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 and 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 farmers 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, contact the Chelan Ranger Station.
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.
Mural and Art Walk
The purpose of the Art Walk is further beautify the Lake Chelan Valley by displaying art in public places and providing a venue where artists can display their work. Pick up a brochure for the mural and art walk at the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, located at 216 E Woodin Avenue in downtown Chelan.
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. Leashed dogs allowed.
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! View All Wellness
Geocaching 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 hidden geocaches in the Lake Chelan Valley is to log in to www.Geocaching.com and find coordinates using the following zip codes.
Chelan – 98816 | Manson – 98831 | Chelan Falls – 98817 | Stehekin – 98852
More Ways to Unwind
Pack a picnic, along with a shovel and pail, and many picnic areas are near the beach. You can also watch hang gliders float down from the Chelan Butte, soak up the spectacular sunsets of the Lake Chelan Valley, or get lost in a book. Bring your own or stop by the local bookstore to find a new favorite.