North Cascades Photography – Diablo Dam Tour
As you drive along the North Cascades Highway section of the Cascade Loop there plenty of wonderful vistas and things to see. There are three dams along the Skagit River, Diablo Dam is one of them, part of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project that supplies Seattle with a large proportion of its power needs.
You can stop at the overlooks and admire them from afar, OR you can take the Diablo Dam Tour and see the operation up close.
Here is a view of Diablo Lake, from the Diablo Overlook.
The unique, intense turquoise hue of the lake’s water is attributed to the surrounding glaciers that grind rocks into a fine powder that is carried into the lake through creeks. That fine powder, also called glacial flour, stays suspended in the lake, giving the water its brilliant color.
Seattle City Light offers tours of Diablo Dam. The tour includes a look at the Powerhouse, a walking tour of Ladder Falls, lunch and a Boat Ride! I was lucky enough to get invited on one of the tours and managed to capture a few images along the way.
We started off the tour in Newhalem.
The tour of the Powerhouse and Ladder Creek Falls was awesome. There is a night time program at Newhalem, Dam Good Chicken Dinner & Ladder Creek Falls by Night which I am definitely coming back for!
Then we were off for a boat ride!
The pictures speak for themselves, the tour was interesting and a lot of fun. Here is the main page for Seattle City Light – Skagit Tours. Tours start at the end of June and reservations are required, so book your trip today!
Be sure to visit the Diablo Lake Overlook, its a great place for sunsets and also for capturing images of the night sky!
Access to the back country of the North Cascades starts in July. Each years winter snowfall melts faster or slower and its usually not until mid to late July that you can access the passes and higher elevations of the park.
These highways are closed in winter due to snow and open in late-May/June and even some years in July!