There are beautiful mountain lakes. Then there is Lake Chelan, an ultra-scenic, 50-mile-long lake pinched by snowy caps of the remote Cascades. An ice-blue pearl, Lake Chelan reaches depths more than 1,400 feet and ranks as the third deepest lake in the United States. This adventure begins with a 4-hour ferry ride across the lake. You’ll share the deck with long-lens photographers snapping shots of dramatic peaks, waterfalls, and mountain goats.
Leave the ferry riders at Stehekin. From the dock, walk past the visitor center to the Lakeshore Trail to start a 14-mile out-and-back weekend trip. The path weaves through lush pine-fir forest and several burn areas. Bring a wildflower field guide: Indian paintbrush, glacier lilies, and lupines pepper the ground. The first 3 miles of trail traverse a scree-talus field, pass the remnants of an old sheepherder’s homestead, and skirt a waterfall that tumbles down mossy rocks. After 5.2 miles, crest the high point along Hunts Bluff. (Views extend across Stehekin to distant Cascade peaks). From here, it’s 1.8 miles to Moore Point Campground. Set up camp, and savor the views at sunset. The next day return 7 miles back to Stehekin.
Info: North Cascades National Park and Lady of the Lake
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography