The Penstock, now on the National Historical Register, was a huge water pipe used to deliver water to a powerhouse located where the parking lot is now. The electricity powered electrical engines which pulled trains through the Cascade Tunnel at Stevens Pass. Prior to this the coal-fired engines caused problems with asphixation. In Chinook jargon, the word tumwater means “rough water.” If you view the raging waters of the Wenatchee River in Tumwater Canyon during the spring and early summer, it’s easy to understand how this canyon got it’s name. Note: this trail is sometimes flooded in the spring due to the high volume of water in the river.
Directions to Trailhead
From Leavenworth, start your odometer after you pass the gas station on the corner of Icicle Road and Highway 2 West. Drive 1.7 miles West on Highway 2. Turn left at a non-descript parking area next to the river (if you pass by an old bridge over the river on your left you've gone too far).
Follow a path along the Wenatchee River on the opposite side of Highway 2. See the glorious Wenatchee as it tumbles down Tumwater Canyon. There are a number of terrific hidden river beaches along the way for swimming or relaxing to the sounds of the river. From the parking area, the trail begins just beyond the outhouse and continues over an old half pipe shaped bridge. After you walk over the bridge, follow the main trail to the right.