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Tumwater Canyon - Jolanda Lake
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Fall in Love with Chelan County

Three of the unique regions on the Cascade Loop are in Chelan County: Leavenworth and the Cascade Foothills, Wenatchee and the Columbia River Valley, and the Lake Chelan Valley. Each region features unique geography, culture and charm. Book a flight to Seattle-Tacoma International in Seattle, then connect to Pangborn in Wenatchee --- and let your adventure begin! 

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Fall colors near Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass Bike Trails

The top of Stevens Pass is the start of your Chelan County adventure! During the fall you can enjoy the Stevens Pass Ski Area trails on mountain bikes (rentals available).

Then, as you ascend from the 4,061 foot summit, the highway winds through forests and follows the Wenatchee River and tributaries to Coles Corner, the junction to Lake Wenatchee and Plain, or continue on SR 2 into the colorful Tumwater Canyon!

Leavenworth/Cascade Foothills

Tumwater Dam

Tumwater Canyon

Autumn colors are amazing in the Tumwater Canyon. Many pullouts offer opportunities for photos. Stop at the dam to watch spawning salmon, and be on the lookout for bald eagles looking for an easy meal, and a river otter family living in the canyon. World-class rock climbing location. 

Learn about the longest railroad tunnel in the US -- the Cascade Tunnel, once powered by the Tumwater Dam.


Leavenworth, the Bavarian Village

Pedestrian-friendly downtown Leavenworth is inviting, with its German themed architecture - stop by WineGirl Wines and enjoy their unique wines, and grab an authentic meal at a variety of great restaurants. 

Two amazing events take place in Leavenworth every fall: 

Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival - Leavenworth's oldest Festival, celebrates the turning colors of the fall leaves, the last full weekend in September

Leavenworth Oktoberfest - Three weekends of entertainment and fun including Beer Gardens and Kinderplatz! Live music, dance groups, brats, German sandwiches, kraut, pretzels, and more! September 29-30, October 6-7, & 13-14

Wild at Heart Horse Rides

Lake Wenatchee/Plain Valley

Take a side trip to this beautiful valley and make an equine friend at Wild at Heart Horse Rides. The Fall Color Horseback Rides are spectacular! For more adventure, Leavenworth Ziplines will zip you through the forest on a 5- or 9-line tour with incredible views. There are also many hiking trails in this area -- be sure to stop by Plain Hardware for your morning coffee and supplies for the day!

Chelan County Fair and Rodeo


Home of world-famous Aplets & Cotlets confections, take a tour of the Liberty Orchards facility, and snag free samples! The weekend after Labor Day is the Chelan County Fair – Friday night Concert is Easton Corbin, and on Saturday and Sunday enjoy the PRCA Rodeo drawing contestants from all around the Pacific Northwest. 

Every September 11th, at 11am attend a moving ceremony at the 9/11 Spirit of America Memorial. Guest speakers include survivors of the tragedy in 2001.

The month of October is ScareCrazy in Cashmere – shop owners compete with each other for the most creative scarecrows. Vote for your favorite!

Wenatchee/Columbia River Valley

The Columbia River between Wenatchee and East Wenatchee

Wenatchee / East Wenatchee

Catch a connecting flight from SeaTac to Pangborn Memorial Airport, and begin your adventure! Named for pilot Clyde Pangborn (with co-pilot Hugh Herndon) who were the first to successfully complete a non-stop flight eastbound across the Pacific Ocean. Their plane, the Miss Veedol landed on her belly in a field at Fancher Field near East Wenatchee. Read more about the local boy who made National news in 1931.

Wenatchee is a thriving riverfront community, with hiking trails in the foothills, and 11-mile paved Apple Capital Loop Trail that takes you along both sides of the Columbia River. Stop by Pybus Public Market for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just a glass of wine or beer. Find amazing boutique shops, a fresh produce stand year round, and home of the Farmers Market. Oh -- and for a great evening treat, you must stop into Ice for gelato, crepes and amazing espresso drinks!! A short walk down the Loop Trail gets you to WineGirl Wines and Riverhouse Cigar Bar. If you are visiting mid-week, stop by Pak-it-Rite for locally made gifts that can be shipped home or to friends.

Plan to golf a round at the valley’s favorite par 69 public course, Three Lakes Golf Course in Malaga, just outside of town. 

Looking for an oasis in the desert? Ohme Gardens features manicured stone paths with gardens of colorful flowers and foliage, ponds and waterfalls, and a fun “Find the Gnome” game for the kids!

As you head north on Highway 97-A, toward Rocky Reach Dam Discovery Center – be on the lookout for bighorn sheep who like to climb the outcroppings along this stretch. If you visit September 21-23, 2023, plan to attend the Salmon Festival at Rocky Reach Dam, a three-day natural resource education event to celebrate the return of the salmon to the Wenatchee River. 

Paddle Boarding on the Columbia


This quiet riverside community has an amazing campground at the confluence of the Entiat River and the Columbia River. Follow the Entiat River Road into the forest lands and find more campgrounds (including primitive camping in Fire Lookouts), and great hiking trails. At Silver Falls you can get a view from behind the waterfall! 

Columbia Breaks Fire Interpretive Center is a great place to stretch your legs. Get up close to actual fire watchtowers and to learn how wildfires affect the landscape. This is also the location of the Entiat Information Center. 

Lake Chelan Valley

Lake Chelan has been a mecca for generations of visitors for over a hundred years. The 50-mile long glacier-fed lake is cool and refreshing during the hot autumn afternoons, with several beaches and campgrounds on the South Shore and Manson areas. Visitors in the late 1800’s flocked to the area that had become renowned for its calming, healing quality. 

The Lake Chelan AVA produces award-winning wines and over a dozen tasting rooms and wineries around the lake, like WineGirl Wines in Manson. The first day of fall kicks off Wine Harvest events around the valley. For a complete list of tasting locations and event information, see Lake Chelan Wine Valley

Lake Chelan and Old Bridge


Historic Downtown Chelan oozes charm with its boutique shops, hundred-year-old Ruby Theater (still showing today’s top movies) and inviting atmosphere that is unmatched in a year-round resort community.

Campbell’s Pub and Veranda, built in the 1880’s, is still run by members of the Campbell family, and the Speakeasy is a favorite hangout after spending the day soaking up the sunshine. 

Riverwalk Park, a one-mile paved loop path along the Chelan River is a perfect place to stretch your legs. The adjacent Riverwalk Park is home of the Thursday Evening Farmer’s Market, and the Pavilion, featuring live music at the water’s edge. 

Old Mill Park, Manson


In addition to Lake Chelan Wine Valley's Wine Harvest activities, you will encounter creepy shopkeepers and wicked wine tasting rooms during Haunted Manson all through October. Drive around the Manson Scenic Loop and find hidden GeoQuest treasures, or just hang out at a park and enjoy the quiet and the views! 

Starting just after Thanksgiving, Manson turns into the Village of Lights and visitors can experience the magic of Small Town Holidays!

Stehekin Pastry Company


For an off-the-grid experience, plan a trip to Stehekin at the head of 50-mile long Lake Chelan. The relaxing tour takes you into the heart of the wilderness where cell service doesn’t live! The Lake Chelan Boat Company has been running passenger ferry service for over 60 years and currently has a fleet of vessels offering a variety of combination trips there and back.   

At the Stehekin Landing, hop on the shuttle and see where pioneers in this region established fruit orchards – the Buckner Orchard and Homestead are managed by the Parks Service and is still producing apples to this day. 

The shuttle will also take you to Rainbow Falls, with a 392-foot drop in two tiers. For more information and reservations for the passenger ferry, shuttle, or overnight accommodations, as well as great hiking trails for day trips see

No matter how long you visit, you must trek the 2 miles from the Landing to Stehekin Pastry Company for scratch-made pastries, pies, breads, breakfast and lunch options, and espresso and ice cream!

Bald eagle in Tumwater Canyon with autumn colors