The Icicle Gorge Trail is nestled in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Leavenworth, WA. It is a 4 mile loop trail with little elevation changes, and gorgeous views. Following the trail, I soon encountered the sun poking through tall lodgepole pines. Lighting the path in patches, I continued to follow the sun dappled trail. Ahead, I catch a glimpse of the Icicle Creek Bridge, and hear the rushing water . Stopping for pictures, the roaring water drowns out all sound around you. Standing on the bridge, you can see the gorge carved by the roaring water and get a sense of its power.
Next the trail winds through a swampy area with moss hanging from cedar tress. Trillium was abundant in this section, reminding me of the woods of Pennsylvania.
As the path continues, you emerge from the swamp and begin to catch glimpses of both Icicle Creek and the snow covered mountain tops in the Alpine Lake Wilderness. Wildflowers were abundant and the orange Indian Paintbrush stood out among the brown trails.
A small campground is soon encountered, with picnic tables and water available. For a small fee, this is a perfect spot to stop and rest and enjoy the view. Leaving the clearing, the trail becomes more wooded and the sun pokes through the leaves above creating a light green canopy.
The last section of the loop follows Icicle Creek closely, allowing you to look behind you through the gorge for glimpses of mountain peaks. Encountering few people prior to this section, I now passed hikers heading in the opposite direction from the one I had taken. It was a beautiful sunny day, and a great walk through the woods of Washington.
by Diane Moore
photos by Diane Moore