Getting to Leavenworth, WA

Getting Here by Car

Leavenworth, Washington is an easy day's drive from most major metropolitan areas in the Pacific Northwest.

From Seattle

Highway 2 is the scenic route, but in the winter, check the weather on Stevens Pass before you leave.
Via I-90 is an alternate route, particularly when coming from east or south of Seattle.

From Seattle east to Leavenworth, US Highway 2 delivers another beautiful drive. US 2 follows the original route of the Great Northern Railroad. Dotted along the route between Monroe and Leavenworth you'll find small communities like Gold Bar, Index and Baring. The antique shopping along the way is great. Stop at Zeke's Drive-In in Index for a great roadside meal. The picnic area has lots of tables and the milkshakes are yummy.

From Spokane

Highway 2 is the scenic route, but is 2-lane highway.
I-90 is a more direct route, and provides a better road.

We really enjoy the drive west on US Highway 2 from the Spokane area. It's a lovely drive through wheat fields and small farming communities. Stop at Edna's in Davenport for a hand-dipped milkshake. In summer and fall there are fruit stands and farm stores along the route. The US 2 Route is a few miles shorter than the I-90 route and will get you to Leavenworth in about the same time. The road is scenic and interesting. Another great stop is Dry Falls Interpretive Center just west of Coulee City. Dry Falls is a scenic area of great geological importance. You'll find out about the Great Missoula Flood here. At the interpretive center you'll see fossil relics, pre-history displays and archeological artifacts from local native tribes. It's a fascinating area and always worth a stop for 30-45 minutes.

Alternate I-90 Route

I-90 is the alternative route from either Seattle, west of Leavenworth or from Spokane or Moses Lake, east of Leavenworth. From I-90 you'll have to go north either through Quincy via SR 281 and 28, or on US 97 from Cle Elum. With either route, US 2 or I-90 be sure you check with Washington Department of Transportation for road conditions, possible construction delays and other great resources like pass reports. You can subscribe to pass report emails and get updates on your smart phone. On a trip this past winter we did this. It allowed us to alter our route and avoid a 4 hour delay on Snoqualmie Pass. Check out the Washington State Department of Transportation Winter Driving FAQ's. Subscribe to the department's Twitter feed (@WSDOT) for updates and links to travel information.

By Train

If driving isn't your thing or winter driving is too intimidating, Amtrak has service to Leavenworth. Avoid icy winter roads and travel by train. Fares are very reasonable, about $85 roundtrip Spokane-Leavenworth, $50 roundtrip Seattle-Leavenworth. Only a few hours and you'll arrive in Leavenworth at the new Icicle Station. The westbound train arrives at 6:10 am. The eastbound Empire builder arrives at 8:15 pm. For transportation from the station to the village, make arrangements with your hotel or innkeeper or call Leavenworth Shuttle and Taxi at 509.548.7433. They'll pick you up at the station and deliver you to your hotel in the village for only $5 per passenger.

If you'd like to travel to the Christmas Lighting Festival just for the day and want a unique experience, check out the Alki Tours Leavenworth Snow Train. Each Saturday during the festival, the only daylight train leaves West Seattle for the the ride to Leavenworth. The ride up includes a continental breakfast and live entertainment, including strolling musicians and magicians. You'll arrive in Leavenworth at about 12:30 pm, leaving plenty of time to explore the village, get some lunch and do some Christmas shopping before the Lighting Ceremony at dusk. After witnessing the village come alive with the magical Christmas lights. After the ceremony return to the train and enjoy a catered dinner and more live entertainment. Get all your questions answered at the Alki Snow Train website.

From Canada

From Vancouver, take I-5 to Hwy 2. In the winter, check the weather on Stevens Pass before you leave.
Driving to Leavenworth via the North Cascades Highway is beautiful, but the road is typically only open from May until mid-November. This is a much longer drive. Be sure to check with http://dot.wa.gov for closure information before you go.

From Portland

There are three ways to get to Leavenworth from Portland. All take about the same amount of time.
Take I-5 north, then I-90.
Take I-5 north, then Hwy 2.
Take I-84 east, then US-97.

From anywhere else

Create your own directions to Leavenworth.

 

What's It Look Like Right Now in Leavenworth?

Check out these webcams:

Downtown Leavenworth
(operated by Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce)

Click here to open a window with a live Leavenworth Wa Webcam!

Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass West Summit

Mountain Home Lodge

Mountain Home Lodge

Icicle Village
Click for a larger web cam image of the Junction web cam at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth Washington

Trains, Planes and Automobiles

By Train
As of September 25, 2009, Amtrak began providing service directly to Leavenworth at the new Icicle Station.
Amtrak also provides train service to Wenatchee, 25 miles away.
Also available is the Alki Tours Leavenworth Snow Train

By Plane
Pangborn Memorial Airport in Wenatchee is only 25 miles away.
Alaska Airlines provides multiple flights daily from Seattle, Spokane, and Portland.

Sea-Tac International Airport (SEA) (Seattle). Fly into Sea-Tac airport south of Seattle and rent a car or take the train or bus to Leavenworth.

By Automobile (or bus)
Multiple agencies provide rental cars from Pangborn Memorial Airport.
Trailways provides daily bus service from Seattle and Spokane. 800/366-3830
Link Transit provides approximately hourly service Monday through Saturday from Wenatchee to Leavenworth. 509/662-1155

Traffic Alerts

It's always a good idea to see if there are any traffic alerts before you travel. Here are traffic alerts for Central Washington, courtesy of the Washington Department of Transportation.

Current Weather

Current weather in Leavenworth, WA courtesy of Weather.com.


A Walking Song

Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A suden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone.
Tree and flower and leaf and grass,
Let them pass! Let them pass!
Hill and water under sky,
Pass them by! Pass them by!

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.
Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe,
Let them go! Let them go!
Sand and stone and pool and dell,
Fare you well! Fare you well!

Home is behind the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We'll wander back to home and bed.
Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
Fire and lamp, and meat and bread,
And then to bed! And then to bed!

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

--JRR Tolkien

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Accidental Bavarian meets tourism needs for the Leavenworth, Washington area, including Chelan County communities along US Highway 2: Peshastin, Cashmere, Lake Wenatchee and Stevens Pass.

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