A family of ducks swims along Devils Lake, river otters play across Lake Merwin, and a kayak tour floats along the water. When Tracie Driver started NorthWest EcoExcursions, she envisioned a recreation company that would combine outdoor thrills with respect for the environment. To this end, NorthWest's guides, who each boast either a postgraduate education or more than 10 years in park-ranger experience, educate their customers on local wildlife and geology during trips that run the gamut from hiking to whale watching to goat-packing tours. The staff also maintains eco-friendly practices, serving strictly organic foods on camping trips and ensuring all of their office's plants are 100% solar powered.
Stonefly Guide Service owner Jeff Traver is well-acquainted with the rivers his company fishes?he was raised on them, after all. That familiarity combined with more than three decades of fly-fishing experience makes Jeff an angler's best friend and a fish's worst nightmare. During trips, Jeff leads groups out to some of the state's most renowned steelhead rivers, including the Cowlitz and the Kalama. There, he casts wisdom into open ears while helping clients reel in one catch after another using some of the industry's best gear and tackle. The company's proximity to Mount St. Helens also makes Stonefly Guide Service an excellent travel resource for folks looking to get a feel for the area after fishing trips.
For two days each spring and each fall, Chehalis Valley Wine Tour participants can choose their own adventure in the lush Washington valley. The tour has no set route?participants visit at least six wineries, such as Agate Creek Cellars and Scatter Creek Winery, in whichever order they choose. At every one, they sip samples of boutique vintages poured into their passport wineglasses, glassware that also functions as a tour ticket. There are hors d'oeuvres for revelers to nibble on, too, all much tastier than the original winery snack: bacon-wrapped corks.