Things to Do & See
At the Resort
Our River Trail
starts just across the highway south of The
Eatery near the Wildwood Chapel.
It wanders down to the Skagit River (one and a half
miles, round trip) thru 40 acres of field and wooded
area, winding through the wonderful old forest
vegetation, with its moss hanging from the trees, with
ferns and berry vines growing in the more open spaces.
Still under development, but accessible now, is the new
Trail system, using trail corridors in the forest areas north and west of the
present resort buildings. Following pre-existing and overgrown logging
skid roads from years ago, the ground layout of
these trails can be envisioned as a large free-form "∞"
or double-loop figure.
With public support coordinated by The Bullerville Foundation, the first loop
is being developed as joggable outdoor fitness course, with exercise stations
spotted along the way in clearings to the side of the path. Signs (or take-along
handouts) illustrating the use of the equipment (such as sit-up benches, pull-up
bars, balance beams, etc) will explain each exercise for child and adult use. At
the end of the fitness loop, users may return to the starting point or continue
onto the second loop.
The second loop is conceived of as an interpretive loop, highlighting the natural and social history of the area. As such it will include signing/handouts explaining the plant and animal life to been seen. The latter part of this loop passes through the Buller Brothers Lumber Company site and by the old mill pond (presently being renovated so it once again is an attractive visual feature and water habitat), and interpretive aids here will explain the artifacts remaining from these bygone days..
We often have special events and activities for our guests. In Summer, many make it a point to come up for our 4th of July fireworks and barbecues. In the Winter, we have an annual Christmas lighting ceremony and old-fashioned hayrides.
The kids all like to feed the bunnies, and we have several "bunny-bread" stations where you can get stale bread to hand out to our furry locals. We only ask that you not feed on the roads since a hungry bunny does not pay much attention to oncoming vehicles.
We have volley ball and badminton areas and horseshoe pits. But the most fun is Bunnyhole Golf. Yes, the bunnies dig the holes and we put the cups and flags in. Dont laugh. They work real hard all spring on this project, so hard that they get behind in their lawn mowing and we have to step in with help. We also have picnic tables in the Lawn Court tenting area, and at the Eatery outside dining area.
There are table games and various other games for rent also. At this time we have about 200 videos (tapes & DVDs) and also several video players of both formats for rent .
We are in the process of developing a schedule of events and activities, including both short-duration day & evening events of interest to transient guests, and a calendar of longer programs lasting up to a week catering to guests desiring a more substantive undertaking. Please check our Opportunity Programs page, where further information will be posted as available.
Interested in birdwatching? Start your birding right here at the Resort, where many species found along the river shore, lowland forest and open field may be identified. Here's our Birder's Checklist to start you out.
On the Skagit River
Right off the River Trail, there are several good fishing spots along the bank, and because of the nearby little church the best spot is nicknamed Chapel Drift or Chapel Run by those in the know. The Skagit (pronounced Ska-jit) River runs by Skagit River Resort along 40 of our 125 acres. Fishing includes: salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout, and whitefish. The Wild Steelhead and North Atlantic Salmon Club did quite an article on Clark's Skagit River Resort and we were proud to house the club for one of their annual meetings. Jack Hemmingway was with the group and everyone enjoyed their stay there.
In the Winter along the river between Marblemount and Rockport, one of the largest concentrations of bald eagles in the lower 48 states congregates to feed on spawned-out salmon. The birds enjoy a relatively mild winter here, far south of their Summer range in Alaska and Canada. They can be observed from the highway pull-out areas, and sometimes are spotted soaring right over the Resort.
In Marblemount & Rockport
Rockport, west of the Resort, is a town hosting a fine State Park and a popular County Park. You can drive to Rockport heading east on Washington State Route 20 from I5 at Burlington, or arrive here via Arlington and Darrington on SR 530. There is a store (with gas pumps) and tavern here.
Marblemount, several miles east of Rockport on SR 20 is the community with the last tourist facilities, (i.e. gas, groceries, lodging, post office, and restaurants) before driving east through 87 miles of wilderness along the North Cascades Highway (SR 20) as it crosses over the mountain range. Skagit River Resort lies about halfway in-between Rockport & Marblemount. The old Mine-to-Market road (Cascade River Road), which heads east into the National Park after you cross the Skagit River bridge in town is a most beautiful, primitive drive to view alpine mountain scenery. The trailhead at the end of the 22 mile drive displays a breathtaking vista of five ice-blue glaciers with waterfalls at the end of each one.
Newhalem and Diablo, east of Marblemount are Seattle City Light camps for maintaining the hydroelectric facilities on the river, and there are no tourist facilities other than a small store there.
Marblemount and Rockport are situated on the last large river plain in the Upper Skagit River Valley as you travel the North Cascades Scenic Highway. The highway follows the route of Indians, pack trains and pioneer wagons as it passes through the valley up river on the way to the North Cascades mountains. The Skagit River is the second largest river in Washington State (after the Columbia), flowing into Puget Sound about 60 miles west of Marblemount. In present days, the area has attracted a growing number of small business entrepreneurs. Local artists and crafters create unique products using the area's natural resources. Pottery, large wood carvings, organic farm products, hand-made crafts, and products of wood can be purchased here. Our climate is moderate, with summer highs in the 90's (Hawaii weather) and the winter lows around 10' to 30'. Rainfall averages 80 inches, with most rainfall in the winter. Snowfall varies year-to-year. Although the highway across the North Cascades Passes closes in winter, the villages of Marblemount and Rockport (at approximately 350 ft. above sea level) remain accessible year-round for travelers coming from the Puget Sound region to the west. There is always something to do here, so do come see us and what we have to offer.
A close popular spot for alpine hiking is the Sauk Mountain trail. Turn north on the access road that intersects Highway 20 just west of Rockport State Park, and continue up the base of the mountain until you reach the small parking area, which provides a great view of the Skagit River Valley below. This is a frequently used launching point for hang-gliding. A trail from this point switchbacks up the south face of Sauk and near the top the trail crosses around an eastern outcropping and contiues up to the site of the former fire tower. To the north is a clear mountain lake, usually with ice on it except in the late summer.
You'll find most of the shopping and services you need nearby the Resort. Marblemount is 2.5 miles east of us and is the last town with tourist facilities before entering the National Park complex. There are no motels in Marblemount or in the Seattle City Light towns of Newhalem and Diablo. Make your overnight home base here at Skagit River Resort. Meals are no problem. Besides the wonderful meals at The Eatery, there are a number of restaurants in Marblemount, and snacks and groceries are available at two stores in Marblemount. Gas and traveling supplies are available in Marblemount and Rockport. While the closest full-service bank is at Concrete, you'll find ATM machines in Marblemount.
Here are two nice maps provided to us by the North Cascades Chamber of Commerce. The first map shows all the local shops & services, and the other the camping areas & trails around the Resort and along the Cascade River flowing from the mountains to the east.
If you are interested in off-resort hikes, check out our new Activities Map in our office lobby. Color-coded location and trail-head markers, plus a growing collection of written trail descriptions, will help you plan your vacation using Skagit River Resort as your base-camp.
The information you can find on our activities wall (places to visit, walks and hikes) is also a part of this website. Clicking on trail names on the Walks & Hikes list will bring up links and further description of each trail. Another good activity-planning resource is the North Cascades Challenger visitor information guide, available for free at many locations and also online.
In North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park Complex, just east of us, is one of the most awe-inspiring parks in the United States. Still young as National Parks go, the Park attracts visitors from all over the world. They come here for many reasons: to travel the beautiful scenic Highway 20; to hike in the wilderness on our many trails; to climb a rugged mountain peak; to view our waterfalls and glaciers; to tour our hydroelectric power projects; or to just get away from the cement sidewalks and to breath our wonderful refreshing air with a hint of fir trees and pitch. One of the most popular items on your things-to-do list should be a relaxing float trip down the Skagit River any time of the year.
If you have questions about the National Park, or need a permit for camping or hiking, visit the Wilderness Information Office at the end of Ranger Station Road, just a mile and a half away from the Resort. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking at trailheads within the park, as well as at other trailheads maintained by the USDA Forest Service. A day pass is $5 and an annual pass costs $30. The permit can be purchased at the Mount Baker Ranger Station in Sedro-Woolley on State Highway 20, or at the Marblemount Ranger Station.
Visit our Walks & Hikes page for trail information.
The most scenic drive into the Park, the route to Cascade Pass is a must during the summer when the road is open. From Marblemount drive East over the green bridge on Cascade Pass Road for 28 miles. When you get to the end of the road, there is a parking lot and a 45 degree vista, with five blue glaciers and five waterfalls plummeting from these talking glaciers. Oh my! If you are there long enough, you can hear them moan and groan to you. From here if you love to hike, there is a trail 3.8 miles (38 switch backs) up through the mountain meadows and along Sahale Arm basin. Fifty years ago, when men first contemplated a highway route over the North Cascades, it was thought that this would be the route, following the old Mine to Market trail that later became Cascade Pass Road. If you continue over Cascade Pass here, the trail continues down to the town of Stehekin, a small village at the headwaters of Lake Chelan (pronounced Shell-ann). If you like, you can catch the boat here and take four hour ride down the lake to Chelan at the southern end.
In the Winter from early December to late February, the Skagit River between Marblemount and Rockport is seasonal home to the bald eagles. While there are a few eagles here year round, we have the most here in January. The eagle population varies each year, but there have been over 600 counted at times. Eagles can be spotted from the highway rest areas, or you may arrange to float the river with a commercial rafting company.
Visit our Local History page for more interesting information.
In the Skagit Valley
The upper Skagit River Valley is a great place to explore. Old logging roads and trails lead far into the forests and past innumerable waterfalls and streams. Naturally picturesque, the area has been chosen for background scenes for a good number of movies and commercials. A few years ago, This Boy's Life was filmed in Concrete, and we had the pleasure of having the stars, Robert DeNiro and Ellen Barkin, with her family, stay with us at the Resort.
The Upper Skagit River valley is a year-round scenic wildlife corridor. The river system provides an important winter feeding area for American's feathered symbol, the American Bald Eagle, in residence from December through February.
There are many events scheduled throughout the year in the communities along the Skagit River. Please contact the Chamber of Commerce in the areas that interest you. You'll find listings for these and other resources on our Links page. Important events that directly affect us here at the Resort are shown on our Notices page.. Here is a two part article on local hiking trails (part one, part two) you'll want to read.
In the Valleys to the North & South
Neighboring Whatcom County is home to the parts of the
North Cascades National Park Complex which go up to the
Canadian border, and is home to majestic Mount Baker
(part of the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest). Road
access to this area around the north and middle forks of
the Nooksack River is via SR 9 (intersects SR 20 at
Sedro-Woolley) connecting to SR 542 (Mt Baker Highway)
nearing Deming. The Mount Baker ski area is at the end of
this road. This is a great drive in the summer, providing
closeup views of the glaciers on Mt Shuksan and Mt Baker.
Backcountry access to the southeast flank of Mt Baker and
the Baker River drainage is via the Baker Lake Road (turn
off SR20 just west of Concrete).
To the south, the eastern end of Snohomish County (go south on SR530 at Rockport) offers more recreation opportunites. From Darrington, explore the north and south forks of the Stillaguamish River Valley. The old Mountain Loop Highway out of Darrington offers access to the Monte Cristo ghost town (a four mile hike from the locked gate) and the ice caves.
Links to all of these areas are available from our
Walks & Hikes page.
On the Cascade Loop
We are on Washington Rte 20, two miles west of Marblemount and six miles east of Rockport, between mile post 103 and 104, and right in the heart of the scenic North Cascade Loop and the International Loop. The Cascade Loop from I-5 at Burlington, heading east to Concrete, Rockport and past Clarks Skagit River Resort to Marblemount then over the North Cascades Highway passes to Winthrop, Twisp, Lake Chelan, Wenatchee, then turning West over the Stevens Pass via US-2 to Everett and returning via I-5 north to Mount Vernon and Burlington.
On the International Loop
The International Loop goes from Burlington via I-5 into Canada, across southern British Columbia's Cascades to Penticton, down through Oroville, Tonasket and Okanogan to Winthrop, Twisp, west on Rte 20 via Washington & Rainy Passes to Marblemount and Clark's Skagit River Resort. Check out this regional map, again provided to us by the North Cascades Chamber of Commerce. We are located between Marblemount and Rockport, between mile post 103 and 104.