Photo: Swimming in the Enchantments. Even on a blistering day, that will cool you off.

Heatwave Escapes
by Andy Dappen

It’s sizzling out there. And the forecast doesn’t show much relief for the week ahead. What do you expect – it’s summer in the Wenatchee Valley?

IMG_5570[1]A normal human tendency would be to estivate in a cool basement for a few weeks until the mercury starts dropping, but that’s so, well, lazy. Push through the heat-induced stupor and use these ten strategies/suggestions to beat the heat while remaining active in the outdoors.

  • Work around the ends of the day. Around sunrise and sunset the temperatures are tolerable (and there’s enough light) for a short hike, trail run, or paddle.
  • Take a night hike or night ride. It’s a cool and different experience. And it’s yet another reason to invest in a good headlight. Read more about all-purpose lights and lights for bikes.
  • Hike/run the Icicle Gorge. The trail is shaded by conifers, air conditioned by the Icicle River, and the Rock Island Campground on the upstream end of the loop has a good swimming hole.
  • Hike/run the Penstock Pipeline Trail a few miles up the Tumwater Canyon from Leavenworth. It too is shaded by trees and air-conditioned by the Wenatchee River and has a number of places to wade in the water and wet yourself down.
  • Lounge at known swimming holes along the Wenatchee River like Rodeo Hole near Cashmere or Waterfront Park in Leavenworth.
  • Lounge wade or swim at swimming holes along the Columbia River like Confluence State Park, Walla Walla Point Park, or Lincoln Rock State Park.
  • Swim at Lake Chelan at the Lakeside Park, Don Morse Memorial Park both near the town of Chelan or a Twenty Five Mile Creek State Park part way up the lake(call about the status of this – fires in the area may have it closed)Race results of the Spearhead Jam
  • Kayak/raft the Wenatchee River from Peshastin to Cashmere. Waves in the face never felt so good.
  • Raft/canoe the Upper Wenatchee River from Lake Wenatchee to Plain. While we tend to denounce inner tubes as unnavigable river vessels, the fact remains that this stretch of river is a popular for ‘tubing.
  • Swim the Enchantments. Start a thru-hike of the Enchantments super early in the morning and swim the different lakes as you go – on a hot summer day alternating between hiking and swimming is like switching between fire and ice.


The dog days of summer are nothing to sweat… you just need to know how to play your outdoor cards.


This post was originally published on 7/26/2019.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like WenOut? Consider a Donation.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Wenatchee Outdoors is made possible through donations. Donate today to become a member—donations of $75 or more grant additional member perks and benefits.

Make a tax-deductible donation.

Already a member? Consider telling a friend about WenOut or even giving them a membership.