The Lake Chelan Valley is invigorating. The lake is crystal clear, the air clean, gridlock nonexistent and the pace easy…like small town America. The semi- arid climate lures you to the great outdoors and is the perfect playground for getting back to nature. By getting away from the hectic day-to-day, visitors here can relax and become their better selves, recharging body, mind and spirit.
Outdoor exercise is prime in Lake Chelan. Hiking, biking, running or walking in the sunshine, away from the crowds, with a view of the lake is special. July, August and September are the favorite months for swimming in beautiful Lake Chelan. The farther down lake you swim, the warmer it is! Eating fresh, locally grown food adds to the experience. Late summer through fall is the time when stone fruits, cherries, pears and apples are picked in and around Lake Chelan. The Valley boasts quality fruit stands and farmer’s markets where you can find out how wonderful a truly fresh apple can taste!
South Lakeshore Road: Follow Highway 97A South and turn left at Pat & Mike’s Texaco and you can follow the road to its end, the farthest drivable point up the lake. This route shows the dramatic change between the lower lake basin, and the forested hillsides of the upper lake, past the Narrows. Manson Scenic Loop: The paved back roads of Manson make sightseeing by car or bike a quiet, relaxing ride while meandering around three smaller lakes that are surrounded by apple and cherry orchards and vineyards. Other scenic drives include: the Forest Service Roads that climb the mountain ridges above the 25 Mile Creek area on the South Shore, or Grade Creek-Copper Mountain scenic loop road on the North Shore. For more information, call the Chelan Ranger Station at (509) 682-4900.
Walk the Riverwalk
Riverwalk Park has great pathways that loop between the two bridges that span the Chelan River in Historic Downtown Chelan. The distance around is one mile, and there are shaded benches all along the trail. There are also picnic tables throughout the park and a grass play area. It is a perfect place for a walk or jog. Good times to run are early in the morning, or early evening when it is cool and you can enjoy a light breeze. It is a good warm-up for a longer walk, run or ride in the lower basin. There are great fishing holes along the banks of the river. Permits are required for those 15 years of age and over. Bring a picnic lunch! Leashed dogs allowed.
The Chelan Butte is a favorite location for hang gliders and paragliders throughout the world. Spectators can enjoy the sport as well. You can drive to the top of the Butte (primitive road; Discover Pass required) and watch the pilots launch and rise in the thermals. At the Beach’N Fly Festival, competitors pit skills against each other in a contest to launch from the Butte, and land on a target on the beach in Chelan Falls.
Several places in the Lake Chelan Valley have been included on the Audubon Society’s Washington State Birding Trail map, available through www.Audubon.org.
Lake Chelan State Park: Fall through Spring watch for varieties of Thrushes, Nuthatches, Towhees, and Woodpeckers. Also keep your eyes peeled along the lake for Loons, Grebes and Buffleheads.
Chelan Riverwalk Park: Spring and summer you can see Goldfinches, Warblers, and Swallows. Fall and winter have Loons, Kingfishers, and Grebes. Solitaires migrate through in spring and fall.
Stehekin/Lake Chelan National Recreation Area: Sightings all year here. Warblers, Hummingbirds, Thrushes, Nighthawk, Goldeneye and Vireo, to name a few!
Wapato Lake Park: A good beginner’s site in Manson. Columbia River (Hwy 97/97A) great route to spot bald eagles in the winter and early spring.
Geocaching (pronounced geo- cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called ‘geocaches’, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. An easy way to find the information about hidden geocaches is to log in to www.Geocaching.com and find coordinates for the town you will be visiting, using zip codes. Many geocaches are hidden in the parks listed in the Picnic Areas.
Chelan – 98816
Manson – 98831
Chelan Falls – 98817
Stehekin – 98852
Audio Walking Tour
Begin at the old Woodin Avenue Bridge by Campbell’s Resort (original structure built by C.C. Campbell in 1901) and walk back in time as you listen to the Historic Downtown Chelan Association Audio Walking Tour. Learn about our historic buildings on the National Register of Historic Places such as the Ruby Theatre (oldest movie theatre in the Northwest, built in 1913) and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (log structure built in 1898) and the lives of Chelan’s earliest pioneers, residents, and native people. Other stops on the tour include the Lady of the Lake Wheel- house, Lewis Woodin’s sawmill, the early city plat and the Chelan Hotel (now Campbell’s Bistro) built over one hundred years ago, and still run to this day by the Campbell family. The complete tour takes about a half hour for the fleet of foot, but there is never a need to hurry when you visit Lake Chelan. Listen to a few tracks, stop for lunch, shop in a store or two, chat with a friendly resident or guest and finish the tour at your leisure.
Spa and Wellness
Many people visit Lake Chelan for its sprawling vineyards and extreme list of outdoor activities. When its time to rest and rejuvenate, visitors can take in the beauty of Lake Chelan in a new way. Discover health and wellness offerings and relax on a deeper level, while taking in the sunset over a fine glass of wine. Yoga, specialized gyms and various spa services are available. Discover your inner beauty at Lake Chelan and take the glow home with you!