Swift Current Picnic Area


Have you ever gone for a drive and thought: “I wish there was a convenient spot to stop for a picnic here”? When you drive through Tumwater Canyon, that is exactly what you will find. There are a lot of widenings and viewpoints along the highway there, due in large part to the long history of motorists pulling over to enjoy the beautiful scenery, including the sight of the Wenatchee River rolling by when water is high.

In addition to those periodic wide spots, the Swift Current Picnic Area is also available to you. This location is actually made up of two turn outs, each on the river side of the highway and right next to each other. As you approach from the west, the first turnoff may catch you by surprise but there is plenty of warning for the second. You can then get out and enjoy your time there or drive back up to the first had you missed it. Driving from the east, the first is well marked and that should alert you that the second will be just a little ways up the road.

The two picnic areas are connected by a trail that runs from one to the other through a narrow wooded area that separates the highway from the Wenatchee River. Both areas have no campsites, plenty of picnic tables, lots of tree cover, and great views of the river. You can see beautiful scenery in all directions. The steep hillside across the river is very pretty as well and makes for a nice view.


One very interesting feature of these picnic spots, one that is shared by both but more so in the turnoff that is located further to the west, is the landscape that is in many cases right next to the picnic tables. In addition to the tree cover that is there, there are some seriously huge boulders too. Some of these rocks measure upwards of 25 feet high. It isn’t unusual to stop there and see rock climbers, experienced as well as novices, practicing specific maneuvers on them from time to time.


A good picnic spot can make any drive that much better. For a relatively small location, Tumwater Canyon is filled with great places to turn off and enjoy the scenery. The Swift Current Picnic Area though is a perfect place for a relaxing and quick meal outdoors. It also makes a nice spot to stop, stretch your legs, and enjoy the view too.


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