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On The Loop: Wenatchee & Columbia River Valley

Following the Wenatchee River near orchard-lined Sleepy Hollow, descend into the Wenatchee Valley, historically known as the Apple Capital of the World. Wenatchee is located at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers. Hot summer sun and abundant irrigation yield ideal produce-growing conditions. Wine grapes also thrive here. Check out visitwenatchee.org and cascadefarmlands.com for detailed information about area farms, wineries and vineyards. 

Follow the highway into Wenatchee’s downtown National Historic District. Chat with friendly shopkeepers and explore boutiques, galleries, cafés and Art on the Avenues' impressive collection of outdoor public art. Pybus Public Market is a community gathering spot and the permanent home of the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, shops and restaurants. Shop and dine at Pybus or go for a walk on the adjacent waterfront that links more than 10 miles of well-maintained paved paths constituting the Apple Capital Loop Trail. It crosses two bridges and circles both sides of the Columbia River. The Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, also located in the historic district, is home to local historic artifacts, hands-on activities, expansive collections, and contemporary exhibits that the whole family will love. 

The Wenatchee Valley is known for access to year-round outdoor recreation. Hike the surrounding foothills and explore well-maintained trail systems. Warm months are popular for stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Visit cdlandtrust.org for detailed trail information and maps. Wenatcheeoutdoors.org is a long-standing, highly regarded resource for muscle-powered outdoor recreation. Read personal, up-to-date blogs about the latest seasonal activities, or peruse their extensive online library of suggested activities (even rated for skill and accessibility.) Riverfront Rock Gym offers year-round access to indoor rock climbing. Gear rentals and lessons are available.

Winter draws alpine skiers and snowshoeing enthusiasts to neighboring Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, just a short 12 miles out of town.

And for outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture memories on "film" sign up for photography or videography classes with Voortex Productions. 

Travel north along the Columbia River on Highway 97A. Build a couple of hours into your schedule to explore amazing alpine flora at Ohme Gardens. Next, head toward Rocky Reach Discovery Center. Stretch your legs and explore the manicured gardens, have a picnic, check out the Museum of the Columbia and the fish ladder.

Continue north to the small town of Entiat. Stop along the river at Entiat City Park, complete with beach access, a boat launch, restrooms and camping. A little further up the road, stop at the Columbia Breaks Fire Interpretive Center (milepost 217). This free self-guided walk explains the role wildfires play in local forests and foothills.

Wenatchee Valley & Entiat Visitor Services

Current Conditions

WSDOT Traffic Conditions & Cameras


The Wenatchi-P’squosa people (Wenatchee Valley namesake) lived along the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers and traveled seasonally to gather, fish and hunt. David Thompson was one of the
 first Euro-Americans to encounter these early residents as he canoed down the Columbia in 1811. The Entiat people occupied the region from the Columbia to the Cascade mountains along the Entiat River. 

In 1855, local native tribes signed the Yakama Treaty, which terminated their rights to 10.8 million acres of land. Shortly after, some tribes claimed they did not understand the outcome and intent of the treaty. Numerous clashes and small wars broke out resulting in loss of life.

Settlers arrived in the 1870s and within a few decades, Wenatchee became the greatest apple-producing region in the world. Access to reliable irrigation, ideal growing conditions, the relocation of the Great Northern Railway, and the damming of the Columbia River all played roles in shaping today’s Wenatchee Valley.

Your Wenatchee Valley & Entiat Adventure
EV Charging Stations
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Wenatchee is known as the Apple Capital of the World. Notice huge orchards as well as fruit packing and storage warehouses along the route.
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Walk Wenatchee's well maintained Apple Capital Loop trail, snowshoe on Entiat and Wenatchee designated trails , visit Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort.
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Side Trip: Entiat
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Explore the foothills surrounding the Wenatchee Valley or drive into the Entiat Valley and choose from a multitude of shaded, mountainous hikes.
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Amazing Food
Wenatchee's Pybus Public Market is home to a selection of restaurants as well as a weekend Farmers Market in season.
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Hit Wenatchee's Riverfront Rock Gym to get a lesson, rent gear or use your own on some awesome indoor walls.
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Ohme Gardens
Spend a couple hours walking through this impeccably manicured alpine garden overlooking the Wenatchee Valley.
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Look for deer in Wenatchee's foothills and the Entiat Valley, and bighorn sheep as you leave Wenatchee heading toward Entiat. The area is also teeming with birdlife all along the Columbia River and Entiat.
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Pybus Public Market
Visit with locals, shop at boutiques, dine in award-winning restaurants or visit the Farmers Market in season.
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Image from Wenatchee/ Columbia River Valley
Springtime Arrowleaf Balsamroot in the Wenatchee Foothills
Lego Building Championship- Nick's Bricks
Mission Ridge's Dummy Downhill
Concert III–
People of Our Past
Bird of the Week: Valley Quail
Both valley (California) quail and mountain quail are found in Washington. Valley quail are by far the more abundant of the two and are found in vast numbers on both sides of the Cascades. Last year was a banner year for Quail in Okanogan Country, so you can spot quite a few this winter. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Trumpeter Swan
Over the years Trumpeter Swans have battled extinction due to hunters and feather collectors decimating the population. In the early 20th century swan feathers were often converted into writing quills, and women used swan skin as powder puffs. As recently as the mid-1900's these birds began to make their recovery, thanks to the help of aggressive conservation. Read More >>>>
Eagles Preparing for Winter
Eagles can be found in every region of the Loop, and winter migration can bring hundreds of birds from Alaska to the local river valleys, like the Skagit, Methow, Wenatchee and Columbia. Depending on the year, migration usually begins in December, and the Skagit Valley Eagle Festival runs weekends in January. When snow begins to melt, most of the eagles head back north, but occasionally a pair will build a nest and set up residence – which can be a wonderful opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures. Read More >>>>
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      Leavenworth Cascade Foothills
      Methow Valley
      North Cascades
      Seattle Northcountry
      Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island
      Stevens Pass Greenway
      Wenatchee Columbia River Valley
      Whidbey Scenic Isle Way
+ Accommodations
+ Dining & Wineries
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