Take to the Ridge

Field Report 20160701SH

Topic: Icicle Ridge Trail
Conditions: Sub-alpine, surprisingly close to Leavenworth


COMMENTS: From the top of the Icicle Ridge, you can see the Wenatchee Mountains trundling across the horizon. They look like enormous peaks of dough folded over your grandmother’s hands. You think of time as something different from this high place—a slow-acting but completely persuasive force. You see yourself as not even a speck among the hills, and you are glad for it. This perspective is hard to hold in town.

Upon setting out, the tips of your ears are cold, but soon the exertion warms you. The two-mile hike to the saddle of the ridge of is uphill the whole way, but the views of the valley, of red roofs standing out against green pastures, is pastoral. You feel like you are in Switzerland, or even further away than that.

KEY FEATURES: You don't have to travel far from L-Town to earn your views. A 1.4-mile drive down Icicle Road at the west end of town delivers you to the trailhead. Be ready to remove layers as you sweat.

RECOMMENDATIONS: After your afternoon jaunt, gaze on the ridge you just descended from Fresh Burger Café, or celebrate with a full-bodied red from Icicle Ridge Winery. Or a Bootjack IPA from Icicle Brewing Company. Or all of the above; choices are hard.

-Summer Hess


photos: Kristina N. Kielbon (ridge) and Summer Hess (town)