A Leavenworth Adventure - Camping, Climbing, Coffee

An image of Bridge Creek Campground, featuring the bridge, the creek, AND the campground! Photo courtesy of  Thayne Tuason.

An image of Bridge Creek Campground, featuring the bridge, the creek, AND the campground! Photo courtesy of Thayne Tuason.

This week I had the pleasure of exploring a place in Washington that I had heard about for many years, but never had the chance to actually visit. Leavenworth, Washington is a popular tourist destination and is well known among Washington natives. People are attracted to the town of Leavenworth itself, a town modeled after a Bavarian village, complete with rustic German style architecture, beer gardens, and reindeer farm. I found the themed town to be charming, but my friends and I were just passing through. Although many tourists visit just for the quirky town itself, Leavenworth is also renowned among hikers, mountain bikers, rock-climbers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts of all types. The landscapes that surround the area are simply magnificent, offering stunning views just about everywhere you look. I quickly learned that the higher up in elevation you go, the prettier the views get.

View from high up above Icicle Creek. Photo Courtesy of  Thayne Tuason

View from high up above Icicle Creek. Photo Courtesy of Thayne Tuason

My friends and I had very little experience between us with the Leavenworth area, so we spend a while driving through nearby icicle canyon to scout out possible places to camp. Eventually we settled on Bridge Creek Campground, a pretty little spot not too far from where we planned to rock climb the next day. Just under 10 miles outside of Leavenworth down Icicle Creek Road, this campground is just a few minutes drive away from many of the areas most popular trails, making it an ideal base-camp for discovering more about what great things the area has to offer. The camp itself is right by the beautiful Icicle Creek, and the sights and sounds of a crystal clear river is always a welcome addition to any camp-site if you ask me.

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The campground has six sites that are first come first serve, and one group site that you can reserve. The fee is $20 per night for 1 car, and 10 additional dollars for each extra car. There are restrooms and potable water available, which are a nice convenience. However, the campsites are all fairly close together, so if you are looking for complete privacy you may want to check out some other options. Because of its central location this campsite gets a lot of use, so if it's full you may check out 8-mile campground just a few minutes back down the road toward Leavenworth.

After spending the evening eating chili, playing cards, and enjoying each other's company, we left to our respective tents for the night. In the morning, we packed up our climbing gear to go out and put our hands on some of the beautiful rock we had heard so much about. We had a fantastic time bouldering and lead-climbing at nearby mad meadows and playground point, a crag that offers breathtaking views of the whole valley whether you decide to climb there or not. On the way out around mid morning-we stopped into town to grab coffee at J5 Coffee, a nice, simple to-go cafe who poured us a mean cold brew to wake us up for the drive home.

In my short time visiting Leavenworth, I only got to experience a tiny taste of all that the area has to offer. If nothing else, my trip just opened my eyes to a whole new area that's on my list to spend more time exploring! If you'd like to visit Bridge Creek Campground, or if you'd like to see more recreation spots in the area, click the map below!

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Click theimage to see a recreation map of Bridge Creek Campground!

Click theimage to see a recreation map of Bridge Creek Campground!

Ian Floyd