Community, Explore, Family Time in Wenatchee, Living Wenatchee, Tourism

Three Ways to Stay Active this Winter in Wenatchee

With nearby snowshoeing, downhill skiing and a world-class climbing gym, Wenatchee is an easy target for those looking to stay active this winter. Whether you’re looking for a place to burn off some of the Bavarian sweets you found in Leavenworth or spend a day adventuring indoors, there is plenty to explore in this quaint, Central Washington town.

Downhill Skiing at Mission Ridge

Open seven days a week, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort has 2,000 acres of trails and is only 12 miles from town. With a 2,250-foot elevation drop and runs for almost every level of skier and boarder, it’s the ideal getaway in the depths of the winter season. Known for its dry, light snow (the result of more than 300 days of sun), the resort attracts powder junkies from all over the region and also touts some beautiful backcountry for the more rugged adventurer.

In addition to traditional skiing and boarding, Mission Ridge also has multiple terrain parks, all of which are kid-friendly. The mountain also hosts a variety of events throughout the ski season, ranging from its annual Christmas celebration to live music on the mountain. The resort even teams up with Badger Mountain Brewing to cart snow down to the city for its Rails and Ales event each February.

Bouldering (or Belaying) at the Riverfront Rock Gym
On the days when the weather is too rough to handle (or when you simply need a break from the cold), Wenatchee’s state-of-the art rock gym offers more than 14,000 square feet of climbing space. Whether you’re an avid climber, casual “boulderer” or complete newbie, the gym’s friendly atmosphere and comprehensive fitness facilities make it a great place to spend the day while still getting a workout in.

Day passes, monthly memberships and weekly classes are all available as well as ongoing special events, including “Boulders and Brews” on Thursday nights and the “Geezer Gathering” for seniors each Tuesday morning. The Last Pitch Café is also a charming place to grab a bite to eat or sip on an espresso while you wait for the weather to turn.

Hiking (or Snowhoeing) a Local Trail

Even in the middle of winter, downtown Wenatchee often only gets just a dusting of snow, making it easy (and enjoyable) to tackle trails in the surrounding area. The most well-known of these is Saddle Rock – a 2-mile day hike with a network of trails and a rugged, rocky summit that makes for great photos. The Clara and Marion Lakes route is a fairly easy, year-round hike while Burch Mountain to Eagle Rock is slightly steeper and more exposed, though both average about three miles roundtrip. For a longer journey, consider the Ancient Lakes hike in the Potholes Region just south of town.

If you’d prefer something closer and less strenuous, the Apple Capital Loop Trail is a paved, multi-use route that circles town and is great for a brisk, midday stroll. Close to Mission Ridge, visitors can also go snowshoeing along the Pipeline Trail – a single-track route with beautiful views of the Wenatchee Valley. As with the hikes, make sure to check snow and road conditions in advance.

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Jerri Barkley