ExtraHyperActive: Leavenworth
Showing posts with label Leavenworth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leavenworth. Show all posts

A Walk Through Downtown Leavenworth, WA In The Summer

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Leavenworth, WA Bavarian Village

Visiting Leavenworth, WA in summer is a must do adventure to add to your Bucket List ! Leavenworth is a Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains, in central Washington State. It's only ~ 2.5 hour driving distance from Seattle. It has so much to offer !

Autumn In Leavenworth, Wa


The City of Leavenworth is one of the greatest tourist destinations in our state. The "Bavarian Village" is perhaps best known for its incredible year-round schedule of outdoor activities and events. No wonder that this town has been chosen by National Geographic as being one of the "50 Next Best Places" to live & play.

Hiking/Backpacking The Enchantments, WA :Take A Vertial Tour

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The Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness includes craggy peaks and ridges, deep glacial valleys, granite walls and forests that are picture perfect and ready to enchant visitors — especially in autumn.

Trips into the Enchantment Wilderness Area can range from overnight to multiple days. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this unique area, all overnight campers must obtain a permit if visiting from June 15 through October 15.

Snowskating Ski Hill In Leavenworth, WA

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As you might know , Leavenworth is one of best adventure travel destinations in Washington state all year round ! But I'd say that winter time is my all-time favorite to visit this little adventure hub.

While many people flock to this Bavarian theme town to see holiday lights, enjoy beautiful scenery, and try (somewhat ) "authentic" Bavarian food, others come here for outdoor adventures and activities.  And Leavenworth has a lot to offer !

Winter Activities In Leavenworth, WA : Snowmobiling

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North Central Washington is the most startling and diverse region of our state, and Leavenworth is an ultimate adventure travel destination year round. No matter what season is outside, you can always find tons of exciting and adventures things to do in this beautiful town.

Winter in Leavenworth is the perfect place to capture the magic of the Christmas season !

Couple some of the best snow and terrain in the country with a charming Bavarian village complete with activities, events, dining and lodging and you have the ultimate winter getaway.

Leavenworth has a long and rich winter sports heritage. Winter brings the opportunity for all kinds of snow activities including downhill and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, horseback/sleigh riding, and snowmobiling.

Raft Surfing On The Wenatchee River, Leavenworth

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Been planning to attend the annual Riverfest ( the Pacific Northwest's largest river and white water festival to raise awareness about river conservation, access and safety issues in the Pacific Northwest ) for the past two/three years.

But since now I go rafting may be once/twice per summer, I can't really justify spending 2.5 hour drive just to take pictures of other people having fun :(

I think Rodeo Hole Surf Competiton is the highlight of the festival, and a lot of fun !
Before the competition had only raft and kayak surfing. But recently, the event started to include a wider range of water crafts ( boogie/river boards, surfboards and SUPs )...

Even if you're "not into whitewater rafting/kayaking" or any water sports, it's fun just to watch this friendly competition, or just wonder around Riverside Park in Cashmere to tap into the paddlesport culture.

Below is a clip provided by Icicle TV to highlight the best moments:

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Camping With KOA In Leavenworth

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I've never been a big fan of camping. The idea of paying to sleep in the dirt, and "interacting" with other "happy campers" has always been a huge turn off for me. For somebody like me ( ADHD/Bipolar ), "social aspect" of camping is probably #1 reason why I hate camping so much.

But recently, I had to force myself to check into one of America's most popular campgrounds - KOA ...and, to my surprise, I had a great time !

My kid has been talking about the whole "camping experience" ( tent+fun+s'mores ) for quite some time, and I really wanted his first time "in the wild" to be memorable. To do that, I had to make sure that he would be comfortable , and it'd be fun.

To make it comfortable, I was thinking of staying either at a cabin or a yurt. And to make it fun, I had to come up with a location with enough things to do to keep him busy for a day and a half. Staring at the map of Washington, I couldn't think of a better location than Leavenworth !

KOA is located just 5 minutes away from downtown Leavenworth. I figured if there would be nothing to do at the camp, at least, I could always rely on my favorite adventure town.

But lucky for me, I didn't have to worry about things to do at KOA!

Upon our arrival we were blessed with warm sunny weather, and as soon as my son saw a swimming pool, I knew we would kill at least half of the day :)

Being very ( XHyperActive )(like farther, like son) swimming wasn't enough for him. The campground has a few awesome bikes for rent, and though, you can only ride around the territory, 45 minutes of uphill/downhiill biking wore him out a bit, and really whetted his appetite.

A quick ride to downtown, and after a bratwurst and some chocolate fudge, he was ready for more fun.

Waterfront Park is the place to take your kids no matter what time of the year it is. The trails are flat and wind along the Wenatchee River and through quiet riverbank forests. Throughout the park there are small beach inlets that are perfect for kids to play and for the parents to sit down and relax.

Back to the camp, and it was still early for camp fire. The Wenatchee River curves along the campground, and was just a short hike from our cabin. Its rocky beach became his next playground until it got dark.

Campfire and s'mores (!) became the highlight of his camping experience. Running around the camp with a flashlight looking for monsters was another...

Though, he was absolutely stoked to sleep in his own bunk-bed, he couldn't figure out why there was no bedding or pillows.

NOTE: Either bring your own bedding, or, at least, a sleeping bag and a camp pillow. There is a heater inside, so you'll be warm and comfortable.

Also, there is NO toilet in the cabins (so, you'll be lucky if your cabin is close to the public restroom like ours was).

All in all, we had an unbelievable experience. I just hope that next time, tent camping won't be a huge disappointment for him, and camping in general will become a big part of his childhood.

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Ski Washington - Mission Ridge

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I got my "Bucket List" idea to ski at every ski area in Washington when I got a job at Summit at Snoqualmie 3 years ago. Since then I've visited 6 out of 12 Washington ski areas...

Just a week before New Year, I added another one to my list - Mission Ridge.

I was really looking forward to this trip. I read/heard a lot about great powder snow conditions and "300 Days of Sunshine"...

With its motto of "Family Fun in the Powder and Sun", my visit to Mission Ridge ski area was...surprisingly disappointing.

Snow/weather conditions were absolutely horrible ! If you've ever heard the expression "Cascade Concrete" ( bad/icy snow conditions ) that's what I got during my visit.

You can't really blame the weather, but the least the resort could do was to mention the bad snow conditions on their Facebook page. But I guess they don't really care about their customers, many of whom are, just like me, out of town visitors who take time to drive for 12 mile to visit their resort.

Proximity to downtown Wenatchee is the only advantage this Washington ski area has...

Well, ( I have to admit ) that and the stunning views from the top...

Planning Your Wenatchee/Leavenworth Winter Escape

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Celebrating Christmas or New Year has been a long family tradition for us, and Leavenworth is the perfect place to capture the magic of the Christmas season.

Unfortunately, this time of the year is also the craziest to visit this town. During holidays tens of thousands of people visit Leavenworth every year. For a small town it gets pretty crowded. Even finding a reasonably priced hotel becomes a hassle.

That's why this year, we decided to stay in Wenatchee ( which is about 30 minutes from Leavenworth ).

North Central Washington has long been one of my favorite regions in Washington State.

Leavenworth, Cashimier, Wenatchee, Chelan, Winthrop are great little adventure hubs with numerous outdoor opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoesing and more.

This year will be our first year visiting Wenatchee in winter. I'm super stoked to go skiing at Mission Ridge for the first time ! I've also checked out Wenatchee Visitors Bureau web site, but unfortunately didn't find any useful up-to-date information.

Just hope to catch at least one of those "300 Days of Sunshine" :)

Mountain Biking Devil's Gulch in Leavenworth

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What I love about Leavenworth is that it's truly an ultimate adventure travel destination. There is literally nothing you can't do here any time of the year. No matter how often I come here I always find something new to do/see...

This time I came here for a mountain bike ride on Washington's one of the most popular mountain biking trails - Devils Gulch.

As usual I'm not providing any details as directions/trail description can be easily found online.

I just want to notice that this is definitely not a "beginner friendly" trail. Riding 11 miles, roughly 4200' ft uphill is a killer ! The best way to ride these trails is using a shuttle system, leaving one car at the bottom and driving the other to the top. Also, because parts of the trail skirt along the edge of drop offs, this trail is probably best left to the advanced bike riders.

Though, they say that 90% of Devils Gulch Trail users are mountain bikers, this is a multiuse trail; hikers, horseback riders, and even dirt bikers are seen here.

According to many sources, the Devils Gulch Trail is one of the top — if not the top — mountain bike rides in Washington. And I guess if you do this trail as a downhill ride only, it might be pretty awesome. But for me it was the last time I pushed my bike uphill. To hell with that "mountain biking crap"...I'll be waiting for Stevens Pass Bike Park to be open or go back to Duthie Hill

Multi-sport adventures in North Central Washington.

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North Central Washington is the most startling and diverse region of our state. With four distinct seasons, 300 sunshine-filled days a year, two stunning rivers running through local towns, blooming apple orchards and mountains so close you can touch them, your stay in this area will be memorable.

This weekend started just like any other for me , but took an interesting turn at the end.

On Saturday I arrived in Leavenworth for my weekend rafting trip along the Wenatchee river , which followed by a bike ride nearby. Since I am relatively new to the whole cycling scene and didn't really know where to go ( and road biking idea didn't really appeal to me ), I went to the only place I knew in Leavenworth - Ski Bowl.

Ski Hill Loop's 2 and 5 mile loops ,used for cross-country skiing in the winter, are open to hikers and mountain bikers in the summer. The unpaved trails are visible , well used and quite challenging ( at least it was for me ). A part of the trail offers good views of the Leavenworth valley; along another part, you can see work out platforms ( pull up bars, parallel bars,steppers ) illustrated with exercise pictures .

All in all, its a great area for your morning/evening work outs. Though I circled the trails a couple times it wasn't challenging enough for me. On the way back to my car, I looked up the hill, where an old ski jump tower was, and saw a hiking trail going up the hill. Without second thought I started pushing my bike ( it was too steep to bike ) towards my new goal. The effort paid off in the form of stunning views of the entire valley. The way down wasn't any easier. My bike ( or me ) kept leaning forward, every time I would squeeze the brakes. After nearly going over my head I decided to stop pretending to be a daredevil and pushed the bike down for the rest of the way.

After such an intense work out I thought I had deserved a schnitzel, washed down with a stein of authentic German beer. After dozens of times I've been here I still can't get enough of this fairytale town. The Bavarian spirit is so strong here that it makes you feel as if you're really somewhere in Germany. No matter what day of the week it is , there is always something going on here: art shows, festivals, celebrations, competitions. Even a simple walk along Front Street becomes a holiday.

On Sunday I only had half of the day, so I wanted to take the full advantage of it. Though it was my second year rafting and forth year visiting that area, I never made it further east to the Wenatchee valley. I was intrigued by its nickname " The Apple Capital of the World " and the unofficial headquarters for the area's outdoor activities.

On the way to Wenatchee I visited a small town Cashimier. For a small town ( "the Old American City " as it sometimes called ) it gets lots of publicity due to the local icon " Aplets and Cotles candy factory ". In my opinion , calling it "a factory " is a bit overrated. A small shop with some machines in the back. "Factory " tours and free samples are the main reasons people come to visit it.
The Chelan County Historical Society Museum is spread out over three acres and includes 20 original and furnished pioneer structures. Among other attractions : Historic Downtown and Apple Annie's Antique Mall the largest antique shop in the Pacific Northwest.

Entering Wenatchee through Wenatchee ave , one realizes why it won the " Great American Main Street " award in 2003. The avenue is a mix of cultural activities, shopping destinations, dining opportunities and outdoor experiences.

My first ( and due to a little misfortune, the last) destination was the Wenatchee Riverfront Park and its "Apple Capital Loop Trail ". I have to say , that it was the highlight of my whole weekend. Biking along the scenic banks of the Columbia river with the surrounding views of the snow capped mountains, dramatically sculpted scablands and green apple orchards was an inspiring and relaxing journey.

Another reason for missing most of the Weantchee's attractions - the visitors information center is located not in downtown, but near Ohme Gardens ( another famous site ). So, if you decide to travel down there, make sure you stop by the center or you can check out the Wenatchee official web site.

Budget travel tip : My personal reason for choosing Wenatchee as the headquarters for my trip was -accommodation prices. Just 20 minutes from Leavenworth the hotel prices were as low as $ 35 per day ( comparing to $ 100 in Leavenworth )

On the way home I still had some time and Peshastin Pinnacles State Park was right on my way. Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is a 34-acre desert park featuring a group of sandstone slabs and spires called "the pinnacles." Climbable spires reach 200 feet into the air. Rocks and trails provide views of surrounding orchards, the Enchantment Mountain Range, and the Wenatchee River valley. Though I wasn't there for climbing I enjoyed the park's mile and a half of steep hiking trail and watching a couple climbers making their way up one of the pinnacles.

In conclusion , whether you are a serious outdoorsman or simply planning a leisurely getaway, North Central Washington has an adventure for you. But be warned : its highly addictive and one day ( or even one weekend ) is not enough to fully experience and appreciate this beautiful region of our state.

Snowboarding at Ski Hill in Leavenworth

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If you think snowboarding is hard- think again.

This was my first winter when I tried it. It took me about 1 hour ( and 200+ falls) to learn it.

It does not matter how old you are to learn new things, as long as you have the desire to learn and a sense of adventure. I did not have an instructor or some fancy equipment, just the desire to have fun ( at all cost).