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Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. How to get by car to the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. How to book a room and its price in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

 

Lake Chelan

National Recreation Area

In north-central Washington, near Stehekin

 

Lake Chelan rests in a trough carved by glaciers in the Cascades Range. The recreation area is part of North Cascades National Park. With a depth of 1,500 feet, it's one of the nation s deepest lakes. Although the lake's average width is less than 2 mi, it extends almost 55 mi into the Cascade Mountains. At its deepest point, Lake Chelan drops to 400 feet below sea level. The Stehekin River drainage area and the upper 4 mi of the lake are protected by the recreation area. The area was established on October 2, 1968.

 

WHAT TO SEE & DO

Boating (rentals), bicycling (rentals), cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and pack trips (rentals), hunting, mountain climbing, picnicking, river rafting, snowshoeing (rentals). Facilities: Golden West Visitor Center (Stehekin Landing), wayside exhibits, self-guided interpretive trails. Book and map sales areas, post office. Programs & Events: Junior Explorer Activity (June-Sept.), naturalist talks (June-Sept., daily at 1:30); evening programs (July-Aug., nightly at 8), Buck-ner Orchard Ride & Hike (June-Sept., Fri. at 11), Voices of the Mountain Series (occasionally), Earth Week (mid-Apr). Tips & Hints: Be prepared for rapid weather changes. The North Cascades Complex is primarily a wilderness park with few frontcountry activities. Hang all food out of the reach of bears in backcountry. Beware of hazardous stream crossings. Check conditions before starting trips. Crossing snow-fields may require special equipment. Busiest July and Aug., least crowded Dec. and Jan.

 

FOOD, LODGING & SUPPLIES

Camping: 5 campgrounds in the park: Bullion (2 walk-in sites; free; pit toilets), Harlequinn (6 walk-in sites; free; pit toilets), High Bridge (2 walk-in sites; free; pit toilets), Purple Point (7 walk-in sites; free; flush toilets), Tumwater (2 walk-in sites; free; pit toilets). Camping permits are required for all sites and can be obtained at Lake Chelan or Stehekin. Backcountry and boat-in sites available along Stehekin Valley Road and along Lake Chelan (permit required, see below). See also North Cascades National Park and Ross Lake National Recreation Area.  Hotels: In the park: North Cascades Stehekin Lodge (tel. 509/ 682-4494; 28 rooms; $90-$ 165; hike in or boat in only). In Stehekin: Stehekin Valley Ranch (Stehekin Valley Rd., tel. 509/682-4677 or 800/ 536-0745; 5 cabins; $75-$85; closed Oct.-May), Silver Bay Inn & Cabins (Silver Bay Rd., tel. 509/682-2212; 4 units; $145-$295). X Restaurants: None in park. In Stehekin: Stehekin Valley Ranch (Stehekin Valley Rd., tel. 509/682-4677 or 800/536-0745; $ll-$20; closed Oct.- mid-June). & Groceries & Gear: None in park. In Chelan: Safeway (106 W. Rte. 150, tel. 509/682-2615), Lake Chelan Sports Inc. (932 E. Woodin Ave., tel. 509/682-2629).

 

FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS

Free. Shuttle bus fee: $6 per zone each way on bus in the Stehekin Valley. Reservations recommended (tel. 360/856-5700 Ext. 340, then Ext. 14). The bus operates May 15-Oct. 15. No dogs on shuttle. Backcountry permit (free) required for all backcountry camping (tel. 360/873-4590 Ext. 39). Permits issued in person only. Permits required for Stehekin Valley road campsites. Use of federal docks on lake requires Forest Service dock permit ($5 per day or $40 annual). Washington state fishing and hunting licenses required. Hunting permitted in recreation area only. Leashed pets only Recreation area open daily. Heavy winter snows restrict travel and close roads. Golden West Visitor Center open Mar. 15-May 15, daily 12:30-2; May 16-Sept. 30, daily 8:30-5; Oct. 1-15, daily 10:30-2.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

The main access to Stehekin is by boat (tel. 509/682-2224) or floatplane (tel. 509/682-5555) from the town of Chelan on U.S. 97. Area can be reached by hiking trail in summer. Closest airport: Seattle-Tacoma (177 mi).

 

CONTACTS

North Cascades National Park Service Complex (810 Rte. 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284, tel. 360/856-5700, fax 360/856-1934). Lake Chelan Tourist Information (102 E. Johnson St., Lake Chelan, WA 98816, tel. 800/424-3526).