"Chelan - Lakeside Resort" Chelan by Johnscarroll

Chelan Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 35 photos

Water, Sun, and Fun

Chelan is the perfect mix for a weekend get away in spring, or a seven day summer trip. Lake Chelan is located in the north Cascade mountains. The south end of the lake sits on the edge of the scrub covered Columbia Plateau. The lake is achored by the town of Chelan, but the lake itself is the soul of the area.

Lake Chelan is one of the deepest alpine lakes in the world. At it's deepest point, it's more than 1500 feet from surface to bottom. But it's also narrow and long - 50 miles long to be exact. But only about 1 mile wide.

Lake Chelan, it's adjoining communities and resorts are a perfect vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts, romantic couples, and families alike.

The southern end of the lake is dry and the hills are either barren or covered with orchards and vineyards - increasingly condos too.

As one travels north, in your own boat or on the Lady of the Lake passenger ferry, the hills become increasingly steep, rugged, and coverd with pine and fir trees.

At the far north end of the lake is the village of Stehekin - a jumping off point for remote hiking trails or rental cabin sans the modern comforts.

This end of the lake is fifty miles north from the city of Chelan and on the very edge of North Cascades National Park - one of the most remote wilderness reserves in the lower 48.

Lake Chelan if fed by icey cold glacial meltwater. Swimming at the north end is not recommended unless you are a polar bear. Believe me, I've tried it. However, the shallower south end is perfect for swimming and splashing about in the midst of the very hot summer season.

Despeit the heat, Chelan is very popular during summer. Reservations for condos and hotel are recommended months in advance - and you should expect to pay a peak season premium. Minimum 7 day stays are often required during summer.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Natural beauty, great boating, fantastic summer weather
  • Cons:Crowded during peak season and expensive too
  • In a nutshell:A terrific summer escape for those who plan ahead
  • Last visit to Chelan: Aug 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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