5 Things You Can Do In Leavenworth Washington That Will Make Your Trip Special
On the southeast side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, there is a picturesque town that looks exactly like a Bavarian Alpine village. In winter, Leavenworth is a popular tourist destination for many good reasons. When you visit, you can expect fantastic seasonal attractions, great festivals, and hospitable locals.
There are lots of exciting activities you and your family can do in Leavenworth this year. Here are just 5 of them.
#1. Learn downhill skiing at Leavenworth Ski Hill
This historic district and ski area are located inside the Wenatchee National Forest only 2 miles from downtown Leavenworth. The 1936 ski lodge and its associated outbuildings are a well-known local landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the winter, you can get warm and enjoy food and beverages inside the ski lodge.
Leavenworth Ski Hill is a great place to learn all the basics of winter sports. Here you can enjoy tubing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and a ski jump. It’s where the locals bring their children to learn how to ski. Why not bring your own kids and introduce them to winter sports?
Operated by the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, the Ski Hill provides affordable winter activities and frequent free events. Visitors are welcome to watch their Alpine races and attend snowshoe demonstrations. Ski Hill features the only ski jump on the West Coast and an extensive network of interconnected cross-country skiing trails.
#2. Enjoy cross-country skiing or snowmobiling at Plain Valley Nordic Ski Trails
If you’re already an experienced cross-country skier, you’ll be interested to hear that Plain Valley Nordic Ski Trails offers 15 miles of groomed cross-country ski and skate trails with fantastic views across the scenic Plain Valley. What’s more, this facility also offers snowmobiling, sleigh riding, tubing, and sledding.
With around 300 inches of snowfall each year and 200 miles of trails, Leavenworth is a prime snowmobile riding location. Leavenworth Snowmobile Rentals can provide you with a snowmobile, snowmobile boots, and helmet as well as personal guides and expert advice.
Plain Valley Nordic Ski Trails also offer many events throughout the winter, such as wine tastings, skiing lessons, ice-skating lessons, and a backcountry ski camp. It’s a great destination for more serious winter sports enthusiasts.
#3. Explore Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Icicle Gorge Trail is one of the most scenic trails through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The trailhead is approximately 16 miles from downtown Leavenworth. When the trails are clear, you can enjoy hiking along this trail for breathtaking views of Icicle Creek, Icicle Gorge, and the local wildlife and mature forest.
This loop trail takes approximately 3 hours and is suitable for children and seniors, too. When the snow grows too deep, get out your snowshoes and discover the beauty of the snow-covered forest. However, don’t expect to see many icicles in spite of the cold and snow. Apparently, the name Icicle Gorge comes from a Native American word na-sik-elt which means narrow canyon.
This isn’t the only great trail you can hike or snowshoe in the national forest. There are 1,285 miles of wilderness trails and 8 miles of barrier-free trails. If you’re a keen backpacker and camper, this is a wonderful area to explore. But be aware that in many places wilderness restrictions apply.
#4. Tour a reindeer farm
If you’re feeling Christmassy, why not enjoy a tour around Leavenworth Reindeer farm? The tours begin with an 8-minute presentation about reindeer and safety. During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to hand-feed reindeer and stroke their soft fur. You can even take a selfie with a reindeer for your social media account.
Seasonal refreshments are provided as well as a roaring campfire and a chance to take photographs on Santa’s Sleigh. Santa Claus himself will appear to greet every tour in November and December. Your kids will enjoy the reindeer-shaped swing set. The farm also introduces children to other animals, such as horses, pigs, and chickens. This is a fantastic educational tour for the whole family around a USDA-certified farm.
#5. Ride on a two-horse open sleigh
Since we’re getting into the Holiday Spirit, why not experience the fun of riding in a two-horse open sleigh? Leavenworth is a premier location for horse-drawn sleigh rides. You can listen to sleigh bells ringing as your sleigh glides through the glistening snow.
Leavenworth Sleigh Rides operates 5 group-sleigh-rides alongside Beaver Creek every day, including a breakfast tour with inclusive breakfast and a dinner tour with a meal in Beaver Creek Lodge. They also offer private sleigh rides if you want a romantic ride for two.
You can also enjoy sleigh rides at Eagle Creek Ranch with a cup of hot apple cider, at Icicle Outfitters in the valleys of the Stuart Mountain Range, and with Red Tail Canyon Farm Sleigh Rides in hand-built sleighs.
And there’s more!
Leavenworth is a great destination for winter sports because there are so many wonderful locations in and around the town that offer perfect snow and ice conditions. However, the town is also a great place for sightseeing, horseback riding, and popular seasonal festivals.
Tourists flock to Leavenworth for the annual Christmas Lighting Festival, Bavarian Ice Fest, and Valentines’ Weekend. It’s a family-friendly winter destination, and there’s something there for everyone.
Contributed by outsidepursuits.com