go, but one thing remains a constant. When the barn door opens each morning, the elk smell food and come running.  The estimated number of elk in the Yakima herd is near 10,000, and anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 of those elk are fed hay in L.T. Murray each winter, The number of elk that show up depends on how harsh the conditions are. The more snow that accumulates, the more elk come down to feed. Kittitas County is host to two feeding stations, and the L.T. Murray feed site at Joe Watt offers a viewing area where the public is invited to come and watch the majestic animals.

Elk feeding tour

March 21-PORTLAND AND FORT VANCOUVER, WA .  Did you know that the Pacific Northwest’s first hospital, school, orchard, library, grist mill, saw mill, shipyard, and dairy were all established at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver? Learn more about this by joining our tour to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, which includes a visit and optional tour of Portland.

Fort Vanc sign

Fort Vanc sign

Fort Vancouver

Fort Vancouver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Saturdays and more-TULIP FESTIVAL TOUR.  A spring ritual, we again trek out to view the brightly colored fields

Tulips Tour

fields ablaze

of tulips, daffodils and iris in the Skagit Valley. We swing through a bird sanctuary in search of migratory snow geese, trumpeter swans, and eagles on the way, and visit a quaint historic town for lunch.

May 30-June 1 Overnight.  LAKE CHELAN AND STEHEKIN.  Chelan, known for its warm weather and desert-like terrain is also home to Lake Chelan, a deep water lake nestled in the North section of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascade Mountains. An overnight trip, you’ll stay your first night in Chelan at a resort right on the lake.  Day two you’ll take a leisurely boat ride on the Lady of the Lake to Stehekin, a town only accessible by boat or plane. Here you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet of this little rustic community,  with hiking trails and a waterfall.

Lake Chelan Tour

July 18-LAVENDER FESTIVAL IN SEQUIM WA.  Sequim offers the largest lavender event in North America with the annual Lavender Festival in July. You will visit 3-4 farms and have time at Lavender-in-the-Park to check out food booths, lavender plant sales, lavender ice cream, lavender related crafts and more. This tour also includes a ferry ride across Puget sound.

Lavender Tour

Lavender Tour


November 7-10 Overnight.  NORTH CASCADES TOUR.  The North Cascades receive an over-abundance of snow in the winter, and the pass is closed late November until March-May sometime.  We’re planning this overnight tour to avoid the crowds while seeking the autumn experience of the majestic mountains, the amazing wilderness while we stay in a resort in the mountains.  We’ll visit a Wild West Town with wooden boardwalks and authentic western siding on the whole town before making our way back along the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers. A beautiful drive and unbelievable scenery not to be missed.

Hotel during N. Cascades tour

December 5,12,19-LEAVENWORTH CHRISTMAS TOWN LIGHTING.  This Bavarian style village is very believable to Germany and Austria, and really does it up in December with festive lighting, roasted chestnuts, holiday music, food, and merriment everywhere! Fire pits in the street help keep you warm, and you’ll immediately get in the holiday spirit here.

Leavenworth Tour

Leavenworth

Christmas Tour

Trees after dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call 206 353-3330 or write cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com to reserve your space!

Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier

Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier in the same day!  Not common, since Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier are both a few hours from everywhere, but we managed it simply and without a lot of driving at one time.  This tour is perfect for those traveling from Portland, OR or Seattle, WA. It is not a day trip, it is a two night 3 day trip with time to relax, enjoy, and take the time at each stop to learn the mighty power of the volcanoes and how the landscapes became what they are.

a Rainier valley

Rainier valley

Rainier viewpoint

Rainier viewpoint

the Mountain

the Mountain

Day 1, we travel into the Pacific Northwest mountains to Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier and stay in a small town just 45 minutes from our first trail.  Driving through beautiful lush mountain foothills, meadows and valleys, we enjoyed seeing horses, cows and alpacas on our way to the first stop.  Arriving, we checked into our hotel and had dinner next door in a cute, quaint restaurant that had steamed clams on the menu!  The chicken fried steak was very tasty.

Day 2, the hotel provided a continental breakfast, then we were on our way to Longmire for an easy 30 minute trail hike among Douglas Fir and Wester Red Cedar trees.  The museums are enlightening here.  Onward to Paradise for lunch in the Lodge and then time to wander the trails and visit waterfalls, the trails are paved quite a ways out before switching to dirt.   The movie in the visitor center is worth seeing.

stream at Rainier

Mountain and stream

We then made our way down Mount Rainier and through beautiful farms, fields, and small towns including Mossyrock and Morton.  Our next stop was Patty’s Place for lunch just short of mile marker 19 on the road to Mount Saint Helens, Johnston Ridge.  Wow, what a difference from Mount Rainier!  Weyerhauser planted 16,400,000 trees to replace those blasted by the explosion on May 18, 1980.  Before they planted, they cleared out 480 truckloads of downed trees per day.  So what we saw were small, 30-35 year old trees, mainly Douglas fir and Noble fir.  The Noble fir are very different in look than the Douglas fir, with their branches horizontal rather than more vertical. In contrast, Mount Rainier has 100-700+ year old trees!  We stayed in a simple but nice motel along I-5 (with indoor swimming pool) where we had a variety of choices  nearby for dinner.

Cheryl St. Helens

Cheryl and Mount St. Helens

landscape Helens

Landscape around Mount St. Helens

Day 3, after another good continental breakfast, we begin our trek back to Seattle, 2 hours away.  We stop at the Mount Saint Helens visitors center at Silver Lake for one last movie and another trail excursion, then home bound.

This trip is a great way to explore some great Pacific Northwest Volcanoes and see some amazingly beautiful Pacific Northwest mountains and landscapes.

We  hope you’ll join us sometime for one of our tours!  visit www.cherylsnwtours.com for an extensive list of Northwest excursions.

Olympic National Park

We visited the Olympic National Park twice in the past month through, visiting the Hoh Temperate Rain Forest.  It was dry both times!

We begin in Seattle and travel across a Washington State Ferry then on to Lake Crescent for our first hike, a mild 30 minute trail to Marymere Falls.  The Olympic Park is beautiful!  There are 3 rain forests inside the Olympic National Park, we visit the grandest of them all, the Hoh rain forest, a temperate rain forest.  We continue on to Forks for lunch, then enter the Hoh Rain Forest.  You really must come here, the moss-draped maple trees are spectacular on the Hall of Mosses trail.  And the fern beds along the Spruce Trail are very picturesque.  A calm fills you and peace is all around.  The quiet is also of curious notice.

Hoh fern bed2 Hoh trail on the trail

After taking 2 trails in Hoh,  we’re off again, now to the great Pacific Ocean to walk the sandy beach and explore the tide pools and sea stacks along the shore.  At Ruby beach, the rocks along the driftwood line are surprisingly symmetrical.  Got pics to show.

We covered all this in one day. And although a very long day, it was so exciting! Come join us sometime, for an Inside Look at the Pacific Northwest.

fern bed

fern bed

fern trail

trail

foot bridge

foot bridge

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent

Beach trees

beach trees

Ruby Beach

seastacks at Ruby Beach 2

 

Poulouse Falls – Discovery Tour

Our Discovery tour to Poulouse Falls was excellent.  We traveled from Seattle to Yakima, then to Prosser, the Columbia River, Walla Walla, Poulouse Falls, and Pendleton, Oregon.  Walla Walla was our base and the Best Western Plus was a perfect location for our 3 night stay. We loved the helpful staff and the amenities including the indoor pool, hot tub, breakfast, and great location to downtown and the freeway.

We visited the Balloon Festival a couple of times, and it had its challenges this year with wind and rain.  We did get to see the process of how they inflate the balloons, which were really amazing in their size.  The Night Glow event draws a huge crowd and is loved by the locals and tourists.  You have to come early to get decent parking (we were on time and it was a long walk to the event due to the parking situation).  The event itself isn’t super long but long enough, and photos do not tell the story of the immense size and the sounds of the lighting and flames.

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Balloon Festival

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Balloon Festival

We loved the sights, the history, and the museums in Walla Walla.  The town has its old-town historical charm, plenty of wine tasting rooms in town if you are short on time to visit vineyards, and good restaurants.  We took a drive through the residential neighborhoods and enjoyed the beautiful historical homes.  We later drove the countryside through the wine country, finding the estates in the vineyards completely different than the Yakima Valley appellation tasting rooms.  A must visit if you are into estates, vineyards, topography, or wine.  Basil Winery is a must see with its log-cabin-like look yet it is modern, not rustic.  I loved it. As for history, I have to mention the Frenchtown monument and the Whitman historical sight in particular.  These both showcase the history of the Native American/Settler strife and cultural differences in a world of change.  The short film at the Whitman Historical site was very well done, equally sharing the Native opinions and the Settler intentions.

The drive on this Discovery Tour to Poulouse Falls had three particular scenic roads worth a mention.  The drive from Walla Walla to the Falls is breathtaking with its fields, farms, silos and grain elevators, little towns, and hilly landscape.  Another is the road to Pendleton, Oregon.  The fields, farms, and the mountain backdrop is beautiful. The third is the stretch from Cle Elem to Yakima.  Forests transition to flat farming valley, then to sagebrush, and then wine country. It is a great visual and showcase of the variances in Northwest topography.

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Scenery between Walla Walla and Poulouse Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Scenery between Walla Walla and Poulouse Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Scenery with silos between Walla Walla and Poulouse Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Scenery with silos between Walla Walla and Poulouse Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Scenery between Walla Walla and Poulouse Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Scenery between Walla Walla and Poulouse Falls

We visited the Pendleton Underground Tour and I must say they have done an outstanding job putting this together.  You’ve heard of the Seattle Underground?  The Pendleton underground tours has set up staging throughout the underground, and you get a really good feel and understanding of the history and conditions during many decades of use.  Our guide knew her stuff and did a great job.

Poulouse Falls is as beautiful as any photo you see.  There are a couple of short walks to see the falls, with a second falls worth the walk if you can take the time.  Comparing it to Snoqualmie Falls, it’s tough to say either is more beautiful.  Poulouse Falls has a more immense size at the bottom and shows the historical volcano/flooding aftermath, while Snoqualmie is taller, and closer to Seattle for the short-on-time traveler. Both are massive and amazing and I recommend them both equally to Northwesters and visitors.

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - Poulouse Falls Entry Sign

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - At The Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - At The Falls

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - At The Falls Looking Downstream

Cheryl's Northwest Tours Poulouse Falls Discovery Tour - At The Falls Looking Downstream

This tour is now a dedicated tour in our selection of tours.  It has been discovered, and is no longer a Discovery tour.

Come join us on a tour!  Our Discovery tours are loosely organized tours to explore a location or site to determine if it is a place travelers would like to see.  Low in cost, guests pay their own way independently, aside from the transportation.

Come on, get an inside look at the Pacific Northwest with Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC.

Nature Tour Northwest, Majestic Bald Eagles

This gallery contains 1 photo.

January 18 and again January 19, 2014 we will visit the Skagit Eagle Festival. Bald Eagles come by the hundreds from Canada to munch on the Salmon that spawn up the Skagit River.

(excerpt from skagiteagles.com) If you haven’t visited eastern Skagit County in awhile or ever, January is the month to do it! The annual Skagit Eagle Festival offers a chance to get an amazing glimpse of mother nature — eagles, of course, but also salmon, elk and other wildlife. In addition, the festival celebrates the heritage, history and joyous spirit of the people who live in these small communities.

(excerpt from concrete-wa.com website)  The Skagit Eagle Festival is a month-long celebration during eagle-watching season in eastern Skagit County. Activities take place in Concrete, Rockport and Marblemount every Saturday and Sunday in January. The festival features a variety of free tours, walks, and educational programs where you’ll learn not only about these majestic birds, but also about a variety of wildlife and the beautiful areas along the Skagit River where they live or return each year.

In January 2013, we started out at the interpretive center to listen to a 30 minute explanation of the eagle situation, then we went on a short, flat trail walk to the river.  We saw eagles!  Then we went to the hatchery for a free tour of the fish containers and learned about the process of growing and managing the salmon.   Then we stopped at 2 places where the local festival people had telescopes sited on individual eagles so we could see them close up.  It was really a nice, relaxing day.  That worked up an appetite, and on the way home we stopped for lunch at a great local place on the roadside.   And we’ll do it all again soon!

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Eagle and Spawning Salmon Tour – Saturday January 18, 2014

Visit our website for more tours around the Northwest. www.cherylsnwtours.com

Okanogan

Mountains

photo www.skagit.eagle.org

photo www.skagit.eagle.org

Eagle Nest

Eagle Nest

Young Eagle

Young Eagle

The Skagit River

The Skagit River

A guided walking tour

A guided walking tour

Northwest Winter Tours

3 NORTHWEST WINTER TOURS

HOLIDAY TOWN LIGHTING. December 2014. $65. Offering six trips this year, Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC has partnered with Clipper Vacations for a bigger than ever trip across the mountain passes to this fun annual event. A continental breakfast basket starts off your day, and we share tidbits of Northwest history along the way. Pre arrival you will be provided with suggestions and directional information to get you going on your fun-filled day.

If you have not been to to this festival before, you’ll experience holiday music all day in the street, shops oozing with festive holiday gifts, and holiday decorations everywhere. Maybe you’ll want to try the roasted chestnuts -on an open fire-, some cider, or maybe some spiced wine. There is a play you can see, sleigh rides across town, fund-raisers at the church, and more. You’ll see thousands of lights on the buildings, trees, and streetlights; Leavenworth, WA, does it up spectacularly and turns it on just before 5:00pm. Visit http://www.christmaslightingfestival.com/ for each day’s activities. We pick up at several Seattle area locations. Departures begin around 9:00am, returning approximately 8:30pm. Visit www.clippervacations.com and www.cherylsnwtours.com for more information.

EAGLE AND SALMON VIEWING, a nature tour. January 2014. $89. You’ve got to see this. Hundreds of young and old eagles migrate from Canada each year to the Skagit River to feast on the spawning salmon. This is a two-part tour. Eagles. There are hundreds in the area, and you are sure to see many. You’ll love this, even if you are not a ‘bird watcher”. There’s a brief presentation very worth your time to familiarize yourself with Skagit Valley and its nature programs, and then you’re off to the river to locate eagles. The second part of this tour: The Salmon Spawning experience. You’ll visit the local hatchery and see the salmon’s final destination (and their original birthplace). These are non-farmed northwest salmon, in the real world. Hot lunch of your choice included at a local restaurant on the way home. This tour is in conjunction with the Skagit Valley Eagle Festival.

RED WINE AND CHOCOLATE. February,2014. You’ll venture to Yakima area appellations, to the actual vineyards of northwest wineries. The vineyards are beautiful, peaceful, and are less crowded than during the growing and harvesting months. Not just wine tasting, you’ll also indulge in sampling chocolates of various styles, including truffles, wedges, and bars, some paired with wines to show the versatility and balance of the wine. Box lunch included.

For more information, visit www.cherylsnwtours.com, email us at cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com, or call 206 353-3330.

 

Lavender Festival – July 21, 2013

Lavender Festival!

Fields and fields of blooming lavender!  July in the Pacific Northwest boasts an abundance of purple fields.  And fragrant, too.  Sequim Washington has great year-round weather which allows for wonderful local farms full of produce and flowers.  July brings the Lavender Festival and the Sequim Lavender Farm Faire.  You can find lavender in so many ways, such as live plants, seeds, in crafts like sachets, dried bundles, in beverages, and more!  One of the farms has a male and female peacock in a fensed area, and we’ve seen eagles overhead. Many farms have kiosks on their farms with vendors who offer jewelry, food, crafts, baskets and other fun, festive items. An easy way to get there is with Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC.  A simple bus ride and sometimes a ferry provides a convenient and fun way to get there.  No parking a mile away, and avoid the crowded driving conditions. No worries, just fun, Complimentary snacks and water provided.  Learn about the festival, its history, and what to do while you are there while on your way.  The annual Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington, kicks off July 20, 2013 and runs through the weekend.  Some links to visit include:

http://www.sequimlavenderfarmersassociation.org/  –  http://www.lavenderfestival.com/

For tour information, check out the PDF

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  Lavender Festival Tour – July 21, 2013

 

And remember, the flowers are in bloom all month in July, so you can go on your own any time you want to most of the farms throughout July.

http://www.cherylsnwtours.com