Skagit Valley is home to one of the largest and most diverse agricultural communities west of the Cascade mountain range. The Magic Skagit Valley’s natural wonders include shorelines, bays, islands, mountains, and the Skagit River. Skagit Valley is also a gateway community to a National Forest, a National Park, and the beloved San Juan Islands. Not surprisingly, Skagit Valley residents feel a strong attachment to the landscape and the character of the Valley. They want a healthy economy, but not at the expense of their natural surroundings or community character. Skagit Valley knows that beauty pays, that sustainable tourism provides more benefits than mass-market tourism, that retaining community character is a key to economic success, that thoughtful management of public resources and well-planned development can help prosperity occur.
Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place-its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism incorporates the concept of sustainable tourism-that destinations should remain unspoiled for future generations-while allowing for enhancement that protects the character of the locale. Geotourism also adopts a principle from its cousin, ecotourism-that tourism revenue can promote conservation-and extends that principle beyond nature travel to encompass culture and history as well: all distinctive assets of Skagit Valley.
Many photographs from this web site come from Natural Skagit: A Journey from Mountains to Sea. The book has 200 photographic images of the stunning landscapes, people, and wildlife of Skagit County, Washington. Contributing writers include internationally renowned author Tom Robbins and Pulitzer-Prize winner Bill Dietrich. The following organizations and projects protect and promote Skagit Valley’s natural legacy.
North Cascades National Park
Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland
Skagit Land Trust ~ Saving Land for Tomorrow
The Skagit Watershed Council
Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve