Category Archives: Attractions

10 Places To Go In North Central Washington In 2017

10 Places To Go In NCW In 2017

North Central Washington is a great destination for anyone to visit from around the Pacific Northwest. It has a lot to offer in the world of attractions and destination communities. So many that even local residents can have incredible experiences without even leaving their home region. Visitors coming from outside the area are often struck by experiences and sights that they never thought they’d see.

A new year is upon us and here’s a great look at 10 places you can visit in North Central Washington in 2017 which will help to have the best year ever.

Washington Pass

Washington Pass, high in the North Cascades, is where highway 20 crosses the mountains. The scenery there is amazing, whether in the Spring, Summer, or Fall. The highway there is closed during the Winter due to the significant snowfall. Bring your camera if you plan on driving over Washington Pass.

Conconully, Washington

Conconully is a small community in Okanogan County, wedged between Conconully Lake and Conconully Reservoir. When you visit Conconully, you can check out Conconully State Park and get out on the water there for both recreation and fishing. This really is a beautiful little part of North Central Washington.

Crescent Bar, Washington

Crescent Bar is one of the more popular destinations during the summer months in North Central Washington. It features golf courses, condominiums, restaurants, shops, beaches, campsites, and more. Getting out on the Columbia River there is something that many people head out for year after year.

Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee is a beautiful lake in the Cascade Mountains. It’s home to fishing, waterskiing, boating, swimming, kayaking, and more. You can even go rafting on the Wenatchee River right from where the lake drains out. Lake Wenatchee features a state park on the east end and a campground on the west end. There are vacation homes right there, as well as camping opportunities, or you can stay nearby in the communities of Coles Corner, Plain, and Leavenworth.

Vantage, Washington

Vantage, Washington sits on the Columbia River, on the Kittitas County side, downriver from Crescent Bar and just upriver from the Wanapum Dam. This very cool area of the region shows off great rural scenery and beautiful sights along the river. Some of the attractions within driving distance from there include Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams, the Gorge Amphitheater, Wild Horse Wind Farm, the Beverly Off Road Vehicle Park, and more.

Park and Blue Lakes

Located on Highway 17, just south of Coulee City and just north of Soap Lake, Park Lake and Blue Lake are often overlooked as destinations. Fishing, boating, kayaking, and more are allowed out on the water there and the surrounding scenery is very dramatic. Vacation rentals are available and there are also camping options, including cabin rentals.

Oroville, Washington

When you visit Oroville, Washington you’re visiting one of the northernmost communities in North Central Washington. Oroville is a small rural community but it sits right on the southern shores of beautiful Osoyoos Lake. This lake straddles the border and is found partially in Washington State and partially in British Columbia. This is truly getting away from it all and puts you very close to several attractions that are often never visited by travelers, or even locals for that matter.

Republic, Washington

The town of Republic, Washington is located on Highway 20 in the easternmost portion of North Central Washington. It has a very Old West feel to it and is situated near a great many outdoor recreation options. Getting to Republic is half the fun too as it can lead you up and over Sherman or Wauconda passes, or across Lake Roosevelt via the Keller Ferry.

Banks Lake

Banks Lake is a man made lake made in the upper Grand Coulee and filled with water pumped in from Grand Coulee Dam. Visiting Banks Lake lets you get out on some of the best water in the area. All of the most popular forms of water recreation are available there. You can experience it as part of a stay at Steamboat Rock State Park or also in hotels and vacation rentals in and around Electric City or Coulee City. When there, make sure not to pass up seeing the laser light show that’s played right on the impressive Grand Coulee Dam.

Wellington, Washington

The former townsite of Wellington is located just west of the summit of Stevens Pass. This is the site of deadliest avalanche in United States history. In 1910, a massive snowslide came down the mountain, hitting a train filled with passengers as well as workers for the Great Northern Railway. Visit Wellington today and you’ll find the concrete and stone ruins of former railroad buildings and several historical points of interest. This is also the east end of the Iron Goat Trail and if you follow it just a short distance from the parking lot you’ll soon be walking through abandoned snow sheds once used for protecting trains from further avalanche danger.

North Central Washington is a beautiful area filled with tons of great places to see and experience. Visiting any of the destinations listed above is a great way to have a fun time in this very nice little region of Washington State.

Cheap Trick Is Coming To Wenatchee!

You’ve heard their songs for four decades.

Classics like:

I Want You to Want Me

The Flame

Surrender

Dream Police

Ain’t That a Shame

…and more!

Cheap Trick has sold millions of albums and toured the world multiple times. Now these rock and roll superstars are coming to Wenatchee! Real, live members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

You can check them out too on Monday, April 25th when they play at the Town Toyota Center!

Tickets here —> Cheap Trick Tickets

History and Hiking at Wellington, Washington

Snowshed at Wellington

North Central Washington is known as the home to some of the best hiking in the state. The region is also home to some incredible history, though that is quite a bit more unknown. One destination that can give you a taste of both is the site of a long ago abandoned railroad town called Wellington.

Wellington is located just off Highway 2 on the west side of Stevens Pass. You can reach it by turning off on the north side of the highway on the first opportunity west of the pedestrian bridge at the summit. After following the road for a couple of miles, you will reach the parking lot. Once there, you will find a well developed trailhead, restrooms, and some historical information.

At this site in 1910, 96 people passed away when a massive avalanche came down the hillside and overwhelmed a train that was stuck on the tracks. Some of the deceased were passengers and some were railroad workers. As a way of escaping its past, the town was renamed Tye after the nearby Tye River but it would become abandoned a short time later.

The Iron Goat Trail is accessible from the Wellington parking lot and is the key attraction there. When you take the trail to the east, a short walk will lead you past the remnants and foundations of railroad buildings from long ago. There are markers along the way that describe all that used to be there. At the end of this short walk is the western end to the Old Cascade Tunnel, a tunnel once used to carry the railroad from one side of the Cascade Mountains to the other. Signs warn about the danger of entering the tunnel, but viewing and photographing it from the outside is well worth the trip.

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Taking the trail west from the parking lot is pretty eye opening. This is a longer trail and is popular with through hikers who want to do the entire route which stretches for more than six miles. Along this stretch of the trail are several examples of concrete snowsheds. These snowsheds were built after the Wellington disaster and you can hike right through many of them on paths where once passenger and freight trains came roaring through. This is a look at a real part of railroad history that you cannot easily see anywhere else.

Whether looking for a historical attraction or a chance to get out in the outdoors, Wellington is a good choice. No matter which of the reasons you’re looking to go, you’ll probably find enjoyment in the other too. Wellington is a regional treasure and one that any resident of North Central Washington or visitor coming its way would love to see.

Fun For Everyone At Smallwoods Harvest Near Leavenworth

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Getting the kids out and having a good time is an important job for a parent. In North Central Washington, there are a lot of places you could go to do this. One of the destination attractions that your little ones will really love is Smallwoods Harvest just east of Leavenworth on Highway 2.

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Smallwoods Harvest sits right off the highway and as you pull in you will see bright colored activities that you and your kids can both participate in. There is a huge open grassy area with plenty of picnic tables (bring your own lunch!) and space to run around. There is a cow roping station where kids, and you if you’d like, can practice your roping skills. Tetherball is available in the playground area too. There is also a fenced area for the little ones with all kinds of trikes and ride on toys, as well as a large sand area. On special occasions the stage there will feature the sounds of some local musicians and you may just find a bonfire going in the huge fire pit. Take a walk around and check out the old tractors and farm equipment too.

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The egg factory across the driveway is home to a chicken coop and an opportunity to throw some feed and watch them really go after it. Adjacent to that is the prop maze where you and the little ones can scramble about trying to find your way through a giant maze. Watch out for those dead ends! Next to that is the water balloon slingshot, gold panning, and bouncy house activities. A whole list of things that the whole family will love doing together.

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Back up at the top of the driveway is the main attraction, the Smallwoods Harvest shop. Here you’ll find all sorts of tasty treats ranging from kettle corn to specialty relishes and hot sauces. The list of delicious treats available at Smallwoods is long and ever changing. You can even get yourself one of the best ice cream cones in the area too. This is called Smallwoods Harvest though so you can expect to find all kinds of fresh produce too. From apples and peaches to onions and asparagus, depending on what time of the year it is you can find all you’ll need right there.

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On most days, leaving for rides near the main building is the famous cow train. Kids who go to Smallwoods Harvest repeatedly over the years have grown up riding the cow train. Once buckled up inside their own little cow cars, they are pulled all over the grounds, past many of the attractions, and the giggles of delight can be heard from far away. A ride on the cow train is probably what your child will remember about this fun little stop off the highway the most.

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One special treat remains, and it’s one that parents and kids will both love. Right next to the main building is a petting zoo where you and the little ones can experience feeding miniature cows, llamas, goats, and more right from the palm of your hand. Whether you’re watching the excited looks on your kids’ faces or enjoying petting the animals yourselves, this can really be the highlight of the day.

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Whether you’re looking for something to do in the region or if you’re passing by and needing a place to take a break, Smallwoods Harvest has all that you need to make it a fun day. Your kids will want to come back again and again too. There’s just too much fun available at Smallwoods Harvest.

A Visit To Wellington, Washington

Wellington, Washington?

Where is that?

Well, it’s not as familiar sounding as many of the community names, but Wellington is located just on the west side of the summit of Stevens Pass. This is the original name of a small railroad community that was found there in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Situated right near the old exit point of the original Cascade Tunnel under Stevens Pass, Wellington became nationally famous in 1910 when the deadliest avalanche in American history occurred there. Snow and debris came roaring down the mountain that day, ultimately killing 96 people including both passengers on a train as well as railroad workers clearing snow from the tracks.

All that is left of Wellington now are some old foundations of some of buildings there that were used to service the trains as they entered or exited the tunnel. It is also the eastern trailhead of the Iron Goat Trail, a popular hiking trail in the region. If you visit Wellington today, you can view these old railroad ruins, check out the mouth of the old Cascade Tunnel, and even walk through the remnants of a snowshed that was built in the years following the avalanche as a way of protecting trains and their passengers.

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The old tunnel is a very cool thing to see and gives a great glimpse into history. There are plenty of signs though that warn of how dangerous it is to enter it and it’s recommended visitors listen to those signs. The tunnel is on the National Historic Registry too and getting the opportunity to combine history and nature like this is not always possible. After a visit to the tunnel via a very short path to the east from the parking lot, you can return and head west into the snowshed.

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The snowshed is dark and cool. If you’re going there early or late in the year you’ll want to wear a light jacket even if the sun is shining outside. If you’re traveling with kids, this is where the fun starts. The path is even and straight and there are small wooden bridges over the small areas where runoff water passes through so they can run ahead, sprint back, and burn off plenty of energy.

About halfway through, there is a short side trail that leads outside the snowshed to a viewpoint that details the history behind the avalanche that happened there.

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After that, you return to the snowshed and continue heading west. Along the way, take note of the difference between what’s inside the snowshed and outside of it. Every once in awhile you’ll come across a small pine tree that is unlucky enough to have started its life as a sapling growing up inside a concrete structure. You’ll also see plenty of evidence of the railroad tracks that once ran through the snowshed in the form of old and decaying railroad ties. There are also spots where rebar is becoming visible from inside the concrete supports, roof, and walls. This is a sign that this structure won’t be here forever. Taking the opportunity to see it up close and in person while we can is another reason for visiting it.

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When you reach the end of the snowshed, you’ll see what I think is a look at the whole structure’s future. Here, the trail leads you back outside where you can view a portion of the shed’s decaying process in action. The roof has fallen in and chunks of concrete are hanging in the twisted metal that supports them. You can continue on from there, further on down the Iron Goat Trail, or turn around and return to the parking lot where you started.

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A visit to Wellington is a unique opportunity to stretch your legs in the great outdoors, see a couple of regionally important pieces of history up close and in person, and also learn a good deal about the history of the region. Adults and kids will both enjoy the time they get to spend there.