Winter Adventures in and around Leavenworth


This Sunday Drive is written by Geordie Romer who shows us there is a lot more to Leavenworth beyond the Bavarian Village. Geordie is a real estate agent with Windermere Real Estate in Leavenworth who blogs regularly on and Leavenworth Real Estate Blog.  You can also follow him on Twitter at

In Leavenworth, we have two types of folks.  Winter people and summer people.

The summer people love the heat and triple digit days.  The are rafters, cyclists, and golfers.  Come March, they are ready for Spring even though it may be months and months away.  Come October, as the leaves begin to fall, a tear comes to their eye as they realize Summer is truly gone and it may be time to start planning a trip to Hawaii, Mexico or Palm Springs.

And there are the Winter people.  When the leaves start to turn color, we start looking at the Stevens Pass web cam, just to see if the snow has started to stick.  Many of the Winter people work at Stevens Pass or did when they first moved to town.  We tolerate the hot dry summers because we know that the reward comes on sunny winter powder days every Winter and Spring.

From one Winter person to another, here are my 5 Winter adventures for the Leavenworth area. 

  • Ice climbing. This is my favorite on the list.  Call me crazy, but I love ice & Leavenworth doesn’t stay as reliably cold like some ice climbing hotGeordie spots like Banff or Bozeman, but you can’t beat the scenery.  Experienced ice climbers can learn about Leavenworth ice climbing from Jason Martin’s “Washington Ice: A Climbing Guide” or online from sites like  Classic climbs included the massive Drury Falls seen from Tumwater Canyon or the more mellow Hubba Hubba near 8 Mile Campground in Icicle Canyon.  Beginners should contact a guide service like the American Alpine Institute or NW Mountain School.
  • Ice fishing on Fish Lake.  Fish Lake is one of the rare ice fishing hot spots in Washington state.  It is loaded with fish and reliably freezes over every year.  The Cove Resort is your source for all things Fish Lake, so give them a call before you go.
  • Snowshoe.  Were my first two adventures a little two extreme for you?  Snowshoeing takes no special talent and is a great way to get out and explore.  You can rent snowshoes from places like Plain Hardware.  One of my favorite easy snowshoe treks is Hidden Lake.  From the end of Cedar Brae road on the south shore of Lake Wenatchee, hike the snow covered road to the trail-head and travel an easy mile or so to the small lake.
  • Horse Drawn Sleigh.  There are two places to ride a sleigh in Leavenworth.   One is at the Fish Hatchery near Sleeping Lady and the other is in Plain at Mountain Springs Resort.  Whether it’s a romantic getaway or an adventure for kids and grandparents, a sleigh ride seems like perfect winter fun.
  • Ski JumpingBakke Hill at Leavenworth Ski Hill was built in 1933 and was one of the top ski jumping venues in the United States for decades.  It was the host of the U.S. championships in 1941, 1959, 1967, 1974 and 1978.  Operated by the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, you can take lessons and learn to jump like a pro off the 20 meter jump.  Just want to watch?  Come to a ski jumping tournament this February!

Geordie, thanks so much for sharing information about the Leavenworth area. This makes me want to dust off my snowshoes or go tubing (you can tell my tolerence level for adventure)!


  1. Oh ~ I’ll take the the sleigh ride and dinner at Mountain Springs Resort! Will there still be snow up there next weekend?

  2. It was 40 degrees in Plain this afternoon, but I’m sure there will be lots of snow here next weekend. Stevens Pass is reporting 10″ of new snow last night.

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