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Tumwater Pipeline Trail

Central Cascades

Location

Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - East
View map below

Length

2.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 100 ft.
Highest Point: 1400 ft.

Rating

3.50 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Just west of the town of Leavenworth, the Tumwater Pipeline Trail offers a lovely riverside ramble at any time of year. Enjoy the high waters and flowers blooming in spring, photograph vivid color in fall, and try out your snowshoes in winter. Whatever the season, this is a beautiful, short walk for those looking for something easy and quick.

Beginning from the large parking area just west of Leavenworth, head for a large iron bridge. This originally guided a pipeline across the river crashing below; now it guides hikers to the other side of the whitewater. Be wary though – often the bridge collects water after periods of heavy rain.

Once across, it’s a languid stroll upriver. Cottonwoods and pines line your route, and small critters and birds flit about, keeping you company. Seeing the river from this side offers a new perspective. You’ll be up close and personal with the sheer cliffs that are visible from the highway, and right along the riverside.

If it’s a hot summer day, you may be tempted to jump in and cool off, but think twice! Derived from Chinook jargon meaning strong water, the river is truly mighty. Would-be swimmers beware – the current can sweep even the strongest downstream. Luckily, about a half mile in, you’ll encounter a seasonal creek. This can be a trickle in late summer, or a refreshing creek as the snow melts in spring. Better to cool off here, than in the nearby river it feeds.

Continuing on, the trail meanders along the Tumwater for 0.7 more miles, before dead-ending at a cliff face. Across the way, take a peek at Castle Rock, a locale favored by climbers. Can you see any enterprising people scrambling around?

 

Tumwater Pipeline Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5871, -120.7076 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - East

Tumwater (#218)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Central Cascades (Romano -- Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Leavenworth No. 178

Getting There

Drive east on Highway 2 for a little less than 98 miles to the trailhead, which is just off the Highway to your right between mileposts 97 and 98.

Coming from Leavenworth, you'll drive west on Highway 2 just two miles to the trailhead, just past milepost 98. The parking area can hold only about eight cars.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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Tumwater Pipeline Trail

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