Trip Report: Leavenworth, WA and National Parks

Leavenworth, Washington was a place we had wanted to visit for awhile. After leaving Squamish, we headed straight there. Arriving in this Bavarian Themed town only took a few hours from Seattle. We entered the town through a canyon in the Northern Cascade Mountains with a crystal clear river following along the side. We were feeling sad leaving Squamish, but we quickly realized that this place would help with our Squamish detox.

When we first arrived, the weather was hot. We first met up with a friend that we met a year prior on the road, Garrick. He had been in Leavenworth only a few days before us and already had the guidebook and information on the town. He told us where to get water, a shower, and the best camping spot.

Water: Gas station in town, right on the corner from Icicle Canyon road.

Shower: No shower in town, free showers in the Icicle river.

Camping: We camped in the forestland climbing area parking lot, which was only okay if camping in a vehicle. No fires allowed! Note: There are other campgrounds up Icicle Canyon road.

Swimming: Icicle creek and the Wenatchee river provides swimming holes, rushing water, and smooth boulders which allow for some intricate climbing.

On the first day we arrived, we were itching to climb. So after climbing for a few hours and getting familiar with the rock, we decided to bail because the sun was beating down on us, so we escaped to the river.  Running around the canyons felt similar to climbing in Joe’s Valley in Orangeville, Utah. The climbing areas were separated by two different canyons and the the rocks were dispersed along the sides and the river. The rock was granite and had small features that a climber could crimp on. When we arriving in September, the trees were starting to turn yellow as autumn was beginning. The water was clear and sculpted the river rocks, some being climbable. It was simply beautiful and wild.

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We continued to climb throughout the week and watched as our friend Garrick, climb everything we couldn’t. After each climbing day, we would head back to camp and make dinner. Since we couldn’t have any fires, we opted for a light and an orange colored water bottle, which helped create the ambience of a fire.

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We ended up spending almost two weeks in Leavenworth, Washington, when we only planned on a weekend. Every day we went to a new area and tried new climbs. We did manage to climb well and send a few things. But since it was a short trip we tried not to put pressure on ourselves and just go out and have fun.

After climbing for two weeks, we decided it was time to head back to the East coast. Our plan was to travel through the Northern states and visit a few National Parks along the way.

We stopped in Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Badlands.

Out of all the National Parks we visited on the way home, Yellowstone was our favorite. Because we arrived in September, the foliage was starting to turn yellow, and there were less crowds. We ended up spending a full day in Yellowstone exploring all of the geyers, hot springs, and mud pots.

Travel Tip: Anyone looking to go should aim to arrive in September with plenty of clothes and layers as the weather can abruptly change.

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