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On The Loop: Wenatchee & Columbia River Valley

Follow the Wenatchee River as it winds its way through 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. While the area has traditionally been known for the apples it grows, it also yields some pretty tasty wine grapes and a huge variety of produce as well. 

Continue on Highway 2 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. Stop by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Information Center and Tasting Room to get personalized guidance for local activities and of course, sample local wines! Pybus Public Market is a community gathering spot and the permanent home of the Wenatchee Valley Farmers Market, boutique shops and family-owned and operated restaurants. Shop and dine at Pybus or go for a walk on the adjacent riverfront which links more than 25 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 its 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 foothills 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, rated for skill and accessibility. Riverfront Rock Gym offers year-round access to indoor rock climbing for beginners — rental gear and lessons are available — to experts just looking for a cool place to “run some laps” on the wall.

Winter draws alpine skiers and snowboard enthusiasts to neighboring Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, a short 12 miles out of town. The locals are sensitive to wildlife migratory needs during this time of year, so be sure to check in with cdlandtrust.org for information regarding seasonal trail closures before heading out for a quick snowshoe.

And for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to capture all of their memories, sign up for photography or videography classes with Voortex Productions!

Continue your journey toward Entiat stopping at Rocky Reach Dam Discovery Center and Museum of the Columbia for a quick stretch of the legs. Explore the property’s manicured gardens, let the kids get the wiggles out on the playground--this is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic! Note that the Discovery Center and Museum of the Columbia will be closed until 2021 as the facility undergoes a major update--we are all super excited for this destination's "Grand Reopening" and we'll keep folks posted via social media.

Continue north to the small town of Entiat. Stop along the river at Entiat City Park, which is complete with beach access, a boat launch, restrooms and camping. A little farther 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.

The next region: Lake Chelan Valley

Wenatchee Valley & Entiat Visitor Services

Current Conditions

WSDOT Traffic Conditions & Cameras

Weather

Heritage & HIstory

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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Apples

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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Winter

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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HIking

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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Climbing

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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Wildlife

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

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