With nearby snowshoeing, downhill skiing and a world-classclimbing gym, Wenatchee is an easy target for those looking to stay active thiswinter. Whether you’re looking for a place to burn off some of the Bavariansweets you found in Leavenworth or spend a day adventuring indoors, there isplenty to explore in this quaint, Central Washington town.
Downhill Skiing atMission Ridge
Open seven days a week, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resorthas 2,000 acres of trails and is only 12 miles from town. With a 2,250-footelevation drop and runs for almost every level of skier and boarder, it’s theideal getaway in the depths of the winter season. Known for its dry, light snow(the result of more than 300 days of sun), the resort attracts powder junkiesfrom all over the region and also touts some beautiful backcountry for the morerugged adventurer.
In addition to traditional skiing and boarding, Mission Ridge also has multipleterrain parks, all of which are kid-friendly. The mountain also hosts a varietyof events throughout the ski season, ranging from its annualChristmas celebration to livemusic on the mountain. The resort even teams up with Badger MountainBrewing to cart snow down to the city for its Rails and Alesevent each February.
Bouldering (orBelaying) at the Riverfront Rock Gym
On the days when the weather is too rough to handle (or when you simplyneed a break from the cold), Wenatchee’s state-of-the art rock gym offersmore than 14,000 square feet of climbing space. Whether you’re an avid climber,casual “boulderer” or complete newbie, the gym’s friendly atmosphere andcomprehensive fitness facilities make it a great place to spend the day whilestill getting a workout in.
Day passes, monthly memberships and weekly classes are allavailable as well as ongoing special events, including “Boulders and Brews” onThursday nights and the “Geezer Gathering” for seniors each Tuesday morning. TheLast Pitch Café is also a charming place to grab a bite to eat or sip on an espressowhile you wait for the weather to turn.
Hiking (orSnowhoeing) a Local Trail
Even in the middle of winter, downtown Wenatchee often onlygets just a dusting of snow, making it easy (and enjoyable) to tackle trails inthe surrounding area. The most well-known of these is Saddle Rock – a2-mile day hike with a network of trails and a rugged, rocky summit that makesfor great photos. The Clara andMarion Lakes route is a fairly easy, year-round hike while Burch Mountain to EagleRock is slightly steeper and more exposed, though both average about threemiles roundtrip. For a longer journey, consider the AncientLakes hike in the Potholes Region just south of town.
If you’d prefer something closer and less strenuous, the AppleCapital Loop Trail is a paved, multi-use route that circles town and isgreat for a brisk, midday stroll. Close to Mission Ridge, visitors can also gosnowshoeing along the Pipeline Trail– a single-track route with beautiful views of the Wenatchee Valley. As withthe hikes, make sure to check snow and road conditions in advance.