With sunshine and pleasant temperatures forecasted for the weekend and with flowers bursting like popcorn in the surrounding hills, here’s our list of outings you should tick off soon:
• Hike, run, or mountain bike the Sage Hills. Start at the Horse Lake Trailhead about 3 1/2 miles up Horse Lake Road in the Wenatchee foothills and follow one of several loops ranging from 1 to 9 miles in length. This time of year the balsamroot glows like planted sunlight.
• Hike Sauer Mountain. This 5 1/2-mile roundtrip trail between Peshastin and Leavenworth offers one of the valley’s most popular springtime hikes. Right now the wildflowers are an explosion of color. Note: the trail is closed to bikes.
• Rock climb at Sam Hill and Trundle Dome. These crag near the bottom of the Icicle River Canyon immediately west of Leavenworth have normal-mortal and hardman routes on solid, east-facing granite walls. An added bonus: The walk to both crags is a beautiful wildflower walk.
• Kayak or raft Wenatchee River whitewater. Early in the week, water levels on the ‘playboat’ portion of the river between Peshastin and Cashmere were averaging 5,500 cfs (Monitor gauge). This is a fun level to get your head into the boating season ahead. The flowers lining the river are gorgeous, too.
• Road ride through the orchards near Wenatchee on one of the Monitor bike loops. Some of the fruit trees are still blooming and the hills bordering the orchard roads are flaming with flowers. Break up the ride with some calorie loading at the Anjou Bakery — after all, the reason most of us ride is to eat.
Did we happen to mention that all the blooming beauty around us right now has made us just a bit gaga?
Andy Dappen is the content editor of WenatcheeOutdoors.org, the foremost website about outdoor adventures within an hour’s drive of the Wenatchee Valley. For written details and topographic maps of all these trips, visit WenatcheeOutdoors.org and open the appropriate ‘Guidebook.’ Now a question for you: What’s your favorite outing (hike, ride, run, paddle, climb) this time of year? Visit WenatcheeOutdoorsForum.org and, at the appropriate forum, join the conversation.