Lake ChelanLake Chelan, Manson, Stehekin
Lake Chelan is one of the top summer freshwater recreation areas in the Pacific Northwest.
The narrow, very deep, 55-mile-long lake slices northwestward into the Cascade Mountains. The lower end of the lake around the resort towns of Chelan and Manson is dedicated to water recreation. Resort motels and condominiums front on long sandy beaches. The warm, dry weather is particularly appealing.
Shoreside state parks and forest service campgrounds along the entire length of the lake allow you to plan a boat trip of several days with overnight stops along the way. Along the steeper south shore, paved highway dead ends at 25 Mile Creek and the Lake Chelan State Park featuring camping, picnicking, water sports, camping and boat launching facilities.
Fishermen have a variety of opportunities at Lake Chelan. With depths up to 1,500’, the clear, cold waters of the deeper sections of the Lake yield ling cod and lake trout up to 25 pounds and silver and Chinook salmon up to 30 pounds. Rainbow trout and small mouth bass are abundant in the shallower, warmer waters near shore.
Abundant sunshine and low winter rates make Lake Chelan a popular winter destination. Echo Valley is a small family downhill ski resort with miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling as well.
Stehekin is located in the Chelan National Recreation Area at the head of Lake Chelan. There are no roads to this tiny uplake mountain wilderness village. You must either cruise or fly. As you cruise uplake, the scenery grows more and more spectacular. Sheer mountain walls rise from the lake's surface, reaching nearly 8,000’ in the saw-toothed crest of the Cascades. Excursion boats leave Chelan daily for the cruise to Stehekin and back. Float planes make the trip in less than 1/2 hour, providing sweeping aerial views of the lake.