Doin’ Time in Leavenworth
Leavenworth, WA is awesome. It sits on the Eastern edge of the Cascades. The downtown is made as silly as possible due to the fact that ALL of the buildings were built using Bavarian building codes. The good news is that the tourons flock there and leave the surrounding areas empty. There is hiking, skiing, river running and biking galore.
For mountain bikers, there are all sorts of trails including some gnarly downhill courses. There is also plenty of road biking to be had. One route I really like goes from downtown up the Chumstick “highway.” It is 9 miles of steady 1%-2% grade climbing followed by another 4 miles of steady 3%-4% grade climbing. From there you can turn around and motor back to town or go over the top of the climb and drop into the little town of Plain where several other riding options exist.
If you want something mellow, you can stay in town. We stayed at Run of the River — a great little B&B that has bikes you can borrow for a nice, flat, 8 mile loop that features some beautiful scenery. I’m pretty sure you could spend weeks on end riding around this awesome place.
One other nice feature — the Gorge Amphitheater is 60 miles away. It makes Leavenworth a viable place to stay if you are going to see some shows at this amazing venue and don’t feel like camping in the lot. The drive back is a bit tiring, but Leavenworth is a great place to wake up. It is 5-and-a-half hours from Portland, but worth the trip.