Wenatchee River Explorations

& the Entiat Mountains too

Leaving Seattle via I-90. Looking towards the Cascade Mountains.

North on I-405 through the growing city of Bellevue.

East on Hwy 2. Past Monroe, heading towards the towns of Sultan, Startup, and Goldbar. (It's reverse alphabetical order, that's how I remember which is which.)


I think that's Baring Mountain, by the town of Baring.

Stevens Pass, elevation 4,061'. I'm going northeast of Leavenworth to explore mountains I've never driven through before.

Driving through Tumwater Canyon towards Leavenworth.

The Wenatchee River from a picnic area on the side of the highway.

Entering the Entiat Mountains I saw many yellow flowers in bloom.

Into the forest. I'm hurrying because I want to find a place to camp before dark.

I drove about a hundred yards into that snow and not seeing any ground to drive on I backed out (barely), then turned around and parked it.

There was practically nobody out here. Around midnight two 4WD trucks rolled by. That's the only traffic I saw in two nights and a day.

My cozy camp. The laptop is running off a power inverter which is plugged into the cigarette lighter.

Making hot water for some breakfast and taking a look around.

In the morning I decided to hike up the ridge a few miles to the pass.

I found some bare patches eventually.

Lots of deer tracks.

Lots of fresh forest air. With no interstate highway nearby, it's also very quiet here.

Looking back the way I've hiked up. I was envious of the fun the guys had driving their Toyota 4x4s through here the night before.

Because the leaf is darker than the snow, it absorbs more heat from the sun. That's why it's melting into the snow.

I reached the pass. The main road continues down to the left. But because I'm looking for a view, I decided to go right further uphill.

Looking back. The white band in the lower center of the picture is the road I just walked up.

Redneck shooting targets.

It's not a real hike until I have to walk through a spooky stretch of woods.

Within another half mile or so I walked over the top of the hill and saw this spectacular view in the distance.

This is Mount Stuart from the north. This area, with its stunning mountain scenery, high alpine lakes, and world renowned hiking trails,
is known as The Enchantments. You literally have to win a lottery to get a permit to hike there.

Looking to my right I could see further up the Cascades.

I think that's Snow King Mountain I zoomed in on.

I walked closer for some better pictures of The Enchantments.

Couldn't decide wether this one or the next was the best close-up shot, so to save time I went with both.

Some logging roads go too high, cutting into trees with such short growing seasons they'll take hundreds of years to grow back.
I think I see one of those roads in the distance.

Driving out of the Entiat Mountains the next morning.

A last look from up high. When I'm down on the road below the view won't be as good.

Past the forest boundry the ranches begin.

Driving towards Leavenworth. My goal for the day is to explore the Wenatchee River for rafting potential.

Leavenworth. A logging town that decided it would rather reinvent itself as a Bavarian themed tourist trap than fade away.
In case you didn't know, Bavaria is a province in the south of Germany.

It looks like it could be close to the Alps!

Driving up the Icicle Creek Road is always fun, but today I'm going back up the Wenatchee River to it's source at Lake Wenatchee.

This strech is called Tumwater Canyon.

Ah, summer in the air.

Not bad for a left handed picture out the window of a moving van.

Here where the river goes under the highway is where we want to get out if we start rafting at Lake Wenatchee. We park on the right.
Hardcore kayakers like to put in here and paddle down to Leavenworth.

I was excited to report back that it looks like a fairly easy place to land our rafts and get up to the car.
We've since done it a few times without any problems.

Across the street is Tumwater Campground. I walked around, thinking we might camp here if we don't camp at Lake Wenatchee.

Stopping a raft here and pulling up into Tumwater Campground looks a little trickier than at the bridge.

Further back up the road at Cole's Corner. Here I leave Hwy 2 and drive north to Lake Wenatchee and Fish Lake.

First I checked out Fish Lake.

This is the other side of Fish Lake. Boats for rent.

Here is a map of the camping situation at Lake Wenatchee. We have camped at the south campground and launched our rafts into the lake first.
We have camped in the north and launched into the river. And we have camped at Nason Creek and paddled it into the Wenatchee River too.
On the right, the bridge over the river (Hwy 207) is where some of the upcoming pictures were taken from.

The road into Lake Wenatchee State Park.

I couldn't believe my eyes. A sandy beach?!

Beautiful Lake Wenatchee. I heard the sandy beach was imported.

Here is the boat ramp and small pier at the beginning of the river.

From the pier, looking into Lake Wenatchee at Emerald Island.

Emerald Island is worth another look.

Looking around from the pier.

The bridge on Hwy 207, just past Lake Wenatchee.

Looking upstream you can see the pier at the lake. Nason Creek is entering the river from the left.

Looking downstream I was excited to see how easy it looks to float this river with small rafts.

By the bridge there is a small grocery store. I quickly figured out that camping at Lake Wenatchee looks better than camping at Tumwater.

Halfway between the lake and Tumwater is the town of Plain. This is their original bridge. Foot traffic only now.

Looking at the new bridge to Plain.

Looking downstream and upstream from the old bridge.

I drove as far down River Road as I could go, looking for hazards we should watch out for.

By the railroad crossing.

Much of the river is peaceful.

Here are some rapids.

The rapids, with commentary.

The town of Plain. Where classic cars and snowmobiles drive freely.

Back in Leavenworth, even the big grocery store tries to look cute.
Now I'm heading futher downstream to check out the Cashmere to Wenatchee section of river.

Apple trees in blossom.

There are a lot of apple trees east of Leavenworth. No, really.

Apple trees and alpine meadows.

This stretch of river is run by professional rafting companies because there are some tricky rapids. I didn't see them from the road though.

Turning off the highway and into the town of Cashmere.

It's kinda like Mayberry.

I found the park where we could launch at. Nice woop-de-do there.

Behind me is the parking lot with a rafting company van in it.

A quaint town. I'd like to spend a day here checking it out sometime.

They have covered sidewalks with lots of shops to explore.

Back on the highway. Is that a 'cuda?



I love the quirky landmarks from an age long gone.

More retro signage.

Confluence Park. Where the Wenatchee River meets the Columbia River.

The boat ramp on the Columbia River.

Trying to get out of Wenatchee.

On the road again.

Now those are some whitewall tires.

Tom Dick and Harry opened a restaurant. If the food is so durn good why isn't anybody eating there?

I could drive roads like this for days.

Back up a logging road for a free place to spend a night.

The van is coasting in neutral. As I roll downhill and the wind blows by faster it reminds me of a rollercoaster.

This car didn't make the corner.

I just parked here in the road and took pictures for a half hour.

I once built a puzzle that looked like this.

An old apple tree that's seen it's last pruning.

I feel like that rock is looking at me.

Mountain daisy?

Who knows what's around the next corner.

There is a road between Peshastin and Leavenworth on the other side of the river from the highway. Way more scenic!

Back in Leavenworth.

During the holidays, those trees are covered in Christmas lights. The whole town is!

Approaching Stevens Pass.

Almost at the Pass, you can see the ski area on the right.

Bridal Viel Falls near Index.

The last good picture of the trip.

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© 2012, by Robert Baker. All rights reserved.
Personal use okay. Except friend pictures, you have to ask them first.
Contact robert@maxfantast.com with questions or comments.