Outer Island Expeditions' fleet of kayaks and boats safely cruises at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour through frothy crests ebbing amid the striking sights and wildlife of the San Juan islands. Venturing as far as 50 miles into Canadian waters, whale-watching excursions foster personal rapport between patrons and boat-side orcas, gray whales, or humpback whales trying to learn human etiquette for future espionage missions. Tours of Stuart Island's Turn Point lighthouse begin aboard a 22-foot Kodiak skiff, which buoys patrons through 16 miles of waters inhabited by sea lions and porpoises before they disembark and hike to the lighthouse's historical museum. Fishing charters set sail in search of ocean creatures and potable salt water from all of Outer Island Expeditions' four launch points: Smuggler's Villa Resort, Semiahmoo Resort, Lopez Island, and The Willows on Lummi Island.
The veteran athletes at Peregrine Expeditions nurture their already intimate relationships with Mother Nature during skiing and climbing excursions into the icy peaks of Mount Baker or jagged rock faces of Mount Erie. Backcountry skiing courses hone snow-skimming techniques, and intense skiing tours toe the border between the United States and Canada on two-day treks that embark each morning from a hut at base camp. Adrenaline junkies foray into Forbidden Peak for two or three days, conquering the ins and outs of navigating ice, performing mountaintop rescues, and backpacking in challenging conditions. Kid-specific expeditions tone tiny muscles and teach bird calls used to ask eagles the way to the nearest latrine as youngsters grouped by age engage in courses that span one to five days.
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Climb onto the driver's seat of an all-terrain vehicle and set out on a bounding exploration of the Callaghan Valley with the Call of the Wild tour. With one of Canadian All Terrain Adventures' experienced guides leading the way, guests will traverse the single-track terrain, enjoying sights such as the Northair gold-mine site, where the ghosts of ore deposits still roam. The valley is also haunted by the spirit of the 2010 Winter Olympics, which hosted its Nordic events among the alpine environs, waterfalls, and lookouts. Tours leave at 9 a.m.; shuttle transportation to and from the valley is provided. Together with 25 minutes of shuttle time each way, the journey lasts about three hours.
The tenure of US Coast Guard?certified Captain Brett as captain of the Island Whaler began as a dream. In the course of nine months, he had a recurring dream about an unusual flatbed boat, which replaced his normal dreams about beating up Napoleon with Horatio Hornblower. More than a year after the visions stopped, Brett discovered his fantasy boat sitting in a parking lot in Anacortes. He now owns that boat and pilots the open-topped Island Whaler through picturesque waters to view the multitudinous wildlife found in and around Deception Pass.
The open deck and low-slung cabin of the seafaring sloop grants easy, panoramic views of the steep, rocky landscape. Captain Brett chimes in against the breeze with educational details about the pass's historical significance, structures, and ecology. Throughout the tours, spritely fauna with unevolved senses of stage fright perform lively, natural ballets as visitors potentially lock eyes with bald eagles, seals, porpoises, gray whales, and Pacific Northwest giant squid.
The kayakers' paddles dip silently into the placid waters of the Harrison River, their very presence amid the verdant wilderness dwarfed by the mountains looming overhead. Just as one kayaker opens his mouth to speak, the guide motions for him to remain silent as she points to the sunny shore, where an assembly of seals has gathered to bask in the warm rays.
Founded with the goal of granting visitors access to the pristine surroundings and rich history of the Harrison Hot Springs area, Harrison Eco Tours cultivates unforgettable interactions with nature thanks to their expertly trained guides and unique lineup of tours. The company's guides pride themselves on their encyclopedic knowledge of all things Harrison?from local tales to area geography to the flora and fauna that populate the terrain?which enables them to provide entertaining and insightful commentary throughout each tour. Excursions in heated jet boats speed past the jaw-dropping vistas of Fraser Canyon and Kilby, and paddling outings in kayaks facilitate relaxed jaunts down Harrison River. Visitors can witness critters up close with a selection of wildlife-sighting excursions, such as the popular Winter Eagle tour wherein passengers armed with binoculars scour the horizon seeking close-up views of the bald eagles' soaring wingspans and miniature powdered wigs.