The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area , one of the most popular and scenic hiking destinations in Washington, lies just a few miles west of Leavenworth . Stop by the Wenatchee National Forest’s Leavenworth Ranger District (600 Sherbourne, 509/548-6977, www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee ) for a brochure on nearby day hikes and a detailed trail guide to longer treks.
The Lake Wenatchee area at the north end of Highway 207 has an extensive system of hiking trails. Popular with hikers and photographers is the Dirtyface Trail, a steep 4.5-mile one-way hike from the Lake Wenatchee Ranger Station to the Dirtyface Lookout at 6,000 feet with views of the lake and surrounding scenery.
Backpackers may want to try the Nason Ridge Trail, a 22-mile one-way scenic trail along the length of the Nason Ridge, starting at South Shore Road off Highway 207. A number of other one-day or longer hikes start from various points along a complicated network of numbered forest roads; your best bet is to check at the ranger station for detailed maps and printed trail descriptions. This is black bear country; hikers and campers should use standard bear precautions.
The upper Chiwawa River drainage north of Lake Wenatchee is one of the most popular access points for the Glacier Peak Wilderness . Several trails take off near the end of this road, including the heavily used Phelps Creek Trail, which follows the creek for five miles to mountain-rimmed Spider Meadows inside the wilderness.