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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about our tours?  Here are the tour questions travelers frequently ask:

Don’t see your question? Send us a note or give us a call

Preparing for your Tour

What should I wear and bring?

Generally speaking, the Northwest has a mild climate but the temperatures and conditions can change quickly – especially if you are near the coast or in the mountains.

For specific recommendations based on your tour destination and the season, please see our How To Pack + Prepare Page.

For National Park Tours – In General – please wear closed-toe comfortable walking shoes, hiking shoes, or light boots. Waterproof boots are required for snowshoeing tours between November and April. A light wind/waterproof jacket is always good to have. We also recommend non-cotton outer layers (please avoid denim) on all national park tours. Extra layers or a second pair of socks can be safely stored in our vehicles if you decide you do not need them.

For the Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tours – This tour has a minimal amount of walking optional (less than 1 mile) at the falls where you may like to have comfortable walking shoes and a jacket, but no specific hiking or outdoor clothing is required as most of the time will be at the tasting rooms.

For the Mt. Rainier + Yakima Wine Tours – This tour crosses many temperature climates and does include up to 3.5 miles of hiking on uneven terrain. Due to the elevation, snow can be present on the trail until late July and again in early October. Sturdy walking shoes are boots are highly recommended. Many people choose to bring a change of shoes for the winery expereince in the afternoon. It is not uncommon for temperatures to span between 60-70 degrees F at Mt. Rainier to 90+ degrees F in Yakima. Removable clothing layers are recommended so you can adjust throughout the day.

For all tours – A hat and sunglasses are great. Beyond clothing, your cell phone or camera and any necessary medications or personal items you need are pretty much it! We’re happy to take care of everything else!

Can you accommodate my dietary restriction?

We are happy to accommodate most common dietary restrictions so long as we have advance notice. Please inform us at least 48 hours prior to your tour if you require any of the following dietary needs:
– Vegetarian
– Vegan
– Pescatarian
– Pork/Beef Free
– Egg Free
– Dairy Free
– Soy Free
– Gluten Free*
– Peanut/Tree Nut Free*
– Shellfish/Seafood Free*

*Please note: We can accommodate nut/peanut and gluten allergies but we cannot accommodate needs that require food come from a certified facility (certfied gluten free or nut free).

There are a handful of dietary restrictions that we are not set up to provide or can vary from person to person (Halal, Kosher, Paleo, Keto, garlic/onion free, etc.). If you follow one of these diets, please review our general menu outlined in the food FAQ to know what will be served and you may consider bringing some supplemental food for the day depending on your specific needs.

Should I tip my guide?

We get asked this a lot – so here is our perspective:

Tipping cash is a complicated cultural phenomenon that is very different from place to place, traveler to traveler, and experience to experience. We’re travelers too, we understand! What’s more, the act of tipping has a complicated history. We believe tipping is up to you.

The short answer is that most travelers do tip our guides if they’ve led a beautiful trip. In the U.S., 5-15% of your ticket price (or $15-$40) is a commonly used guideline for a great tour experience. Our guides can accept tips and they are greatly appreciated. Pretty much everyone on our team, in the field or in the office, has guided extensively and we know tips do make it more feasible to guide professionally in expensive cities like Seattle & Portland.

Ultimately, we want you to have the best experience possible with our team. In the end – that’s what matters to us. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of tipping, we’d encourage you to utilize another option: feedback. Our guides and tours succeed and improve on the back of social feedback. Log into your favorite platform (TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook, Expedia, and so on) and share a quick review of your experience. If you have any constructive criticism for us – we love talking to travelers. We’d be thrilled to give you a call to discuss honing our trips!!!

What’s included in my tour?

Complimentary pick-up and drop-off at your downtown accommodations.

A local, TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’ naturalist guide. We guarantee you’ll love your trip leader!

No additional charges during your day. We cover everything you’ll need during our tours (meals, drinks, entrance fees, permits, ferry charges, wine tasting fees, fuel, etc.).

Comfortable transportation in brand new Ford Transit vans (2020 model or newer). Most of our vehicles are built for 15 people – we only open ten seats per trip to leave plenty of space.

Plenty of readily available snacks, water, sparkling beverages, coconut water and more throughout the day.

We provide any gear needed (trekking poles, or snowshoes for the winter).

Additional warm clothing is available upon request.

The following inclusions depend heavily on the tour. Please see further tour details.

We’ll bring a light breakfast generally including French-pressed local coffee, tea, and bakery (not included in Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tours)

A gorgeous local lunch. Our offerings change frequently/seasonally – but often includes chicken, green salads, grain or pasta salads, and dessert. Let us know if you have dietary restrictions – we can accommodate most needs if we’re aware of them prior to 48 hours of your tour start.

How much walking is expected?

We have built our trips to appeal to all abilities and interest levels, and the level of activity can be considered easy to moderate. Our tours have a maximum of ten guests, which allows your guide to tailor the activity level to your group. In most of our places – we’re permitted to hike or walk, so we’re keen to do so. You can find out more about activities by browsing our tour offerings or by giving us a call!

For National Park Tours – we average between 3-5 miles of walking per day broken up between 2-3 different trails over the course of the day. This can be adjusted up or down depending on the group and the specific conditions of the day.

The one exception to this general rule is our winter Mt. Rainier National Park tour. Between November and the end of April, this tour does tend to be more strenuous than during the summer because we get to snowshoe across the snow fields. We can’t change the need for snowshoes and guests do not have the option to hang back at a visitor center as it will be closed for the off season, so all guests must be comforatable trekking via snowshoe at an incline. Our guides will offer rest opportunities throughout the walk as needed.

For Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tours – The upper viewing area at the falls is paved and flat and is close to the parking area. There is an optional 3/4 mile walk downhill on a packed gravel trail to view the falls from the river level. The trail can be steep at some points but is very well maintained and wide to accommodate most guests. Guests are not required to walk back up the trail as the guide will meet everyone with the van at the lower parking area. There will not be any extended walking at the wineries.

For Mt. Rainier + Yakima Wine Tours – This tour includes 2-3.5 miles of walking on packed dirt hiking trails. The trails can be uneven or have small obstacles like rocks, roots, or late season snow. Guests should be able to walk at a mild pace for up to 3.5 miles at one time. There will not be any extended walking at the wineries.

If you are interested in slowing down (or speeding up) significantly – we can certainly arrange a private itinerary curated specifically for your party. Reach out to us to learn more about our private group options.

Do I need trekking poles?

For National Park Tours including the Mt. Rainier + Yakima Tour – That’s up to you! Many guests feel more comfortable on the sometimes uneven or rocky terrain of the national park trails. If this is you, we can provide you a trekking pole to borrow for the day. If you have your own favorite set you like to use, feel free to bring them!

For the Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tour – We don’t typically bring trekking poles on this tour as there is only one optional trail included in the day. It is less than 3/4 of a mile and downhill. If you would like to borrow one for this tour, please let us know ahead of time.

What happens if it’s raining?

So you’ve heard it rains in the Northwest? Our guides craft the best itinerary for the day to accommodate the weather. We run our tours rain or shine because the Pacific Northwest is stunning regardless of what the weather may bring. Frequently, wet weather only lasts an hour or so before things start to improve again.

Our best piece of advice – there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear! If you are concerned about the weather in the forecast, give us a call to inquire about borrowing winter clothing for the day.

Did you know that Houston, Chicago, and even New York City get more rain than our two home cities?

I’m signed up for a winter National Park tour. What if I’ve never snowshoed before?

That’s exciting! We love facilitating “firsts” for our guests! Snowshoeing does not require any technical knowledge and is beginner friendly. Our guides will share an introductory lesson and safety talk before embarking on the snowshoe walk and are available for help along the way.

Snowshoeing does require a minimal requirement for fitness. You should be able to walk up an incline for an extended period of time. Your guide will offer rest breaks as needed to keep everyone comfortable.

Tour Logistics

What kind of food can I expect on my tour?

Half-Day – on morning tours, we provide morning pastries with tea or local coffee , tea, and water. On afternoon tours we provide afternoon snacks and refreshments (such as granola bars, cookies, sparkling water, tea, water, etc.).

Full-Day – along the way, we’ll serve a morning snack with tea or coffee. At lunchtime, we provide a full gourmet picnic. Expect a protein like grilled chicken (or tofu) served with side dishes including green salads, grain, pasta, or potato salad, and dessert! You’ll have unlimited access to snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

*Please advise us if you have any food restrictions, allergies or requests. We can accommodate a wide variety of needs with 48 hours notice.

How many people will be on my tour?

Great question! In summer – average group size is 6 – 10 travelers. In the winter – average group size is 4 – 6 travelers. Either way, we never travel with more than 10 people on our small group trips.

For larger groups traveling together, we do offer private options to accommodate more guests. Reach out to our team for more information.

What type of vehicle will we be in?

This depends on the tour you are on and the group size you are in. On most of our tours it’ll be a newer model Ford Transit 15-passenger van for extra room. Our vans have ample leg room, large windows, and a very smooth ride. We believe in having the right tool for the job so we may contract for a more appropriately-sized vehicle, perhaps a luxury SUV, if your group needs it. We’ll make sure you’re comfortable!

Will you pick me up from my hotel?

We offer complimentary pick-up and drop-off wherever you’re staying in downtown Seattle – hotels, Airbnbs, vacation rentals, a friend’s apartment, etc. Our operations team will connect with you 24 hours prior to your trip to confirm time and location.

If you are staying outside of downtown Seattle, we offer a central pickup spot at the Sheraton Grand Hotel or the option to meet at our office where we can provide free off-street parking for guests. Reach out to us to determine which option would be best for you based on where you are coming from and your method of transportation.

What time will we return?

These are the windows of time you can expect to be dropped back off at your downtown Seattle hotel. While Evergreen Escapes makes every effort to return to the city on time at the end of each tour experience, unexpected delays outside of our control can happen.

Mt. Rainier National Park Tour – 6:30-7:00pm
Olympic National Park Tour – 7:30-8:00pm
Mt. St. Helens National Monument Tour – 7:30-8:00pm
Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tour – 6:00-6:30pm
Mt. Rainier + Yakima Wine Tour – 7:30-8:30pm

Will there be restroom breaks enroute?

Everyone’s least favorite question to ask but our #1 most asked question!

Our guides are very familiar with every restroom stop between Seattle and the National Parks. We have specific stops pre-planned to and from the park, so you’ll never go without an option for more than an hour to hour and a half. That said, if you need one in between that, just ask. They’ll be able to adjust if needed.

Should I make a dinner/flight reservation after my tour?

Dinner reservations:

If you want to make a dinner reservation the same evening as your tour, we recommend the following guidelines in regards to timing. Note: Evergreen Escapes does everything in our power to ensure an on-time arrival back to Seattle with each tour, but sometimes unforseen delays can occur. We are not responsible for missed appointments as a result of of scheduling something the same day as your full-day tour.

Mt. Rainier Tour – 7:30pm or later
Mt. St. Helens Tour – 8:30pm or later
Olympic Tour – 8:30pm or later
Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tour – 7:00pm or later
Mt. Rainier + Yakima Wine Tour – 9:00pm or later

If you know you will want to be able to clean up/change before dinner, be sure to add that time in accordingly.

Flight reservations:

Evergreen Escapes officially does not recommend booking flights the same evening as your tour. Should you choose to book your flights the same evening as your tour, please know that while we do everything in our power to ensure an on-time arrival back to Seattle with each tour, sometimes unforseen delays can occur that are outside of our control. Evergreen Escapes is not responsible for missed flights or any associated costs as a result of of scheduling the same day as your full-day tour.

If you do plan to fly out the same night as your tour, please plan in plenty of time to travel to the airport, pass through security, and arrive at your gate before your boarding time.

Can you pickup or drop off at SeaTac airport?

In general, Evergreen Escapes is not permitted to transport guests to or from SeaTac airport. We can however include pickups or dropoffs in the SeaTac area on tours that are passing through that area – this includes the Mt. Rainier National Park tour and the Mt. St. Helens Tours only.

The SeaTac pickup location is the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Seattle Airport located at 18740 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98188.

We can also drop guests off at the SeaTac LightRail Station for those with flights departing after their tour. From here there is a pedestrian bridge that connects to the airport. This does require about a 10 minute walk to the airport lobby. Please note that we cannot fit large luggage in our vans on tour, so this option is only available for guests traveling light. Please contact us directly if you wish to include this as your dorop off location.

Please note, we cannot pickup or drop off guests in the SeaTac area for the following small group tours*:

Olympic National Park Tour
Snoqualmie Falls + Wine Tour
Mt. Rainier + Yakima Wine Tour

*For guests on private tour experiences, we can arrange custom pickup and drop off options. Please contact us about your specific tour to learn more.

Can you pickup or drop off at the cruise ship terminal?

That depends! There is one cruise terminal in downtown Seattle and two that are north of downtown.

If your cruise docks at Pier 66 – we can meet you directly across the street from the terminal at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel (2100 Alaskan Way) which offers a safer, off-street meeting location for our guests.

If your cruise docks at Pier 90 or 91 – this area is too far ourside of our downtown Seattle pickup zone, so we are not able to accommodate pickups at this location. You will need to make your way to downtown Seattle via public transit or rideshare and we can meet you at location within that area. Typically the Sheraton Grand Hotel (1400 6th Avenue) is the best meeting location for guests traveling from outside of downtown.

Can I bring my luggage with me on my tour?

We drive passenger vans that provide an intimate tour experience and allow us to access areas of the park not accessible to larger buses and coaches. However due to the size of our vehicles, we cannot accommodate storing luggage for our guests. If you are transfering or checking out of your hotel the same morning as your tour, you may consider checking to see if your hotel offers luggage storage for the day or you may store your luggage at our office while on tour with pre-approval. Please check with our team ahead of time about this option.

There is room in the van for each guest to bring a small back or day bag for the day that can fit underneath the vehicle seat to keep any personal belongings with you.

Tour Policies

Is my tour guaranteed to go?

For small-group single-day tours, we have a guest minimum of just two people to guarantee the tour. So long as you and one other person sign up, we will guarantee the tour! Very rarely do we have a departure with only one guest, when this happens we will work with you to find an alternative date or offer the option to take the tour with a single supplement.

For small-group multi-day tours, our group minimum is 4 guests. We will communicate with our guests when we’ve reached the group minimum and guarantee the tour departure.

In very rare (once or twice a year) instances, the weather (dangerous wind, downed trees, ice, flooding, smoke, etc.) may prevent us from running a tour. If this occurs, we will work with you to reschedule for another day, another tour, or completely refund your trip.

Can I cancel or change my booking?

For small group, single-day tours, we require 48 hours notice to receive a full refund for your resevation.

For private single-day tours, we require 7 days notice to receive a full refund for your reservation.

Changes to your tour size or date are dependent upon availability at the time of notice and may be subject to fees. Please review our Terms & Conditions for specific details and if you have any questions, give us a call!

Please note – if you booked your tour with a third-party (TripAdvisor, Viator, Airbnb, GetYourGuide, Expedia, etc.) you will need to reach out to their customer service team to cancel your reservation. Reservations booked through third-party sites are subject to their specific cancellation policies which may differ from Evergreen Escapes. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll try to point you in the right direction!

What if I need to cancel last minute?

We are a small business and and are not responsible for refunding last minute cancellations due to missed or delayed flights, illnesses (including covid-19), injuries, or anything else that can occur that would prevent you from joining your tour with sort notice.

If you are worried about the potential need to cancel your trip within the 48-hour/7-day window for small group and private day tours respectively, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance.

There are many affordable travel insurance options out there which would cover your costs paid should you have a last minute change of plans. For specific information on what is covered with your travel insurance policy, please direct all questions to your policy representative.

Do you offer private tours?

Absolutely! We offer private tours for just about any group size. For a very large group, where lots of vans and guides (or a bus rental) are required, contact us and we can assist with planning!

We offer plenty of single-day, multi-day, and custom private trips!

Do you offer multi-day tours?

We sure do! We currently offer a small-group 3-day Mt. Rainier National Park Tour and a 3-day Olympic Naitonal Park Tour. If you are interested in a multi-day tour to another destination, please inquire with our team to learn about options and availability!