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On The Loop: Wenatchee & Columbia River Valley

Follow the Wenatchee River as it winds through orchard-lined Sleepy Hollow and descend into the Wenatchee Valley, 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, pears, and cherries 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, and Art on the Avenues’ impressive collection of outdoor public art. Stop by the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center and Tasting Room to get personalized guidance for local activities and sample local wines, craft beers and handmade ciders! 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 that constitute the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail. It crosses two bridges and circles both sides of the Columbia River.

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 in the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers. Visit cdlandtrust.org for detailed foothills trail information and maps.

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.

Next, head across the bridge to East Wenatchee. This community is home to Pangborn Memorial Airport, car rental services, lodging, shopping, dining, a Scottish links-style golf course, and award-winning wineries.

When you’re ready to continue along the Cascade Loop, head back across the river and stop at Ohme Gardens. Build a couple of hours into your schedule to explore the alpine flora. This is an amazing place to snag photos of the entire valley. Next, head toward Rocky Reach Discovery Center! Stretch your legs and explore the property’s manicured gardens and plan to enjoy a leisurely picnic! The museum has undergone a major renovation as of late with really exciting changes in store. The indoor facility is closed until its grand reopening late summer 2021—stay tuned!

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 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.

The next region: Lake Chelan Valley

Wenatchee Valley & Entiat Visitor Services

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Your Wenatchee Valley & Entiat Adventure

Wildlife & Birding
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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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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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Ohme Gardens

Spend a couple hours walking through this impeccably manicured alpine garden overlooking the Wenatchee Valley.

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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

Upcoming Events

Stories and Trip Ideas

Photographers Paradise
10/24/2022
The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway spans the east and west sides of Washington State's Cascade Mountain Range, and photo opportunities along the route are varied and spectacular, covering all interests… Read More >>>>
Geocache Your Way Around The Loop!
10/19/2022
Geocaching is kinda like a family-friendly treasure hunt! There are a variety of types of Geocaches from large containers like ammo cans or plastic containers (snap-lock-type) to small magnets stuck… Read More >>>>
Salmon Viewing Locations on the Loop
10/01/2022
Fall marks the season when Salmon can be seen in the waterways along the Cascade Loop. Check this list for some of our favorites! Read More >>>>
Filmed on the Cascade Loop
6/09/2022
When you are surrounded with the kind of beauty we have on the Cascade Loop, its not surprising that movie crews have been coming to the area for years to… Read More >>>>
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