Friday, September 2, 2011

Hiking near Leavenworth

One wonderful thing about living in Leavenworth for the summer was the opportunity to do a lot of hiking. Here in Lynnwood I have to drive at least an hour to get to any real hiking opportunities, so it was nice to be surrounded by many nearby hiking trails.

The closest hike to Leavenworth is the Tumwater Pipeline trail which follows the Icicle river along an abandoned pipeline.

It's very easy to miss (I passed it twice before I saw the turnoff), but you'll know you're there when you see the big iron bridge. I could actually see it from another hike I took up the mountains, which at least confirmed to me that there really was a way to cross the river.

The views of the river are very pretty from the bridge and the trail.

But don't get in it! It's very strong. Two teenagers drowned recently from attempting to swim in it.

Further up the river are two trails called the "Icicle Gorge Trail" and the "Icicle Gorge View Trail." Both are loop trails, and the Icicle Gorge View trail takes the bottom section of its loop from the top section of the Gorge trail loop.

There was a small waterfall from the bridge I crossed to start taking the loop clockwise.

It was quite intense! A local hiker told me it's typically clear enough by this time of year to see the fish. But additional snow this year has kept it churning.

Here were a couple of small waterfalls I could see across the river, but they were blocked a bit by the trees.

There was a lookout rock that I stood on to take pictures of the pretty gorge.

A few years ago this trail was extremely popular and very crowded, but a landslide actually diverted the river so it now flows through what used to be the road.

You can't drive to the trail head anymore, but you can still walk to it if you're willing to add an extra four miles round trip to an already 4.5 mile hike.

This was actually the first hike I wanted to do, but the road was closed 8 miles further back the first time I tried to get there. I hadn't realized it was still accessible until the lady I was staying with told me about it a few weeks later. It was apparently closed those additional miles for a separate landslide in June, but they had that cleared up by the time I came back in late July.

I veered off of my original loop to see the views from the view trail. It's pretty, but there's a ton of brush to walk through.

This is a bridge crossing into a wetlands preserve in Wenatchee where I took a hike after getting an oil change.

The views of the Wenatchee river were pretty, but the phone lines blocked my pictures.

It wasn't the prettiest hike, but I got a few nice shots.

I like the mountain view in this one.

A hiking problem I had was that most of the hikes in Leavenworth are long, and I refuse to hike a long trail alone. 9 miles round trip is where I draw the line, but I also needed shorter hiking options for days when I had early rehearsals. The other "Sound of Music" nuns recommended I take the trail to Hidden Lake in Lake Wenatchee.

It was a nice little trail, but Hidden Lake isn't nearly as pretty as Lake Wenatchee.

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