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Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

Central Washington > Wenatchee
47.4601, -120.3305 Map & Directions
Length
2.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
0 feet
Highest Point
640 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy
The Horan Natural Area is a year-round oasis where the Wenachee River meets the Columbia, just outside of Wenatchee. Photo by Bob and Barb. Full-size image
  • Wildlife
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Horan offers two miles of graveled trails and 15 viewing stations where visitors can watch local wildlife and learn about the flora and fauna that surround them. Continue reading

Rating
3.50 out of 5

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Hiking Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

Located within the 197-acre Wenatchee Confluence State Park, just minutes from downtown Wenatchee, the Horan Natural Area is a wonderful place to take a quiet stroll and contemplate the beauty and importance of our state's rivers. Here the wild Wenatchee River flows into the harnessed Columbia. An oasis among parched hills, Horan is also an oasis for critters amid a rapidly developing valley.

Begin by taking the paved Apple Capital Trail to the right, quickly coming to a beautiful art deco-inspired bridge that spans the Wenatchee River. At the far end of the bridge, find the entrance to the Horan Natural Area. Be sure to check out the information kiosk before proceeding. Then, on a gravel surface trail, wander along oxbow ponds bursting with birds and frogs and under rows of cottonwoods. Come to a junction where you can go left or right: it doesn't matter, it's a loop.

Along the way enjoy riparian bottomlands, river views, and glimpses out to Mission Ridge and the Sage Hills. Look for muskrats among the cattails and beavers among the willows. And throughout the Natural Area, watch for birds: warblers, kingfishers, kingbirds, towhees, quails, and scores of others.

History

When settlers arrived in Central Washington, explorers and trappers for the Northwest Fur Company paddled the Columbia River and established the area's first trading post. The land that is now the Horan Natural Area was cultivated for a variety of purposes, including growing alfalfa for livestock, vineyard grapes, pear orchards and even a golf driving range. 

In 1990, Chelan County acquired 100 acres of land from the Horan family and turned it into a manmade wetland. The area is now a part of Wenatchee Confluence State Park, and is a year-round oasis for waterfowl, birds, mammals and, in winter, migrating bald eagles.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead
  • Accessible toilet

More information about toilets

Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4601, -120.3305 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

To park at Wenatchee Confluence State Park: Head southwest on Orondo Ave toward S Wenatchee Ave. Turn right at the first cross street onto S Wenatchee Ave; continue for 2.9 miles. Take the Easy Street exit toward Penny Road/Olds Station. Merge onto Easy Street/Old State Hwy 2. After 0.2 miles, turn right onto Penny Rd for 354 feet. Turn right onto Chester Kimm Rd; continue for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Olds Station Road; continue for 0.2 miles. Turn right into the parking lot at 333 Olds Station Rd. 

To park at Walla Walla Point Park: Head southwest on Orondo Ave toward S Wenatchee Ave. Turn right onto 9th St E; continue for 0.2 miles. Turn left onto Walla Walla Ave; continue for 0.5 miles. After 0.1 miles, the park entrance will be on your right. You'll reach the natural area by hiking the Apple Capitol Recreational Loop Trail. 

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Washington > Wenatchee

Washington State Parks

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Wenatchee Confluence State Park - Horan Natural Area

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