Monday, October 12, 2015

Icicle Gorge Trail - Leavenworth, WA

 Icicle Creek near Leavenworth, Washington is in an area of some of the most scenic gorges in Washington State.  It is an especially beautiful place to hike in the fall when the temperatures are comfortable and the display of colorful autumn foliage begins.

Icicle River Gorge in Autumn

Directions and Map  to the Icicle Creek Gorge Trail

From US Highway 2, on the western end of Leavenworth, turn south onto Icicle Road (Forest Service Road 7600) which turns into the Icicle Creek Road. At about 12.4 miles the pavement ends.  Proceed another 3 miles on the rough gravel and turn left into the parking lot at the Icicle Gorge sign.  A Northwest Forest Service Pass or other valid federal lands pass is required.  Day passes can be purchased at the trail head.

Icicle Gorge Trail Sign at the Trail Head

This is an easy 4 mile loop hike with very little elevation gain.  It is open to hikers only, so it is relaxing to be unconcerned about dodging horses, bikes or vehicles. 

My border collies, Tim and Hank are ready to go!
The trail was well-marked and Tim and Hank were excited to get going after the long trip in the car from the Seattle area.

Interpretive signs along the Icicle Gorge Trail
Several interpretive signs along the trail with information about the habitat and wildlife added to the enjoyment of this hike.

Tall peaks along the Icicle Gorge Trail near Leavenworth, WA
After walking a short distance through the forest we reached an opening where we could view some of the peaks and ridges along the gorge.

The rocky stream bed of Icicle Creek
Soon we rounded a corner for our first view of Icicle Creek.

Water carved rocks on Icicle Creek
One of the most interesting and beautiful sights we saw - these pockets had been carved in the rock from the force of the rushing water.

Rambunctious Border collies 
Tim and Hank obviously still had some excess energy to burn and since no one was around for them to bother I let them off-leash and they immediately launched into some rambunctious play time.

Bridge Across Icicle Creek
The trail includes several picturesque bridges across the creek which make great vantage points for viewing the crystal clear water cascading over waterfalls.

 Icicle Creek Waterfalls - Chelan County, WA
The trail looped back to intersect the road at the Rock Island Campground, a small US Forest Service Campground with 22 sites, none of which were being used, so it made a great spot to stop for a break.

Rock Island Campground near Leavenworth, WA
The Rock Island Campground included a nice little gravel beach along the river.

Hank and Tim couldn't resist taking a dip.

It wasn't long before we completed this lovely loop hike and were back to the parking lot and headed for home.  For those who would rather take more time to linger, explore the area and spend some time in Leavenworth, here are some ratings and reviews for several dog-friendly hotels in the area.  For those who who have an RV, we have stayed at and recommend the Icicle River RV Resort.  

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