South Shore's Outing to Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

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Team:
South Shore K-8
Date:
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Trip Types:
Car Camping, Hiking, Whitewater Rafting
Photos:
Plan:
South Shore Middle School's big end of the year camping and white water rafting trip in Eastern Washington. Saturday we are driving over for a day hike in the Leavenworth area. Saturday night we are car camping at a campground off Icicle Creek road outside of Leavenworth. On Sunday we are White Water Rafting on the Wenatchee river with Blue Sky Outfitters (www.blueskyoutfitters.com).
Report:
The South Shore Middle School end of the year overnight trip was a lot of fun in spite of the Seattle “Juneuary” weather following us over the Cascades to Leavenworth. The trip started at 8:30am when the ICO volunteers met the South Shore teacher and students in front of the school. We were using three mini-vans for transportation, so with six adults, sixteen students, and all the gear needed for an overnight camping trip we were packed in tight for the drive with everyone having to hold bags in their laps. By 9:30am we were on the road. Our first stop was Ingalls Creek just east of Blewett Pass, the first of our two planned short hikes before getting to camp:

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ingalls-creek

The plan here was to hike up the trail to a good lunch spot and then turn around after lunch. The weather had improved from Seattle so we had blue skies and sun for the hike. However, we did run into an issue on the hike. Ingalls Creek is in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and we ran into a ranger on the trail who forced our group twenty-two to split into two groups because in wilderness areas groups are limited to twelve people.

After Ingalls Creek we drove to Leavenworth and then to Icicle Creek Road. Our second short hike of the day was Icicle Gorge Loop at the end of Icicle Creek Road. On the drive to the trailhead we passed all of the campgrounds off of Icicle Creak Road and every single one was full, good thing we already reserved our campsite.

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/icicle-gorge-loop

The Icicle Gorge trail is a flat four-mile loop, which made for an easy second hike of the day. That did not stop a lot of the kids from grumbling about having to hike a second time. The gray weather had finally caught up with us and it was overcast and much cooler that I would expect for June in Eastern Washington but at least the weather held off for the scenic hike.

https://www.outdoorproject.com/adventures/washington/camping/bridge-creek-campground

We finally arrived at camp around 6pm. We had reserved the Bridge Creek Campground group site. The group site is removed from the other camp sites at Bridge Creek which meant we had a long walk to get water, but on the plus side we were far enough away from the other campers to not have to police the kids to keep their voices down. We had a nice spot next to the river so everyone got to sleep with the sound of a rushing river in the background. It drizzled a bit during the evening, but not enough to ruin anyone’s fun and we were all able to enjoy the campfire and the sounds of the three ukuleles that various people brought on the trip.

http://www.blueskyoutfitters.com/wenatchee.php

In the morning we all had to get up early so that we had enough time to pack up camp and eat breakfast. We were supposed to meet our river-rafting guides from Blue Sky Outfitters at 8:45am in Cashmere so we had to be on the road no later than 8:15am. We made it on time but the sunshine had not arrived yet. You can usually count on 90 degree days in June on the Wenatchee River, but it was gray skies and chilly for us. No matter the conditions you have to raft the Wenatchee River in a wet suit, but because of the extra chilly weather Blue Sky also provided us with yellow paddling jackets to wear over our life vests. After gearing up we were all loaded into a school bus and driven back up to Leavenworth to where the rafting starts. The rafting was fun as always. No one cared about the weather once we were on the river. There are calm stretches of river between the rapids and despite it being cold all of the kids jumped repeatedly into the river to swim. By the time we floated back to the park at Cashmere where we started it was finally sunny so we got to enjoy the lunch BBQ in the sun.

There was construction on I-90 that seriously backed up the traffic so we got back to school late. Other than that everything went smoothly all weekend and South Shore got to wrap up the year with a really fun weekend.
Suggestions:
Check to see if your planned hike is in a Wilderness Area. You might want to pick a different hike if it is, since group sizes are limited to 12.

Along Icicle Creek Road all the campsites are first-come-first-served and will usually fill up in June so you should consider reserving a group site ahead of time. The group sites are expensive relative to other campsites ($100 per night vs. $20), but they are the only ones you can reserve online.

Two short hikes seemed like a good idea because then the kids will get to see more stuff, but leads to a lot of grumbling. Better to just do one long hike for the day rather than have to motivate the kids to do a second hike.

Be sure to check WSDOT web site for construction alerts so as to budget driving times correctly.

Photos

The highlight of a fun weekend was rafting on the Wenatchee River.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Our first stop was a short hike to a lunch spot on Ingalls Creek trail near Blewitt Pass.  22 people crammed into 3 vans with camping gear meant everyone had to hold packs in their laps during the drive, so it was a nice break to stretch our legs.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Ingalls Creek trail

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

The students' teacher Mr. C brought his ukulele on the trail and played it while we were hiking.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Ingalls Creek

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Inspecting a log jam on Ingalls Creek.

Mon., Jul. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Enjoying lunch next to Ingalls Creek.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

There was a bat flying around in daylight above where we stopped for lunch.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Our second short hike was the loop trail around Icicle Gorge.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

On the Icicle Gorge trail there are many good view points above the swiftly flowing Icicle Creek.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Wildflowers were in bloom all along the trail.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Taking a break on the Icicle Gorge trail.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Our campsite was at the Bridge Creek campground off Icicle Creek Road outside of Leavenworth.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Setting up camp at Bridge Creek campground off Icicle Creek Road outside of Leavenworth.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

There were three ukuleles on this trip and many of the students took turns playing them.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

We enjoyed great food all weekend thanks to our ICO food volunteer who took on the big task for providing meals for 22 people for a weekend.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Normally, June in Leavenworth is hot, but it was unseasonably cold that weekend.  Everyone was happy to help build a campfire and warm up next to it.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Playing the card game Uno in camp.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

An ICO volunteer helps a student learn how to play a Beatles song on the ukulele.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

A campfire, ukuleles, and s'mores. What more could you ask for?

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

We had to wake up early and pack up camp to meet our whitewater rafting guides on time.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

After the whitewater rafting guides got us geared up we were loaded into an old school bus and driven upriver to Leavenworth where we put the boats in.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

The students listen to safety lectures from our guides. It was cold in the morning so we all wore yellow splash guard jackets. Normally it is sunny and 90-degrees in mid-June on the Wentachee River, but it ended up being very chilly for that time of year.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

The beginning of our rafting trip on the Wenatchee River.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Floating on a calm section of the Wenatchee River.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

There are stretches of the Wenatchee that are calm. In spite of the cool weather all the students took turns jumping in the river.

Sat., Jun. 17, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

That water was cold, but all the kids kept jumping in.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

That water was cold, but all the kids kept jumping in.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

That water is cold!

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Ready for the rapids.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

In the whitewater rapids.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Whitewater rafting!

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Whitewater rafting!

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Taking a break between rapids.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

It finally started to warm up while we were on the river.

Sun., Nov. 18, 2018

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Whitewater rafting!

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

On a calm stretch of the Wenatchee River between rapids.

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

Whitewater rafting!

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County

It was a great weekend!

Sun., Jun. 18, 2017

[South Shore] Hiking, camping, and whitewater rafting in Chelan County