Leavenworth will make you stop the car and say, “What the hell is going on here?!”
We got in to Leavenworth late and Gina was sleeping, so she missed it, but I really felt like that. Like there was a Bavarian bomb that went off and this town got hit by the after shock.
Leavenworth has adopted the Bavarian culture in every aspect that you could adopt a culture. The buildings are designed like old time Germany with people playing accordions wearing lederhosen.
It apparently has not always been like this. In the past Leavenworth was a booming town of about 5,500 people. The market crash of the ’20s destroyed this city economically (like many others across the country) and it led to a downward spiral that seemed to never quit. This continued until the 1960′s when the residents decided that there needed to be a change. With that change, brought research and great thought to what they would create. The alpine hills landscape influenced this group to change the entire appearance of the town into a Bavarian village and they would rely solely on tourism to bring the economy up. Now, in 2011, Leavenworth averages 2 million visitors a year and has been known as a center for arts, culture, nature, and recreation.
I would love to come back to Leavenworth for the sheer fact of recreation. So many rapids, mountain biking paths, hiking paths, and climbing to last oneself for months and months.
I want to give a quick shout out to The Oil & Vinegar Cellar. We met the owner (Taelor) while in Leavenworth and she was very knowledgeable of what you could do with her products. Also, she was just a cool person who understood what good food actually is. You need to go in because she has free samples of all of her products. The oils to note, the balsamic containing cherry, the balsamic containing mango, and the key lime oil. So damn good!
Want to check out their Facebook?
Climbing in Leavenworth.
You are basically either trad climbing or bouldering here. Sport climbing just is not worth it as Leavenworth has too few routes to really even talk about. The sport routes that are here, are apparently classics (after talking to locals) but still.
As we did not do any trad climbing because we are not such climbers I will only speak on the bouldering.
Did I mention that the bouldering was amazing? No? My bad. It was GREAT bouldering on granite. Being that it is granite, it was a lot of hard crimps on super technical, body hugging rock. There were other boulders that had some bigger, pumpy moves but those were far and few in between. I normally am not a huge fan of bouldering outside as I am new to it, but this was way better granite than granite in Little Cottonwood in the backyard of Utah.
Want to see some video/pictures of the bouldering in Leavenworth check out our Facebook. Not there yet, well I guess we are slacking then and I promise they will be up soon.