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  • Writer's pictureDuff Bangs

#005 Saddle Rock & Orondo Ave

Image by modFORM LLC

My lovely fiance Ashley and I hike up Saddle Rock quite often. In fact, it has become one our favorite activities to do after work even during the magical and snowy evenings of winter! For those of you who are not familiar with Wenatchee, Saddle Rock is a rock formation located to the West of Wenatchee. It was named Saddle Rock because it bears resemblance to a saddle used for a horse.

A couple of hikes back when we were sitting at the top of Saddle Rock, within the saddle gazing down at the city, unwinding from a productive day of work. I was observing the patterns of the busy streets below which of course at night, they really stand out with the glow of the street lamps. And something dawned on me, Orondo Avenue was intentionally placed to create a vista or a view up to Saddle Rock. It appears there was an intentional connection from the downtown civic buildings such as the courthouse up to Saddle Rock through the use of Orondo Ave.

Image by modFORM LLC

This image is looking from the top of Saddle Rock towards downtown.

Image by modFORM LLC

This image is looking from from downtown towards Saddle Rock. The old courthouse is to the right.

This map image is showing the vista from downtown, up Orondo Ave, to Saddle Rock.

This is quite fascinating, city planners intentionally broke the North South grid of the city to create an important path through the city. All the sudden, I feel like Wenatchee is very European replicating the diagonal streets leading towards an important monument similar to what you would see in France.

This is a map showing vistas or streets in Paris breaking the traditional city pattern pointing to important monuments such as the Arc De Triomphe.

Image courtesy of

Well, maybe Wenatchee isn't completely replicating traditional European city planning however, it is very interesting to see a small element of it used here.

One other interesting observation, is both Wenatchee High School and Pioneer Middle School both align with this axis as well. And to top it off, Pioneer was also rotated to align with this axis.

Growing up in Wenatchee, I never noticed the subtle design elements of urban planning such as the Orondo Ave vista. It’s great to be back in Wenatchee with a new design lens to observe the city I grew up in. It is always exciting to understand the history of a city and how it was formed especially when it is is the city you grew up in.

Let me know in the comments below if you have observed any other interesting city planning elements in Wenatchee or East Wenatchee.

Thanks for reading!

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