A fairly easy drive to Leavenworth, Washington will take you to the mountains for enjoyable hiking that is on the eastern side of our state’s mountain range, offering less chance of rain in the summer. Of course, it’s always nice to be able to stay in the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth and enjoy some sausage or schnitzel after a day of hiking, but if you are unable, you can still do some day hikes and drive home afterwards.

Before you depart you can contact the Leavenworth Ranger District at (509) 548-2550 for information regarding various trails, their conditions, lengths, difficulty, etc. For easy day hikes, you could consider several options. The Bygone Byways is considered easy, with a distance of one mile, and lucky you…no permit required. This trail is flat and the directions along the trail easy to follow. You will find a kiosk at the trail’s beginning that gives information about this area as it follows along the original Great Northern Railway route.

Another easy but very long hike (11 miles) is called the Chiwaukum Creek Trail. You do, however, need a permit called the USFS Northwest Trail Pass (available at the Leavenworth Ranger Station). The Ranger Station is a green building on the right side of the main road leading into Leavenworth. You can miss it! This would be hard to complete on a day trip from the Tri-Cities because it will take some six to seven hours to cover. There are no spectacular waterfalls or gorgeous vistas that some hikes offer, but it is a quiet, soft stroll through gorgeous evergreens (Ponderosa and Douglas Fir) so plentiful to the “Evergreen” state of Washington.

At the Eight Mile Lake hike you will see why this is so popular with hikers who venture to the Leavenworth area. Again, this is considered easy, but it is seven miles long and you do need a USFS Northwest Trail Pass. While this trail is labeled “easy”, it’s seven miles long and there’s a lot of uphill climbing. The lake itself is good for swimming, but what’s more intriguing is the surrounding geological sights to take in. There’s a serpentine formation of red rock that is interesting and not frequently seen.

Hidden Lake offers an easy day-hike. It’s only 1.5 miles round trip, so you only would need an hour or two to take the hike. You need to pay a fee at the trailhead for parking and have a USFS Northwest Trail Pass. The lake offers a way to cool off after the hike up, but has a lot of foliage surrounding it, so you have to be careful not to get scratched as you make you way to the water.

If looking for one of the best easy hikes in the Leavenworth regions, Icicle Gorge should be at the top of the list. It’s rated “easy” and is 3.5 miles long. A USFS Northwest Trail Pass is required here also, with a parking fee. It’s a loop that takes hikers along both sides of the Icicle River. There is little elevation gain, with one side of the river that is exposed to the sun boasting a dryer environment and the other deeply forested. This trail lies about 17 miles up Icicle Road out of Leavenworth

The Leavenworth area offers hiking for all levels of hiking. Easy hikes are to be found so even if you won’t be able to enjoy the Bavarian village and all it has to offer for a few day, you can make a drive from the Tri-Cities and enjoy the smell of pine for the day and head back home with no blisters and a day of memories made.

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