We’re in December now, so of course I had to go on another snow hike this weekend. My friend and I packed our bags and headed off to Leavenworth for a couple of days to see the tree lighting and eat brats. Although we were certainly looking forward to enjoying the town, we were equally excited to explore Icicle Gorge, which is one of the more popular trails in the Leavenworth area. Since it was so cold and we wanted to be back in town by noon, we did the short version of this already-short hike, just going a mile out to the overlook and turning around from there. The Icicle Gorge trailhead was only 15 miles from our Airbnb, but it took much longer to drive to the parking lot than we expected–the 24° weather kept Icicle Road slick in places, and the last few miles to the trailhead were fairly bumpy. We saw two coyotes on the drive up, although they were skittish and ran quickly into the forest. Since there was only one car in the lot when we arrived around 9:30AM, we had the trail mostly to ourselves for the short hike.
We started by taking the left fork of the loop, down the very well-maintained trail to the bridge the the picture below. Someone clearly put a great deal of money and time into making this trail nice– there are clean, metal railings along the sides of the sloping path, and there are several informative signs explaining the different wildlife in the area.
We quickly reached the bridge, and stopped to take pictures of the gorgeous snow-filled views of the spectacularly green Icicle Creek. Icicles clung to the rocks, even in the middle of the creek, and moss hung like icicles from the trees along the trail. We continued on just a little further to the outlook, which was nice and quiet, but not as breathtakingly beautiful as the view from the bridge.
Although we didn’t hike the entire loop, I’m confident that the rest of this hike is equally gorgeous and I hope to come back when it isn’t so cold. This outing was the perfect way to get a taste of the nature surrounding Leavenworth, and I’ll definitely be back someday for more.