Lake Chelan, Washington Travel Guide

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Lake Chelan trees

Lake Chelan sun


Lake Chelan canoe
Fly on a Seaplane! While they are not operating in 2018 it sounds like they’re hopeful for a future return to the lake.

Skydive over the lake and land at a winery? Yes, please!

Want to go more remote and get away from the tourists? Take a ride on the Lady of the Lake to the hamlet of Stehekin, hang out for a few hours and return, or stay the night. There are a few shops, a bakery, fishing, horseback riding, and Rainbow Falls bus tour to the 312-foot waterfall. Stehekin is also the gateway to North Cascades National Park which is an adventure all in itself and one that I mention in the hiking section below.

A Remote Stehekin Stay

The North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin offers rooms, cabins, a lake house, restaurant, and general store.

Hike or take a free shuttle up 9 miles to Stehekin Valley Ranch. They are a bit more rustic and pretty unique. Their tent cabins are built with four walls but have a canvas roof and windows making you feel like you’re sleeping in a tent but you’re definitely not. They also have ranch cabins which offer a less outside-like feel, like completely less, and electric lights (oh I didn’t mention that the tent cabins have lantern and kerosene lights). All of their prices include meals, located in the Cookhouse, and transportation. The meal times are super specific so like I don’t really know what happens when you don’t make it back to the Ranch in time for dinner.
Camp, but be sure to grab a backcountry permit as many sites require one.


Lake Chelan water

If your stay does not include access to swimming, here’s a list of spots where you can swim in the water. Many of these parks do not allow dogs so please check before heading out.
Lake Chelan State Park is perfect for swimming! Don Morse Memorial Park, take a dip and don't forget about the putting course! Lakeside ParkManson Bay ParkThe Old Swim Hole, yes, that’s really the name of this park, and Willow Point Park.


    Lake Chelan trees

    Chelan Butte Trail is a 7.46 mile, round trip hike with a 2500-foot elevation gain, it is voted as a hard hike on All Trails due to steep inclines.

    Little Bear Trail, in Lake Chelan State Park, is considered an easy hike, one good for youngsters (like the name suggests but is actually named after a bear cub spotted by park rangers) and offers good views of the lake. It is 2.3 miles round trip.

    Hike and Backpack

    Lake Chelan sun

    Chelan Lakeshore Trail, in North Cascades National Park, is a 17-mile, one-way hike through the remote north end of Lake Chelan. This is a real adventure, the only ways to access this trail is by plane or by taking the Lady of The Lake ferry to Stehekin. There are campgrounds spread throughout the hike.

    From the time I wake up to when my head hits the pillow, I'm on the GO when traveling to a new place! I hope my guides help you navigate places in an easy, thoughtful and hectic-free way while being able to take in as much as possible in the time you have! Please let me know if you've used this guide or plan to use this guide in the comments! I'd love your feedback! Also, if you haven't checked out my City + Metro Map cuff bracelets they are really cool and I’d love it if you did! 

    PS All recommendations in this guide are my own opinion. I am not paid by any business in this guide.