I Googled the question “How was the Wenatchee Valley formed.”  It replied:

Enormous amounts of gravel and rock debris flooded out the mouth of Moses Coulee south of Rock Island, Washington, and blocked the flow of the Columbia River valley for years at a time, forming large temporary lakes where Wenatchee sits today.



I’ve read and heard from geologists that say our Wenatchee Valley was carved by flood waters from receding glaciers of the Ice Age and some epic event called the “Missoula Floods”

One of the best direct and quick explanations comes from Central Washington geology professor Nick Zentner. 

Check out his “2 minute Geology lesson”


Professor Nick agrees that the Ice Age glaciers, namely the Okanogan Lobe - that covered Canada and part of the northern part of Washington State above the Wenatchee Valley was responsible to what we physically see today. Around 17,000 to 14,000 years ago, these glaciers began to recede and melt.

The Okanogan Glacier melt caused an extremely large amount of water that flooded the Wenatchee Valley. The ice melt water aggressively flowed, in an area that is today, the Columbia River. The Wenatchee Valley, from Badger Mountain to the Cascade foothills, can be compared to a huge half-pipe. The slack waters from our half-pipe, made their way up the Wenatchee River Valley - filling the small canyons all the way up to Leavenworth.

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For a deeper dive, of the what formed our area, watch this video:

Professor Nick Zentner has become one of my favorite YouTubers.

I have binged his detailed explanations on how the many areas of our Pacific Northwest were physically formed. He has even done a deep dive on the recurring "Cascadia Event." This is a major subduction zone that builds pressure and snaps every 300 to 700 years. The last "snap" in the year 1700, caused a powerful 9.0 sized earthquake and a violent tsunami along the Pacific Coast.

Click on his page for these topics and more.


INFO SOURCES: NPShistory.com, Professor Nick Zentner, Huge Floods YouTube page.

This Hike in the Columbia River Gorge is a Must Experience

The Labyrinth to Coyote Wall Loop. It runs 6.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1,489 feet. It features a waterfall, lava tube, rock formations, and incredible views. It’s heavily trafficked with hikers and mountain bikers on weekends and dogs are welcome on a leash. Beware, you’ll need good hiking shoes as a good portion of the trail is very rocky. It’s open all year round, but the experts recommend day use from March to November.  

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