Stevens Pass (West Side)
Stevens Pass got its moniker from renowned engineer John Frank Stevens , who was principal in building the Great Northern Railroad and the Cascade Tunnel , a 7.8 mile train tunnel drilled right through the Cascade Mountains from the town of Berne on the east side of the Summit to Scenic on the west side.
As Stevens was responsible for bringing transportation to the region, two young men from Seattle were responsible for realizing a ski area. During the winter of 1937-38 , Don Adams and Bruce Kehr, both avid skiers, set out to construct Stevens Pass Ski Area on Big Chief Mountain and Cowboy Mountain .
Leavenworth (East Side)
The Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth has a rich and diverse history. As with most Pacific Northwest towns and cities, the area was first occupied by Native Americans. The Chinook, Yakima and Wenatchi tribes all peacefully co-existed, hunting and fishing in the valley. Eventually, pioneers in search of gold, fur and fertile land settled, and by 1890 the original town was built and named Icicle. At the end of the century, Great Northern Railroad laid tracks through the town and it was then renamed after Captain Charles Leavenworth- one of the area's first commercial developers and a major stockholder with the railroad. A thriving sawmill, logging and agriculture industry brought the booming population to 5500 by the early 19th century. However, growth came to an abrupt halt when the railroad re-routed their line, bypassing Leavenworth and prompting the closure of the sawmill.
The town struggled to hold on for the next several decades until the community came up with the idea of creating a Bavarian themed village in the 1960's. With absolutely no federal assistance, the town successfully re-invented itself to be the thriving travel destination we now know. Year round festivities make this an exciting and unique place to visit. Learn more about the town, including event calendars on their chamber of commerce site.
|Whitewater Rafting, Float trips and Boating|
The Skykomish River runs swift and wild down the slopes of the Cascades and offers year round rafting, but the best runs are when the snow pack is flowing at it's peak (usually Spring and early Summer). This is considered one of the most challenging runs in the state, and has even been listed as one of the top 10 places to raft in the USA! While the main river has rapids ranging from class III to the infamous class V Boulder Drop, beginners may want to first take a scenic float trip in the lower river, then work up to the North Fork's class III and IV first. There are multiple guide companies that offer a range of trips, but even with a guide you should get to know the river and current conditions. Original daredevil Al Faussett became the only person to ever successfully raft Sunset Falls, a 275 foot chute that drops 104 feet! (H first. Fun fact: in 1926 the e actually did it in a homemade dugout canoe!). PROTECT OUR RIVERS!
The Wenatchee River is one of the 10 most popular whitewater trips in the country, with hot and dry summers and a roller coaster river! It has the largest rapids in Washington State, but is still safe fun for all ages as there are so few obstructions in the river (it's also the state's highest volume raft-able river!) Typical season runs are from April through July. Many love to float from Lake Wenatchee to the Tumwater Campground, but there are plenty of class III + rapids from there on, such as Devil's Eyeball, Drunkard's Drop and the Suffocator. There are many commercial outfitters in this area, but as always, it's a good idea to get to know the river and current conditions first.
Alpine River Runners Adventures (East and West Side): "Since 1994 Alpine Adventures has been an established outdoor recreation leader in Washington State. We're committed to your safety and satisfaction, and boast a perfect safety record. Whether you're out for the day or part of our seven day Cascade Loop Adventure you're in good hands."
Outdoor Adventure Center (East and west side): adventure tours, packages and rentals
LET'S GO TUBING! (East Side): "Affordable, self guided, deluxe float tube rentals for the whole family- even the dog! Enjoy some good old fashioned fun- playing on the river with family and friends, floating, picnicking, bird and wild-life watching and having fun!"
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State extends over 140 miles along the western half of the Cascade Mountains and from Canadian border in the North, to the Mt. Rainier National Park in the South. The forest offers a variety of recreation sites including picnic areas, scenic viewpoints, and hundreds of lakes, rivers and streams.
A few popular hikes to note that are near our west side cabins are the historic Iron Goat Trail, Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene, Deception Falls, Lake Dorothy and the historic Heybrook Tower. If you're looking for a relatively easy hike with little elevation gain, try the trail at Wallace Falls State Park which winds its way along the river, across bridges and has some excellent lookout spots to view the 265 foot falls.
Sunset Falls boasts one of the highest volume waterfalls in the state, no hiking is required to visit the falls. Mysty Mountain Properties is proud to own the only cabin located on the banks of Sunset Falls. For another spectacular hike-free sight, be sure to stop at mile marker 39 and check out popular Eagle Falls (the path is just east, on the south side of the highway- you'll see the lane widen and usually cars parked there). The trail head to Scenic Hot Springs is within walking distance of our Stevens Crest Cabin. Please be sure to go to their site and request permission before enjoying the springs. For information on other area hikes you may want to check out Washington Hiking Adviser or Trails.com.
The Wenatchee National Forest has over 3000 recreational trails, half of them within classified Wilderness. Lake Wenatchee State Park is a 489 acre camping park with over 8 miles of hiking trails, and other popular trails and hikes in this area include the 65 mile long Icicle Trail, the climb up Dirty Face Peak, scenic Nason Ridge and kid friendly Hidden Lake trail. Many other popular hiking areas can be found further southeast in the Leavenworth Ranger District, including Eightmile Lake and Colchuck Lake .If you have some last minute supplies that you need to pick up first, be sure to stop by Der Sportsmann for year round equipment and information.
|The majestic peaks of the North Central Cascades hold some challenging and rewarding climbs. Several Stevens Pass area routes are easily accessible from Hwy 2, such as towering Mt. Index and Mt. Baring. The Index Town Wall is one of the finest granite climbing areas in the state. It was recently under threat of being sold for granite mining operations, but through the Washington Climbers Coalition raised enough to purchase the land and are going to turn it into a climbing park!|
The Skykomish River is one of the most popular rivers in Washington State for many types of fishing where you'll find Winter and Summer Steelhead, Dolly Barden and Coho, Chum and Pink Salmon (Pinks in odd numbered years only). For the best advice and tips, please follow these links to Steelhead University and Gorp.
Season starts June 1st, with a FREE fishing weekend the 2nd full weekend in June. The best fishing months are usually October- December.
WHERE TO BUY GEAR:
All About the Fly in Monroe "you will find great materials, knowledgeable staff, and an awesome space set up for fly tying and custom rod building. "
WHERE TO BUY A LICENSE:
Brett's Guide Service Brett's Salmon & Steelhead Fishing Guide Service offers guiding on the Skagit river, Skykomish river, Snoqualmie river, Snohomish river, Stillaguamish river and the Cowlitz river for Salmon, Steelhead, Humpies, Chum Salmon and Dolly Varden. Brett offers his fishing guide services year 'round and fishes from a 20' Jet boat that fishes up to 5 people very comfortably. Washington fishing guides know where to fish and Brett specializes in fishing for Salmon and Steelhead in this area. Brett is available for Sturgeon year round and is USCG & CPR/First Aid Certified.
WDFW Fishing Rules (check website for updates)
Lewis St. Bridge in Monroe to Wallace River ALL SPECIES - June 1-Nov. 30 - night closure and anti-snagging rule.Dolly Varden/Bull Trout June 1-Feb. 15 Min. size 20". May be retained as part of the TROUT daily limit.All Other TROUT June 1-Feb. 15 Min. size 14". Daily limit 2.Other Game Fish June 1-Feb. 15 Statewide min. size/daily limit.SALMON June 1-July 31 Min. size 12". Daily limit 2 hatchery CHINOOK only.SALMON Sept. 1-Dec. 31 Min. size 12". Daily limit 2 COHO only.
Wallace River to Forks (pertains to Prospector's Bend Cabin, Skykomish Sunrise Cabin, Gold Sky River Cottage). CLOSED WATERS 6/1 8am. 8/1 area 1,500' upstream to 1,000' downstream of Reiter Ponds outlet. ALL SPECIES 8/1 - 11/30: night closure and anti-snagging rule. 8/1 - 2/28: fishing from any floating device prohibited in the area 1,500' upstream to 1,000 downstream of the outlet at Reiter Ponds. DOLLY VARDEN/ BULL TROUT 6/1 - 2/28 Min. size 20". May be retained as part of TROUT daily limit. ALL OTHER TROUT 6/1 - 2/28 Min. size 14". Daily limit 2. OTHER GAME FISH 6/1 - 2/28 Statewide min. size/daily limit. SALMON 9/1 - 12/31 Min. size 12". Daily limit 2, plus 2 additional PINK. Release CHINOOK.
Skykomish River, North Fork from mouth to Deer Falls CLOSED WATERS from 1,000' downstream of Bear Creek Falls to Deer Falls. ALL SPECIES 8/1 - 11/30: night closure and anti-snagging rule. TROUT First Sat in June-Feb 28 Min. size 14". Daily limit 2. OTHER GAME FISH First Sat in June-Feb28 Statewide Min. size/daily limit.
From Deer Falls Upstream All Game Fish First Sat in June-Oct 31. Statewise min. size/daily limit.
Skykomish River, South Fork from mouth to Sunset Falls Fishway (pertains to Sunset Falls Cabin, Rising Sun Retreat, River Rock Cottage, Huckleberry Hideout, Riverside Ranch, Ranch Bungalow, Light in the Woods, Money Creek Lodge, Cedar Sky Cabin and Mysty Mountain Cabin). CLOSED WATERS- from Sunset Falls Fishway to 600' downstream of fishway. ALL SPECIES- 8/1 - 11/30: night closure and anti-snagging rule. TROUT First Sat in June-Feb 28 Min. size 14". Daily limit 2. OTHER GAME FISH First Sat. in June-Feb 28 Statewise min. size/daily limit.
Stevens Pass Ski Resort is one of the Northwest's premier resorts,and is just 15-40 minutes from any Mysty Mountain Property. With a base area elevation of 4,061', the mountain averages 450" of snowfall and features a Terrain Park, night skiing, Nordic Center, ski school, and rentals.
You can also check out the smaller ski area in Leavenworth run by the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club. With a long history running all the way back to 1928, they offer something for all ages including downhill skiing and snowboarding on two groomed hills, a ski jump area, tubing and a Nordic area.
The Mission Ridge Ski Area is just one hour southeast of Leavenworth, and has 36 runs spread over 2000 acres. Since this is on the "sunny side of the Cascades", you'll find plenty of sunshine, dry snow and wide open space.
Stevens Pass Ski Resort (we recommend it, in case your stuff doesn't fit)
Stevens Pass Snowboard Shop in Gold Bar
Der Sportsmann in Leavenworth
Ski Shop at Osprey in Leavenworth
Other Washington ski shops
|Cross Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing|
One of the best and most convenient places for snowshoeing and cross country is Stevens Pass Nordic Center. (It's really located just EAST of the ski resort). They offer lessons, equipment rental, and groomed trails. Check the website for rates, hour, and conditions.
Another excellent place for snowshoeing and cross country skiing at any level is at Lake Wenatchee State Park and Kahler Glen, where they combine over 21 miles of groomed trails, which connect to more trails at the Nason Ridge Sno-Park.
For more advanced terrain in the National Forest, some routes to check out on the east side are Lake Valhalla, or Lanham Lake. The Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce site provides many links to other area trails.
CAUTION: Winter activities like snowshoeing and cross country skiing are riskier trips into the forest, and recommended only for those with experience. Weather can change and it is easy to get lost. Be prepared with emergency supplies and equipment and know what you are doing.Check for avalanche danger and let people know where you are going and when you will be back.
The Steven's Pass Snowboard Shop, located in Gold Bar
Kahler Glen near Lake Wenatchee
Ski Shop at Osprey in Leavenworth
Your local REI store (day of pickup and drop off are FREE)
|Other Winter Activities|
Sledding/ Winter Tubing (Leavenworth area only)
Lake Wenatchee State Park is a designated tubing and snow play area, a perfect place for younger kids to have some snow fun. Check out this great Seattle P.I. article for some first hand accounts. Make sure to get a sno-park permit before you go, and nearby Plain Hardware can supply them as well as sleds or tubes.
Sleigh Rides (Leavenworth area only)
Washington Sled Dog Adventures 360-793-7932$25 per person, 10 miles (60-90 min)
The Wenatchee National Forest has hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails plus un-groomed forest roads are available each winter for snowmobiling opportunities. (Park trail map. or forest dept trail map). Please remember that snowmobiles are NOT permitted on roads still used by conventional vehicles or plowed for logging. Wilderness areas, specific trails, and downhill ski areas are closed to snowmobile use.
Mountain Springs Lodge offers guided tours
59er Diner rents single and double seat snowmobiles for half or full day, complete with helmets and maps. Ride directly from the diner to many beginner and intermediate trails
Leavenworth Power Sports Adventures rents snowmobiles complete with riding gear, and offer free delivery in the Leavenworth area (call to see if they can deliver to you west of the summit)
|Other Summer Activities|
Sillwater Ranch in Sultan: "We offer a 3-4 hour trail ride with a mouth-watering lunch on the most exquisite horseback riding trails that stretch along the Skykomish River and up the beautiful mountains overlooking the Sky Valley. We offer our guests day camps for youths, relaxing day rides with family and friends all in a down home setting on the river that takes you away from the rush of the city. We are home to world class fishing, hunting, hiking, overnight camping and saddle & paddle adventures. We also offer classes in Packing Horses and Mules for the Back Country and trail riding workshops!"
Skyland Ranch in Gold Bar rents horses all year except on Tuesdays. "We also do MOON LIGHT RIDES on the night of the FULL MOON and on the Friday and Saturday BEFORE the full moon each month. We gather at the ranch 2 hours before sunset. (This time, of course, changes each month.) We travel to an overlook where we are able to see both East and West, arriving just as the sun goes down. A hearty meal is served around a bonfire. We then return to the ranch by moonlight."
Icicle Outfitters in Leavenworth offers a full range of horseback outing options. Multiple guided trips leave daily from their stables at Lake Wenatchee State Park, just minutes from all our east side properties. In addition to the summer trail rides from both the Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth stables, Icicle Outfitters also offers pack trips, high lake fishing, hiking trips, fall hunting trips and winter sleigh rides.
Eagle Creek Ranch invites you to discover this historic, four season horse ranch, nestled in the Cascade Mountains just eight miles northeast of Leavenworth. Family owned and operated, and surrounded by the Wenatchee National Forest, they offer unique access to rugged alpine terrain and breathtaking views. Also enjoy a scenic ride on a horse drawn sleighs or wagons. For groups of 15 or more they offer a hearty barbecue buffet. Smaller groups are also welcome to pack their own picnic and use the rustic dining area, free of charge.
If you are coming from the west side of the Cascades, Monroe is the last town where you will find a supermarket. Fred Meyer, Safeway and Albertson's are all on the north side of Hwy 2 as you drive through town.
The Family Grocer in Gold Bar has the best all around grocery selection in Sky Valley. Stop at the General Store in Index for a basic mini-mart selection of food, but be sure to try any of the owner's home baked goods! If you are staying higher in the mountains, The Skykomish Liquor and Deli (locally known as "The Sky Deli") offers a small selection of deli items such as meat and cheese, as well as a few canned and boxed goods, and the only liquor store in the area except the liquor store in Sultan.
The Sky Valley has many excellent local family owned dining establishments!
Paoli's Pizza & Subs (DELIVERY TO ALL OUR GOLD BAR CABINS!)
Sultan Bakery (Popular traveler's stop, breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Buzzard's Breath BBQ (award winning!)
Celestial Coffeehouse & Kreations (501 Main St, must-see and eat handmade chocolates, breakfast pastries and lunch items also available)
Alpen Drive In (Shakes, halibut & chips & burgers, outdoor seating)
La Hacienda (Family Mexican Restaurant & Cantina, super friendly staff, lounge and pool tables)
Mountain View Diner (Home style family dining, homemade soups & desserts)
Zeke's Drive-In (Pizza, burgers, dogs & shakes, Ostrich burgers too! Inside & Outdoor seating, award winning!)
Mt. Index Cafe (American diner menu, lounge, incredible view!)
Espresso Chalet (Fun stop for everyone with chainsaw Big Foot carvings everywhere and a large field for kids and dogs to stretch their legs! Usually open until 8pm, incredible selection including hemp milk and 60 types of chocolate!
Sky Deli (Deli sandwiches loaded, using great produce and meats. Breakfast sandwiches, grilled Paninis, burgers, ice cream and a small deli case selection. Also a few isles of grocery goods such as milk, soup etc, and a liquor store.)
Cascadia Inn & Lounge (Classic home style food, lounge)