This very cool looking green steel bridge stretches over the Wenatchee River, just east of where the river leaves Lake Wenatchee.
The Wenatchee River is one of the major rivers in the North Central Washington region. It flows out of Lake Wenatchee and provides a lot of benefits to the visitors and residents of the area. From kayaking to fishing, and so much more, there is a lot to enjoy about this scenic mountain river. Here are five fun facts about the very popular Wenatchee River.
-From where it leaves at Lake Wenatchee to where it empties into the Columbia River, the Wenatchee River travels a total of 53 miles.
-The Wenatchee River flows through seven communities: Plain, Leavenworth, Peshastin, Dryden, Cashmere, Monitor, and Wenatchee.
-Prior to 1899, the Wenatchee River served as the border between Kittitas County and Okanogan County. It was at that time that Chelan County was created out of those two counties.
-The Wenatchee River is home to two dams. The Tumwater Canyon Dam west of Leavenworth and the Dryden Dam just outside the town of Dryden.
-From the time it meets the Wenatchee River on the west end of Tumwater Canyon to the point where the river empties into the Columbia River, Highway 2 crosses the Wenatchee River five times.
The Wenatchee River flows from Lake Wenatchee to the Columbia River and along the way passes by and through some scenic little areas. One of those is Tumwater Canyon. Here we see an old metal bridge that now carries a hiking trail across the river and up the shore on the opposite side.
The Wenatchee River flows under this bridge during the winter here near the town of Peshastin.
Here the Wenatchee River flows underneath the Railroad Bridge at the city of Wenatchee right before it empties into the Columbia River.
The Green Bridge, located at the top of Tumwater Canyon, was originally built as a railroad bridge in 1900. In 1936, it was moved to where it spanned the Wenatchee River and converted to a highway bridge. Due to it being declared obsolete and deficient in regards to current bridge standards, a new bridge was built right next to it beginning in the summer of 2011.
Though it had aged quite a bit and was probably not something special to look at for most people, the Green Bridge was somewhat of a local landmark in North Central Washington. Depending on the direction of travel, it was either a sign you were getting close to Leavenworth or a sign that you were leaving civilization behind and what laid ahead was either Lake Wenatchee or Stevens Pass.
The new bridge is open now and it and the connecting highway have improved the travel conditions there immensely. The new bridge is perfect for handling the bigger rigs and oversize loads that travel the highways today. Loads that people 75 years ago never thought could be hauled down the road. For those wanting a walk down memory lane, or a drive to be more correct, here’s an animation from the old Green Bridge.
And here’s a look at it that you may never see again as the metal structure is slated to come down this summer. Here’s the Green Bridge’s frame without the road deck present anymore.
The new bridge is great… but it’s no Green Bridge.
This photo looks up from the Wenatchee River back into Lake Wenatchee where the river starts from. That small island’s official name is Emerald Island and many people visiting Lake Wenatchee State Park boat and float out there to explore it.
This old wood plank bridge crosses the Wenatchee River near the community of Plain, just east of Lake Wenatchee. It is no longer used for traffic, but it can be accessed by bicyclists and pedestrians. It is a real interesting look at a very old bridge.
The Wenatchee River leaves Lake Wenatchee and takes a somewhat winding course towards the Columbia River in the east. One of the more dramatic parts of its run is when it flows through Tumwater Canyon. When the water is high here, the whitewater is particularly impressive. This is a very popular destination for kayakers.