Grant Road, through downtown East Wenatchee.

East Wenatchee is a city in Douglas County, Washington, along the northern banks of the Columbia River. According to the Washington Office of Financial Management, as of April 2008, the city's population was 11,570.

On November 20, 2008, East Wenatchee was designated a principal city of the Wenatchee–East Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area by the Office of Management and Budget.

History Edit

The earliest, known residents of the East Wenatchee area were Native Americans.

At the turn of the 20th Century, irrigation projects, including the Columbia Basin Project east of the region, opened the door for farming the barren land. Orchards become the area’s leading industry.

In 1908, the first highway bridge to span the Columbia River opened. The privately owned bridge carried people, horses, wagons, and a rare motorcar, and also water in two large pipelines along its sides. It connected Chelan County on the Wenatchee shore with Douglas County on East Wenatchee shore. The bridge opened East Wenatchee and the rest of Douglas County to apple orchard development. Still standing today, the bridge is a 1,060-foot (320 m) pinconnected steel cantilever bridge and cost $177,000 to build. It once carried Sunset Highway (State Highway 2) across the river.

The bridge was the brainchild of W. T. Clark, one of the builders of the Highline Canal, a major irrigation project to water the apple orchards in the valley. It was financed in part by James J. Hill (1838-1916), of the Great Northern Railway (which arrived in Wenatchee in 1892). In its second year of operation the canal firm that owned it decided to start charging tolls.

This prompted local leaders to hasten to the state legislature to persuade the state to purchase the bridge as part of the state highway system. The state purchased the bridge despite the state-employed consultant's opinion "that the ugliness of the structure is very apparent" (Dorpat), despite defects in the timber floor and concrete piers, and despite leaks in the waterpipes.

The structure remained in full use until 1950 when a new bridge was built. Today, it remains as a footbridge and still carries water to the apple trees of East Wenatchee.

From its foundation in agriculture, the region’s economy has diversified to include year-round tourism and a variety of other industries.

On February 28, 1935, citizens voted, 48 in favor and 46 against, to incorporate the town of East Wenatchee. When the town was incorporated on March 11, 1935, the original town site was 50 acres. Today, the town has grown into a city. As of 2007, East Wenatchee's boundaries emcompassed 3.67 square miles.

On Oct. 5, 1931, East Wenatchee became part of aviation history. Having taken off from Misawa, Japan, pilots Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon Jr. safely belly-landed their Bellanca airplane Miss Veedol on a nearby airstrip, Fancher Field. After take off, the pilots intentionally jettisoned the landing gear to conserve fuel. This flight was the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean. In honor of this pioneering flight, East Wenatchee's airport is called Pangborn Memorial Airport, and the Pangborn-Herndon Memorial Site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is nearby.

On May 27, 1987, East Wenatchee became part of archaeological history. On that date, while digging in an orchard just east of the city, farmworkers accidentally discovered a cache of old Clovis points and other artifacts, left by Pleistocene hunters years earlier.

Climate Edit

East Wenatchee's climate is warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 70's and very cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 30's.

The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 87.80 degrees Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 23.20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate during summer with a difference that can reach 27 degrees Fahrenheit, and fairly limited during winter with an average difference of 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

The annual average precipitation at East Wenatchee is 9.12 Inches. Rainfall in is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is December with an average rainfall of 1.52 Inches.


Today, the town has grown into a city. As of 2007, East Wenatchee's boundaries emcompassed 3.67 square miles.


  • Wenatchee Valley's Super Oval
  • Apple Blossom Festival
  • Wings & Wheels
  • On the first weekend of October, the City hosts an annual Wings and Wheels Festival to commemorate Clyde Pangborn's historic non-stop flight across the Pacific *Ocean.
  • Classy Chassis Parade & Car Show

Recreation Edit


Major intersection in East Wenatchee.

The Wenatchee Valley and the surrounding areas provide an abundance of sports and recreational activities for any season. There are several facilities including the tennis club, an Olympic size swimming pool, an ice arena, several 18-hole and 9-hole golf courses, a 9-hole disc golf course, and countless baseball diamonds and soccer fields. There are lots of places to hike, fish and hunt, both birds and larger game. Boating and water recreation are also quite common. Many kayak, windsurf and water-ski on the Columbia. Whitewater rafting and inner-tubing is frequent on the Wenatchee River. In the winter, the mountains near Wenatchee provide great snowmobiling, sledding at Squilchuck State Park, as well as skiing and snowboarding at Mission Ridge (30 minutes drive) and Stevens Pass (1 hour and a half drive). Nordic skiing is available at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center, Leavenworth (25 minute drive), and the Methow Valley (1 hour and 45 minute drive).

The city also offers a large system of parks and paved trails known as the Apple Capital Recreational Loop Trail. The 10-mile (20 km) loop which runs both banks of the Columbia River is used by cyclists, walkers, joggers, and skaters. In the winter cross country skiers and snowshoers also use the trail. The trail connects in the south at the Old Wenatchee-East Wenatchee Bridge, better known as the walking bridge, and in the north at the Richard Odabashian Olds Station Bridge. Much of the hillside areas surrounding the city of Wenatchee have been purchased by or have their rights held by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust which protects them as a natural resource and as a site for hiking in the foothills. The foothills trail system along the western edge Wenatchee provides numerous short trails of varying difficulty for walking, hiking and mountain biking.

Media Edit


Wenatchee World - Wenatchee

Health Systems Edit

East Wenatchee is serviced by two major hospitals in Wenatchee. The Central Washington Hospital and the Wenatchee Valley Hospital. There are clinics in East Wenatchee.

Public Safety Edit

East Wenatchee is serviced by the East Wenatchee Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Transportation Edit

East Wenatchee's rail access is located across the Columbia River in Wenatchee which is on the major railroad line of the Great Northern Railway (now BNSF Railway) to Seattle. It was once the eastern terminus of electric operations (1909-56) on its Cascade Tunnel route, which went all the way to Skykomish. Here, steam or diesel locomotives were changed or coupled to electric locomotives for this route. Today, Amtrak's Empire Builder serves the city.

East Wenatchee is serviced by State Route 28, U.S. Route 97, and U.S. Route 2.

The city is served by Pangborn Memorial Airport with flights to/from Seattle on Horizon Air. Pangborn Memorial Airport is a public use airport in Douglas County. It is located four nautical miles east downtown of Wenatchee, in Chelan County. The airport is owned by the Ports of Chelan and Douglas Counties. On average annually, the airport has 44,681 aircraft operations.

Pangborn Memorial Airport is named for Clyde Pangborn, who in 1931 became the first person to fly non-stop across the Pacific Ocean. Taking off from Misawa, Aomori, Japan with an intended destination of Seattle, he instead landed in East Wenatchee.