Lake Chelan Trivia: Five Interesting Facts About the Valley

There Are Over 300 Acres of Vineyards in Chelan

Driving down into the Lake Chelan Valley feels like a luxury all on its own! It doesn’t take long to feel the embrace of the outdoor paradise it offers! Orchards, water, rays of sun, and vineyards greet you upon entry. Though Lake Chelan is famous for agriculture and outdoor play, it is also a wine lover’s dream! The first grapes were grown over 100 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2000 when the first commercial winery was established. Not long after this, wine enthusiasts who were eager to create a uniquely crafted bottle of vino, converged on the shores of Lake Chelan and started growing their own grapes. Today, there are more than 30 wineries in the valley and over 300 acres of vineyards.

Ruby Theater: The Longest Running Theater in Washington

Lake Chelan’s Historic Ruby Theater first opened for showings way back in the summer of 1914 and was at the time deemed “superior to most theaters, far above average.” The theater is constantly showing new films, leaving one movie in rotation for only one or two weeks, all the while sitting comfortably in the center of Historic Downtown Chelan. It is believed to be the oldest running movie theater in Washington State and was added to the National Register of Historical Places in the early nineties. Seeing a movie here is an experience that lends itself to the yester-year charm of watching cinema.

Lake Chelan is the Third Deepest Lake in the United States

Lake Chelan is probably deeper than you think! The beautiful lake that we are nestled up against at its maximum depth is over 1,400 feet deep, making it the third deepest lake in the country. But here is a better visual of what that depth looks like; at its greatest depth, the lake is over 300 feet below sea level! In fact, if the lake was void of any water and it sat empty in the Cascade Mountain Range, from its highest peak to its greatest depth Lake Chelan would be deeper than the Grand Canyon. Think about that next time you’re swimming here!

Photo | Slidewaters

The World’s Largest Wave Pool

Slidewaters Waterpark is home to many exciting water amenities. It features 12 slides, a lazy river, and much more! One of Slidewaters extremely unique perks is Lakeside Surf. Here, you can surf in their newly added wave pool nestled up against the mountains. But this isn’t just any wave pool, it just so happens to be the world’s biggest deep water stationary wave! It is the first of its kind in the entire United States and produces a six-foot wave that reaches fifty-four feet in width. Sign up to surf the wave, relax in the sand nearby, or watch some brave people tackle the surf themselves!

Lake Chelan Once Led the State in Gold Production

On the shores of Lake Chelan, near Holden Village, was once Washington State’s literal gold mine! Activity in the area started sometime around 1890, when J.H. Holden suggested that the area boasted precious treasures. Not much is documented in these early years of treasure seekers, but in 1938, the Holden Mine became the largest gold, silver, and copper producer in the state. This lasted until about 1956 when costs and mining issues became too great to carry on. From 1938 until it officially closed in 1957, more than 514,000 ounces of gold were extracted from the mountain! Next time you’re at Holden Village, remember the treasures that once were tucked away in that neck of the Cascade Mountains.

The Lake Chelan Valley is one with rich history and character. There is something here for everyone. Whether it be history junkies, adventure seekers, wine enthusiasts, or movie critics, there is no shortage of culture and entertainment for any visitors!