Winter Fun in Leavenworth, WA

Winter Fun In Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington is a winter sports and recreation destination. The village provides easy access to world-class alpine ski and snowboard resorts, both groomed trail and back-country Nordic skiing and other winter activities. You'll enjoy family-oriented activities and festivals from November through March. The setting is magical. The village of Leavenworth has been described as a living snow-globe.

Located on the east slope of the central Cascade Mountain Range, Leavenworth is a village of less than 2000 year-round residents. In the mid-sixties Leavenworth, then a dwindling logging town, began the transformation that made it the Bavarian themed village you see today. Its elevation, only 1200', makes it a perfect base for enjoying all the outdoor activities your family loves. Winter daytime temperatures average 28°. Dress in several light layers and have hats and gloves handy.

Christmas Lighting
Leavenworth is part of the North Cascades Scenic Loop, consistently named one of the country's most scenic drives. US Highway 2 is the main route to Leavenworth, both from the west through Stevens Pass and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and from the east via the Columbia Gorge and Wenatchee fruit country. You can also arrive in Leavenworth via I-90, taking US-97 from Cle-Elum and Blewett Pass. Check out our Getting Here page for more route information and links to resources such as the Washington Department of Transportation. Check out their Winter Driving page for really good information on being prepared. Be sure you're connected and up-do-date with the latest weather and pass reports especially during winter driving.

Stevens Pass announces 2013-2014 opening day is November 16.

You'll need a place to stay in Leavenworth or the surrounding area. Fortunately, Leavenworth has hotels, motels, cabins, condominiums and bed and breakfast inns to fit every taste and budget. Stay in the heart of the village along Front Street or off the beaten path in a cabin along the Wenatchee River or Icicle Creek. Many hotels have ski and stay packages, especially in January and February.

Hotels with Ski and Stay Packages:
Icicle Inn
Sleeping Lady

Sledding Hill
Two of Leavenworth's many festivals take place in December and in January. The Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth brings families from Washington State and all over the Pacific Northwest to the village every year. Leavenworth's Bavarian theme and mountain setting make it the perfect place to capture the magic of the Christmas season. There's a Christmas parade and on Saturday and Sunday evening each weekend of the festival, the many thousands of sparkling lights are lit as everyone gathered on Front Street joins in singing Silent Night. The festival takes place over three weekends in December. Family fun during the festival includes live music at the Gazebo and Christmas characters such as Santa and Mrs. Claus, St. Nicklaus and Woody Goomsba, the town's Nutcracker mascot. Enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of the season. Read more on our Christmas Lighting Festival page.

If you're in Leavenworth for the Christmas Lighting Festival, make plans to take in a show. The Leavenworth Summer Theater stages a Christmas musical on the weekends of the Festival. In 2012 the Christmas production is A Christmas Carol.

Wenatchee River
In January plan your trip around the Bavarian IceFest. In late January Leavenworth celebrates winter with family friendly activities, children's games and fireworks. The festival includes snow sculpting, an ice cube scramble and a Smooshing contest. (You'll have to read the website for a description!) Cheer from the sidelines or compete for prizes.

During your winter trip to Leavenworth book a sleigh ride for more family memories. Several outfitters and lodges offer sleigh rides.

Other festivals during the winter months include Christkindlmarkt, Wine and Chocolate Festival and Carnival Day.

Check out the Accidental Bavarian Events Calendar and TNBT (The Next Big Thing) for other activities and community events during your visit.

Winter Fun In Leavenworth

Tubing Hill
Winter is filled with sports and outdoor activities. The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club is sports central for tubing, snowshoeing, Nordic and Alpine skiing and even ski jumping. Leavenworth is home to the US west coast's only ski jump hill. The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club has ski-jumping lessons. There's are 15' and 27' jumps. Enjoy affordable and family friendly alpine skiing and snow boarding at the Leavenworth Ski Hill. The Ski Hill is a great venue for beginners and families. Nordic skiing is available on 26 km of groomed trails in four areas in Leavenworth. There are even 5 km of lighted trails for evening fun.

Snowshoeing enthusiasts have several opportunities in the area. The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club has three trails for shoeing and the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery offers free wildlife snowshoe tours, beginning December 31. Call the Hatchery for more information and for the required reservations.

Leavenworth has a long and rich winter sports heritage, and now ice skating is coming soon to Leavenworth! The city and supporters are well on the way to building a large outdoor skating rink on the east end of downtown. Once completed, the Leavenworth Pavilion and Ice Rink will host outdoor skating, hockey and curling from November through March. In the spring and summer months the Pavilion will be the location for the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market, family picnic breaks and for performing arts.

If your family is passionate about downhill skiing and snowboarding in excellent conditions, you've got to check out the world-class mountain resorts within easy driving distance of Leavenworth. Stevens Pass Winter Resort is a 45 minute drive from Leavenworth and now Leavenworth Shuttle & Taxi is providing daily shuttle service. Reservations for the round-trip fare are required. Stevens Pass Winter Resort is over 70 years old and has ten lifts, over 1100 acres of ski terrain. Check out their website for condition reports, hours of operation, lift prices and some of the coolest videos around. The website has great safety and first aid information too.

Stevens Pass also offers great Nordic Skiing. The quieter side of winter sports, the Stevens Pass Nordic Center is your home for cross-country skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing on scenic, historic trails. The Center has lessons, equipment rental and refreshments.

A little further afield, Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort is 22 miles from Leavenworth. Mission Ridge delivers bright, sunny days, dry powder and 36 mountain runs with 2,250 vertical drop. The Ridge gets 300 days of sunshine per year. In 2012 Mission Ridge has added a new terrain park to its B.24 Terrain park Nastar Park expands the resort's commitment to offering the best in freestyle boarding. Be sure to review the safety information and the other informative videos on the website.

Christmas Shops
There's no better winter shopping than right here in Leavenworth. Do all your Christmas shopping right in the Christmasiest town you'll ever visit. Leavenworth has great shopping all year-round. You'll find collectibles, designer clothes, outdoor recreation equipment, Christmas decorations, gourmet food and wine and fine chocolate in shops all within a few blocks of each other. Visit Kris Kringl year-round for Christmas decor and collectibles from many designers. The Oil & Vinegar Cellar has flavor infused gourmet aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Leavenworth Boutiques, made up of several distinct but connected shops, has home decor, designer clothing and gift items. We never leave Leavenworth without stopping at the Cheesemongers Shop for gourmet imported and local cheese, cured meats and wines and ales. The Wenatchee Valley area is home to many vineyards, wineries and cider presses. There are tasting rooms all up and down Front Street. You can also book a wine-tasting tour and be driven in comfort and safety to wineries and vineyards throughout the area.

Leavenworth is the next great winter resort town. Discover it early. Make lasting family memories in this unique winter village.

In every man's heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.

-- Christopher Morley


Winter Activities

Sleigh Rides

Icicle Outfitters - The free shuttle can pick you up at the Visitor Center or your hotel/motel. Their hospitality area is warm with drinks and cookies.

Eagle Creek Ranch

Red Tail Canyon Farm


Come to the Tube Hill or relax in the historic Ski Lodge with a cup of hot cocoa. The Tube Hill opened December 27.

Cross Country Skiing

The Leavenworth Winter Sports Club opened the Tumwater Canyon trails on December 27.

Stevens Pass Nordic Center

Downhill Skiing

The Leavenworth Ski Hill Big Rope Tow opened for skiing and snowboarding December 27.

Stevens Pass

Mission Ridge

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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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