Leavenworth, 2 hours from Seattle | Two Campgrounds, Groomed Winter Trails, Horse Stables
Horse Rental. The sign outside Icicle Outfitters and Guides in Lake Wenatchee State Park makes it sound like an equine Hertz. But don’t expect to roll up and check out a stallion for a few hours; the stable’s horseback tours are fully guided, the only such offering in the state park system.
Between Memorial and Labor days, the Wick family leads almost a dozen rides a day, from the walk-up $30 trip through the forest to an all-day excursion up Nason Ridge for a spectacular vista of Lake Wenatchee. The lake isn’t close to the city that shares its name (it’s just west of Leavenworth), but both salute the Wenatchi tribe that fished the river that links them. Minus the smattering of vacation homes that line the five-mile lake, views from the horseback trail are much the same as they would’ve been when the Native Americans first acquired horses in the 18th century: a green carpet of forest around the shore, then the sharp wall of mountains behind that.
Lake Wenatchee’s activity options outnumber the hours in a weekend; besides the horses there are boat launches and snacks at the park store, a golf course just outside the park boundary, and bike trails through the surrounding mountains. Kayaks line the beach, ready for rental, but unlike on a guided horseback tour, it’s up to you to find your own way home.