A number of companies offer scenic bald eagle float trips December–February, when the population is at a peak. The river is so gentle that wet suits are not necessary; just wear warm winter clothing. One well-regarded outfitter, Pacific Northwest Float Trips (360/757-1201, www.pacificnwfloattrips.com) offers two trip choices on the Skagit. The long version runs four hours and includes lunch at the end of the line ($77), while the mini trip floats for about two hours ($45).
Nature lovers apprehensive about the cold and discomfort may also want to look into Ackerlund’s Guide Service (360/848-1848, www.ackerlunds.com, $65), which offers its guests propane-heated boats and comfy seats on its four-hour floats.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition