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Run of the River — Inn & Refuge — 800-288-6491

Come to Run of the River Inn and Refuge and enjoy Washington snowshoeing for the first or hundredth time. This is a wonderful activity for a winter vacation, and our state is home to many scenic trails that are a perfect mix of beauty and adventure. Guests enjoy use of complimentary Redfeather snowshoes at the inn. After six steps......you're an expert.

Icicle Ridge Trail. This is a quick drive from the inn. You can park in a well-cleared area. After that, it is up, up, up at a steady, but not killer, incline. The downside to this trail is that you do hear car noise from the valley and the trail needs to have a lot of snow to justify the snowshoes. You can also just put on your boots and take a nice winter walk in the snow on this trail. One mile up is a great view overlooking Leavenworth. Two miles is a good turnout spot, as it is a long way to better views.

Fourth of July Trail. If you want to feel you are "out there," but still fairly close to the inn on a safe trail free of avalanche danger, this trail is for you. Drive from the inn and park at the end of the plowed Icicle Road. You can walk along Icicle Road 3/4 mile to the trail head and up you go. Great views of the Icicle Valley and Mount Cashmere. This is an up and back, so turn around when you've had enough. You can snowshoe back right along the river, negotiating your way along the creek side. You get an interesting contrast of the white snow against the darkness of the water. Fourth of July Trail provides one of the shorter routes to the Icicle Ridge, but you reach the crest in a little more than a mile, straight up.

Tumwater Campground. This is a large National Forest Campground located 10 miles west of Leavenworth, on Hwy. 2 heading to Stevens Pass. Again, there is a large plowed out parking area where no parking pass is needed. You can mosey down to the Wenatchee River and walk through the empty trails of the campground. Very level and surprisingly scenic.

The Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce website also has information about trails, with descriptions, driving directions and maps -- click here.

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