Outdoor Activities

Looking for fun activities that get the entire family outside for the day? Kid insider is the only local resource for all family oriented outdoor activities in Skagit County.  From biking and hiking to visiting our local farms, you are bound to find something that will interest even the most tech-addicted kid!

Cycling | Day Trips | Farms | Fishing | Hiking
Parks & Playgrounds | More Fun Outings

Skagit County Day Trips

Bet'cha thought that Skagit County was too small to take a day trip within. Think again! Guemes Island is actually part of Skagit County and just a short ferry ride away. You can go on a chartered boat to watch the whales in our local waters AND we have a National Park, right in our own backyard!! Who knew??

  • Guemes Island
  • North Cascades
  • Whale Watching

Take a five minute ferry ride from Anacortes, and you'll find yourself on beautiful Guemes Island. There are two Skagit County parks located on the island; Schoolhouse Park and Young's Park. You will not find many businesses on the island other than Anderson's General Store and Café at the ferry landing. There are 15 miles of paved roads on the island, so take your bikes and a picnic lunch. Make a day of it!

The ferry dock is located at 6th Street and I Avenue on the west side of downtown Anacortes. The ferry is operated by Skagit County and you can access the ferry schedule on their website.

Map of Guemes Island

Andy Porter Photograph of Mount Logan and waterfall North Cascades National Park

Even though most of the North Cascades National Park is not located in Skagit County, we do have the most direct route for reaching the park...Highway 20. The park actually ranges from the Canadian border south to Lake Chelan. A day trip to the park should be on everyone's summer "to-do" list.

The park is generally open from May – October. After that Highway 20 closes due to snow. There is a Park and Forest Information Center located on Highway 20 in Sedro-Woolley. They staff an information desk, and also have books, maps and other items available regarding the park and adjacent forest lands. The North Cascades Visitors Center in Newhalem is also a good place to stop for the same type of information on the park. Ask about how your child can become a Junior Ranger and earn an official badge during your trip to the park.

During your stop at the information or visitor center, be sure to inquire as to whether or not you will need a Northwest Forest Pass to park at trailheads. It is not required on the National Park Service Lands, but is required if you are parking at the trailheads on some of the adjacent U.S. Forest Services land.

There are so many things to do during your visit in the park including: hiking, camping, climbing, boating, fishing, bird and wildlife viewing and picnicking.  You can even bring your horse for riding on some of the trails. There are guided tours available through both ranger-led programs and the North Cascades Institute (NCI). Learners of all ages can come to explore and participate in innovative programs at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center on Diablo Lake in the heart of the North Cascades. Check out their website for a variety of programs and camps for youth and families. You can actually spend a weekend in their beautiful lodge and eat their delicious, healthy food while partaking in one of their planned family getaways.

One last thing you might do on your Day Trip is take an interpretive tour of the Upper Skagit Valley. The NCI and Seattle City Light have partnered to offer these tours to highlight the natural and cultural history of the area. You can choose from a boat tour of Ross Lake, a guided shuttle tour, a tour of the powerhouse, and a walking tour of Newhalem.  Detailed information on the tours is located on the North Cascades Institute website.

Fun Fact: North Cascades NPSC has over 300 glaciers, more than any other park in the lower 48 states. More than half the glaciers in the 48 states are concentrated in this mountainous wilderness region called the North Cascades.

Is seeing orca whales in the wild on your "bucket list"? Then take a day with your family and get it checked off! Amazing sights await you when you sign up for a whale watching cruise in the San Juan Islands!

Island Adventures Whale Watching
Mystic Sea Charters