Washington

Icicle Creek

Conserving a wild treasure deep in the North Cascades

Icicle Creek
Washington's Icicle Creek
Photography | Alamy Stock Photo
Icicle creek
Washington's Icicle Creek
Photography | Jason Savage
Icicle creek
Washington's Icicle Creek
Photography | Mill Creek Multimedia

Icicle Creek originates on the crest of the Cascade Mountains in the Alpine Peaks Wilderness Area and then carves its way through a spectacular granite canyon before joining with the Wenatchee River. Icicle Canyon is widely known to hikers as the eastern gateway to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and receives thousands of visitors annually.

Unfortunately, the area's beauty almost proved to be its downfall. Private landowners had begun to sell off 20-acre home sites in the late 1980s. Road building, logging, home construction and septic tanks threatened the area. Western Rivers Conservancy had a different vision for this important stream and worked with landowners to purchase 11 different properties totaling 874 acres along nine miles of Icicle Creek. After successfully acquiring the properties, WRC conveyed them to the Wenatchee National Forest (now the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest) in 1992. They are now protected within the national forest and managed by the agency for conservation and compatible public access.

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