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“Bald Eagle Viewing float”

Pacific NW Float Trips
Tacoma, Washington
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Bald Eagle Viewing float”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

We had a very good trip with five kids under 10 on the raft. The tour guide was attentive, tolerant, patient, and kept everyone including the kids involved. I'd recommend it again, and may do it again with my family.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Ainilu B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
SEattle
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wine tasting and river rafting on the Skagit River...with lunch”
Reviewed February 11, 2013

This river rafting trip was advertised to include lunch and a wine tasting tour. The rafting trip was good and the guide did his best to entertain us, but at the end of the trip things went sour. We loaded back on the bus thinking it was lunch time on the way to the wine tasting, but instead we were offered some picked over Costco size boxes of children's snacks and a couple of pieces of fruit. Not very appetizing, and not very sanitary either. As the bus was driving back to where our car was parked Capt. Dave told us if we wanted to do some wine tasting we could go in the opposite direction in our own cars, about 10 miles down the road. This was very disappointing and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. We felt like we were tricked by Capt. Dave, and I can't believe he is still offering this trip.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank HopsterSEattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Come prepared”
Reviewed January 5, 2013

It's not that this is a bad tour but you should really know what you're getting into. Here are some things I wish I had known:
--It took us just over 2/2.5 hrs to get here from Seattle (with no traffic). If we would have arrived literally 5 minutes later they would have left without us and the drive would have been wasted so be sure to get there plenty early. You may even want to consider shooting for the earlier time so that if you miss it you can at least catch the later time that afternoon.
--Yes it's true, the 'company' itself seems completely disorganized. When you call to book you will talk to someone who is probably out on a rafting trip and will give you a vague answer about when you can come. You will try to follow up with an email and they may/may not get back to you and tell you, 'sure, come at that time.' When you arrive, they will not have a list with your name on it, they will not even ask your name or check your voucher (which we had), they'll just hand you a life jacket and throw you on a boat. Basically, this is a humble operation in a crumbling town in the middle of nowhere. The people running it seemed genuine, hardworking, and nice and it did feel pretty good to support their local economy, but you can't approach this event with 'city' standards going into it or you will likely be confused and disappointed.
--When you're getting dressed that morning and think you've put on sufficient layers, put on double that and then you'll be good. Remember, you're sitting outside, stationary, and probably getting rained on. The coldest things for all of us on the boat were our hands because once our gloves got wet (which they will if it's raining) they were freezing. If you can find a way around this (extra gloves, thicker gloves, waterproof gloves) you will be happier. Waterproof-ish shoes are important because there is some standing water at the bottom of the boat.
--Bring an umbrella if you want to take pictures. It was raining the day we went (no surprise for a WA winter day) and the first few minutes into the float the lenses to our camera and our binoculars were covered in raindrops, making them almost unusable. This could have been prevented easily if we had brought an umbrella so that one person could hold it above the other's head while they take pictures. It wouldn't disturb anyone else on the boat because everyone's looking way up into the sky.
--Don't expect this to be 'guided' or educational. If you are curious about information on bald eagles, look it up ahead of time. The man driving our boat didn't really speak the whole time and when we asked seemingly basic questions that you would think an eagle tour operator would know (what's the difference between male and females, etc), he didn't know. The man on the boat in front of us seemed a lot chattier though, so maybe it depends on who you get.
--Finally, our trip was not 4 hours like the website said, it was 1-1/5 hrs. Then again, thank goodness it wasn't any longer. By 1 1/2 hours, you are getting really freezing, wishing for a bathroom, and beginning to get a bit cranky and over-it. That brings us to the question of whether or not this trip was worth it. Was it worth driving about 5 hours for a 1.5 hr float down a river?
That's a tricky one, we did see bald eagles up in the trees. Our group counted 30 or so and apparently the earlier group saw around 70. It was a unique experience to see them in their natural habitat. It was also kind of relaxing to be out in nature floating down the river. I would definitely not recommend doing the longer tour or paying more than about $40-ish for this.
I would also recommend doing it before the coldest part of the winter, maybe in the fall if possible. But if you could do that, then I would say yes I would recommend it for a memorable and unique experience.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank C A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Vernon, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Eagle watching on the Skagit”
Reviewed December 17, 2012

This was our second year in a row taking a Skagit River Eagle Float with this company. Both trips were equally fun and enjoyable. Capt. Dave encourages friendliness and getting to know our fellow rafters and both years we’ve met interesting and pleasant people. There was fresh fruit to snack on before we left and hot chili when we returned.

We were impressed with our guides Leo & Seth and their safety and skill at maneuvering the raft through the various aspects of the river. They took us up some side channels into shallow, quiet waters where we could easily see the fish swimming. We beached at a sandbar where we got out and looked at bear tracks and a beaver dam. We even headed up one of the inflowing creeks a ways to see more eagle activity. We saw well over 100 eagles during the 3-hour trip and on one sandbar we counted 12 eagles on the ground and over 20 in the surrounding trees.

A note of advice would be: dress extra warm! Wear plenty of layers with an outer layer of ski or rain clothes and especially wear warm socks and boots, thick gloves and a hat. Even though it wasn’t real windy or rainy, our hands and feet got a little cold after 3 hours of being out in the elements.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Sharon W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
45 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Eagle watching on the Skagit - awesome”
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We went on this eagle watching tour for my birthday (I love me some bald eagles). When we arrived at the meeting spot, we still needed to pay, and we didn't have cash. No worries - we were driven to the nearest ATM.

The ride was amazing, and our guide was funny and informative. It was November in Washington - so it was gray and drizzling and cold, but the trip was well worth it. We saw between 20-30 eagles during our trip, including some juveniles who didn't have their recognizable white heads yet. We pulled off near a beaver dam and watched some salmon swimming in the clear, shallow river water just a couple of feet away. It was an easy, meandering trip down the river in one of Washington's many beautiful areas.

I was surprised by the other poor reviews that I read. I'm not discounting their experiences, but it just wasn't mine. The people were really and sincerely great. They had a simple lunch of chili and hot chocolate after the trip, which was just perfect. Their knowledge and obvious love for the area and the wildlife and environment was evident. This wasn't a polished, big name brand with bells and whistles that runs on a tight schedule - these are a group of locals running the show, and I'm glad our money went to them.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank hildeborg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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