In 1929, a man bought 40 acres of sagebrush in Wenatchee. Over the decades, his labor of love has turned a portion of desolate, dry rock into a fantasy world of stone pathways, waterfalls, pixie lawns, and stunning views. Today the Ohme (pronounced Oh-Me) family’s verdant imagination has turned this hillside into a playground to wander and explore. Children of all ages will delight in exploring the paths, stairs, pools, and corners.
This once private garden is now owned and operated by the city of Chelan. Although it costs a few dollars to enter (as of 2019, $8 for adults and $4 for children) it is well worth it. When you enter, a map of the grounds is presented with brief descriptions of how each feature came to be. Some of the trails are suitable to most anybody and others are steep, narrow, and may have irregular footing. Safety rails have been installed in many spots as there are many precipitous overlooks.
Along the eastern edge of the gardens there are views of the Columbia River. Wenatchee is a bustling city and much of the garden is surrounded by industry. Look at the hillsides that are towards the north and you will see what these gardens looked like just 90 years ago. Not one tree grew here then!
An hour or two is perfect for seeing virtually all of the trails. Many benches are worked into the stone for you to sit back and relax. Rest assured, that you will never drive through Wenatchee again and see this solitary treed ridge the same way again.
Access Note: Ohme Gardens closes for the winter season. They close mid-October for the winter and reopens mid-April.