ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Icicle Ridge Trail, WA

Updated on May 1, 2013

The Icicle Ridge Trail,

outside the town of Leavenworth, Washington, boasts an impressive 25 miles of well maintained trails that follow the crest of the Icicle Ridge, with stunning panoramic views of the Enchantments, the Icicle River, the Leavenworth Valley, and the Tumwater Canyon. The trailhead is conveniently located just a few miles outside of town, where a person could just as easily ride a bike as drive a car to get to. Because of the extensive length of the trail, it inspires a good number of equestrian traffic, but the Icicle Ridge Trail has a lot to offer hikers as well.

The Icicle Ridge Trail is beautiful in its simplicity, following the line of the mountain ridge from point-to-point without interruption, all the while drawing hikers through beautiful landscapes typical to the Cascade Mountains: Coniferous forests, fields of wildflowers, and snow capped alpine mountains in the near distance.


This is a view of the valley floor which you could see when hiking the Icicle Ridge trail.
This is a view of the valley floor which you could see when hiking the Icicle Ridge trail. | Source

What to Expect on the Hike:


The trail starts out steeply with a well graded slope that switchbacks up the mountainside behind a few residential houses. It soon becomes high and lonely, leading into a pine forest where people can glimpse the town of Leavenworth through gaps in the tree trunks as it grows more distant. Charred timber sticks up out of the grassy slope here and there, an interesting clue as to the recent history of the trail.

The trail reaches the ridge crest and a T-junction after almost a mile's climb. Turn left to continue on the main trail (turning right leads to a camping area). The trail continues to climb. At two miles in there is a small flat area on the ridge top where there is a good place to enjoy the views, stop and eat, or turn around (round trip, about three hours). Further on, the trail finally relents its steep climb and changes to more of a gentle rise and fall. Possibly the most amazing viewpoint on the trail is at the junction to the Fourth of July Creek Trail about nine miles in, the highest-point of the ridge, and allowing pretty much a 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and Valleys.

The great part of not having a particular destination to reach, such as a lake or a particular peak, is that hikers can choose how far they want to hike, and then turn back without feeling like they did not "make it." People can go a few miles in and then hike back out, or they can bring along a tent and go the whole 25 miles.

Even walking just half a mile up the trail will take people well above Leavenworth and allow for some great views of the valley.

With that fact in mind, hikers need to be aware of a few things:

  1. Although the trail is smooth and easy to follow, it is steep, and so some people might need to think twice before attempting to climb it, or before bringing pets along.
  2. Wear shoes with decent traction (most tennis shoes would work, but not flip flops).
  3. Wear weather appropriate clothing. Hats, coats, wind breakers, shorts, tank top, whatever makes sense for the day.
  4. Bring at least one bottle of water per hiker, and some energy laden snacks to share.
  5. It would also be a good idea to apply sun block if the day is warm.

The best times to hike the Icicle Ridge Trail is in the late spring through early fall. Spring will ensure an abundance of wildflowers, summer is hot and sun-shiny, and the autumn brings beautiful red and yellow colored leaves and undergrowth.

Video of the Icicle Ridge Trail, Leavenworth, WA

Directions to the Trail Head:

Travelling west on Highway 2, go all the way through Leavenworth and turn left onto Icicle Road at the far west end of town. Go 1.4 miles and turn right at the sign marked Icicle Ridge Trail (opposite Shore Street). There is a large parking area on the right.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking. It costs 5$ for a day pass and is available at the Leavenworth Ranger Station.

Source

Leavenworth Acommodations:

During your visit, you may wish to acquire acommodations for the night instead of camping. If that is the case, there are many Hotels with great reputations in Leavenworth. The Blackbird Lodge, and the Bavarian Lodge, are some, to name a few. The Enzian Inn is perhaps the most popular to stay in, due to its beautiful rooms with a European Atmosphere and impressive complimentary full breakfast buffet complete with made-to-order omelettes. But there are also many budget friendly places to stay, some with access to the walking trail around the Leavenworth Waterfront Park, and others that are near to the downtown Bavarian Village. Leavenworth describes itself to be family friendly, it has lots of great stores for shopping, and many festivals and attractions to keep people coming back again and again to see what is new.

Washington: What do you think?

view quiz statistics

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Daena B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Daena B. 

      8 years ago from Wenatchee, WA

      Thanks for reading, everyone, and for your thoughtful comments. Dolores, I also need to thank you for the suggestion! I love Juneaukid's hubs! Wonderful.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Way out of my way, but what a beautiful place to hike! It sounds heavenly. (You might want to check out the hubs of juneaukid who enjoys a similar passion for mountain hiking)

    • profile image

      sherry 

      8 years ago

      You are such a gifted writer. You cetainly captured the essence of the hike.

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 

      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Mountainhiking is one of my favourites. I would love to see this stunning place one day for real!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)