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Leavenworth Adventure Park: Thrilling Mountainside Family Fun

Up the excitement on your getaway to Leavenworth with a ride on the alpine coaster

Emily Feely
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Published on: June 10, 2024

A dad and child ride a coaster car down the side of a mountain at the newly opened Leavenworth Adventure Park
Photo:
The Tumwater Twister Alpine Adventure Park. Photo: courtesy of Leavenworth Adventure Park

Many of us picture a visit to Leavenworth with relaxing strolls through town and gorgeous views of the mountains. But thanks to the Leavenworth Adventure Park, there is a whole new way to experience the popular Bavarian-themed town. 

And we are happy to report, it’s totally awesome.

"View of the whole Leavenworth Adventure Park"
A bird’s-eye view of the park. Photo: courtesy of Leavenworth Adventure Park

Leavenworth Adventure Park offers mountainside thrills

Leavenworth Adventure Park’s most impressive attraction is the Tumwater Twister Alpine Coaster, which you can see as you drive into town. Spotting it amplified the excitement in our car, and questions from the back seat shifted from “Are we there yet?” to “Can we go there first?!”

Yes.

First of all, it’s good to know that everyone can enter the park grounds for free; it’s a pay-per-attraction experience. We love that everyone in your group can come into the park and be together, and those who want to ride the rides can do so. This is also helpful if you have little ones who aren’t big enough to ride the coaster. They can hang back with a grandparent or a friend who isn’t into thrill seeking.

"Welcome to Leavenworth Adventure Park. Credit: Emily Feely"
Welcome to Leavenworth Adventure Park. Photo: Emily Feely

Tumwater Twister alpine coaster

Once inside the park, we headed straight for the coaster. Inside the adventure park’s main building we learned that riders can go solo or in pairs. My husband and I each took one of our daughters, listened carefully to the safety instructions, and off we went.

The ride was quite different from a ride on a traditional coaster. Instead of a theme park environment, you’re on the side of a mountain amidst stunning scenery. It was exhilarating and refreshing all at once.

The tracks for the alpine coaster twist and turn down the hillside and riders can reach speeds up to 27 miles per hour. Holy moly! The scenery looks like something you’d see in the mountains of Europe — a fitting new addition to the Bavarian-esque burg.

"Leavenworth Adventure Park Tumwater Twister alpine coaster"
Photo: courtesy of Leavenworth Adventure Park

Rather than a theme-park-style roller coaster, with cars attached like a train, riders on this coaster each drive an individual toboggan. The driver is in control of the speed and must remain aware of other toboggans ahead on the track in order to maintain a safe distance. Fortunately, there are several speed checks to make sure you don’t exceed the maximum speed.

Fun fact: You’d expect this thrill ride to only operate in summer, but we were pleasantly surprised to hear that it is fully operational year-round — rain, snow or shine.

Is the coaster too thrilling for kids?

Several of our friends were curious to know what our kids thought about riding the coaster. Their squeals of laughter were all the proof we needed to know that they loved it. My husband and I are both thrill seekers and opted to go full speed — relying on the automatic braking system to keep our speeds in check. I used my knees to brace my littlest one on the tight curves when she was riding with me. But if you wanted to, you could go slowly and enjoy the stunning views of Leavenworth.

"Leavenworth Adventure Park Tumwater Twister alpine coaster"
Photo: courtesy of Leavenworth Adventure Park

It’s helpful to let the staff know whether you are planning to go superfast or slow so they can time the toboggans accordingly. During my husband’s last ride, he had to slow down significantly because the person in front of him was going at an enjoy-the-scenery pace. He said it was still fun, and he took the extra time to look for paragliders.

The ride lasts roughly five minutes, depending on your speed.

Requirements for riders

There are quite a few requirements to ride the coaster. To drive a toboggan alone, riders must be at least 9 years old and 54 inches tall. To ride as a pair, the driver must be at least 16 years old, at least 54 inches tall and a head taller than their ride-along, so that they can see over the rider’s head. Passengers must be at least 3 years old and 38 inches tall. The max weight capacity for the toboggan is 330–375 pounds total, depending on weather conditions. Its a good idea to decide in advance who is riding together in your family or group.

"Waiting in link for the coaster at the Leavenworth Adventure Park"
Waiting to board the coaster. Photo: Emily Feely

Additionally, it may be challenging for some to get in and out of the toboggans. The driver gets in the toboggan first, followed by the rider. Staff members aren’t available to help load kids into the toboggan, so if lifting while sitting is a challenge, plan the order of your rides so that someone else in your party is available to help riders climb aboard. 

People with a fear of heights should be aware that there are several times during the ride down the mountain when you’re high in the air. As far as safety is concerned, we liked that each rider has a good seatbelt; the driver’s belt is much like what you find in a car, and there is a lap belt for the passenger. Waivers are required and a safety review happens upon boarding.

Other Leavenworth Adventure Park attractions

Gems of The Enchantments Mining Sluice was easily our second-favorite activity. It is budget friendly ($8 per 3-pound bag of loose dirt) and can keep kids happy and busy for a fair amount of time. We spent about 30 minutes sluicing and collected more than 15 gems.

"Mining sluice at Leavenworth Adventure Park"
A sign explains the mining sluice activity. Photo: Emily Feely

We spent even more time studying our spoils with the included identification card. There were not a ton of sluice boxes, so I can see how this attraction might back up on busy days. If needed, you could probably put two bags in one sluice box.

"Mine sluicing at Leavenworth Adventure Park"
Search for gems at the sluicing station. Photo: Emily Feely

The Alpine Ascent Climbing Wall has four levels of difficulty. See if you can spy the hidden lion head shape on the rock face. It’s intended to look like the park’s mascot, Ludwig the Lion. Closed-toe shoes are advised and you can’t climb barefoot. My older daughter tried climbing in open-toe sandals and did okay on the easier routes.

To attempt the climbing wall, kids must be at least 3 years old, weigh at least 22 pounds, and be 38 inches or taller. The maximum weight is 309 pounds.

"Climbing wall at Leavenworth Adventure park"
Trying out the climbing wall. Photo: Emily Feely

The Leavenworth Adventure Park main building

The first floor of the main building features guest services, plenty of healthy snacks for purchase, merchandise and the bags of dirt for sluicing. If you have backpacks, you’ll need to check them with guest services so you can ride the coaster. You’ll also find a family restroom with a changing station and an elevator to the upper floors.

The second floor houses the loading area for the coaster. Unloading takes place on the third floor where you can enjoy great views of the coaster, a food stand and even beer for the adults. (Keep in mind that outside food and beverages are not allowed in the park.)

You’ll also find bathrooms with a family-friendly layout on the third floor. They have very private stalls but an open washroom, making it convenient for families.

The park is ADA-compliant, but call and check with staff in advance if you want more details about a specific attraction. Service animals are welcome.

There is a fair amount of outdoor seating available but none of it is covered or intentionally shaded. If you need a cool (or warm) spot to sit and relax, head to the third floor of the building where they have lots of seating and tables.

The Leavenworth Adventure Park has redefined what a trip to Leavenworth means for our family, though we still made it to a few local spots we just cant miss.

Before heading home, we hit up our favorite toy store, The Hat Shop Wood Shop and spoiled our dinner at München Haus with the yummiest ice cream from Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co. Try a scoop of Blackberry Fool — I promise you won’t be disappointed.

If you go to Leavenworth Adventure Park...

Find it: Leavenworth Adventure Park is on located Highway 2 at the corner of Icicle Road, at 9342 Icicle Rd. in Leavenworth. Leavenworth is about a 2.5-hour drive from Seattle, without traffic.

Open hours: The Leavenworth Adventure Park is open year-round with a varying schedule. Be sure to check the website before you head out. 

Parking: Free on-site parking is available. You can also walk to the park from downtown or take a free DART shuttle.

Cost: Pricing is a la carte for the various attractions. For a single ride, the alpine coaster costs $20 for riders ages 13 and older; $17 for riders ages 7–12; and $5 for ages 3–6. The climbing wall cost $12 (for all ages), and the mining sluice activity costs $8 for a 3-pound bag. 

Reservations are required for a specific day and time to enter the park. Once you enter the park and receive a wristband, you will have 90 minutes to complete your coaster rides.    

More things to do in Leavenworth: Read our guide to a family-fun getaway to Leavenworth for lots of ideas.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2023 and has been updated and fact-checked by associate editor Kari Hanson on June 10, 2024 for your summer adventure. 

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