Stehekin Washington is a glorious destination for those who find themselves with the urge to disconnect from the real world for a while. Situated on the northern shores of Lake Chelan, this waterfront community isn't served by a single road. Visitors must arrive by boat or ferry.
Once visitors arrive, they are treated to natural paradise. Much of the surrounding terrain is forested, and where the water meets the land, the scene is generally quite rugged. Less than 100 people call Stehekin Washington home on a year-round basis. This number goes up during the peak summer season with the arrival of vacationers and seasonal workers. Lake Chelan itself, which is found approximately 165 miles southeast of Seattle, is ideal for activities such as boating, kayaking, and fishing. Salmon, trout, and bass figure among the common catches of the day. In Stehekin, the fly fishing is especially good, and guided fishing trips aren't difficult to arrange. For those who aren't avid anglers, on the other hand, there are other options for things to do in Stehekin Washington. These things include biking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. The hiking opportunities also deserve to be highlighted. When a break from recreational activities is in order, attractions such as the Buckner Homestead Historic District and the old, one-room Stehekin School can be fun to check out.
Getting to Stehekin
Stehekin WA Ferry
Since it isn't possible to drive to Stehekin Washington due to the lack of inbound roads, most visitors opt instead to arrive by way of boat. Passenger ferries link the community to the busier town of Chelan on the far southern end of the lake. It is also possible to take a private boat from Chelan, and the Lady of the Lake plies the area waters year round. Other options for getting to Stehekin involve hiking in or flying. Floatplanes, or seaplanes as they are also known, are used, with the most common take off point being Chelan. The plane ride up to Stehekin from Chelan takes around 25 minutes. As a side note, any and all vehicles that are found in Stehekin were barged in.
Stehekin lodging is available in good supply for those who wish to visit this beautiful portion of the Pacific Northwest. Cabins can be found throughout the valley and are understandably popular. Outdoor enthusiasts who wish to stay even closer to nature can consider staying at one of the numerous campgrounds that can be found on the northern side of Lake Chelan. The Purple Point Campground, which offers fewer than ten campsites, is right in town and is easiest to get to from the boat landing. If more complete lodging is the target, the Stehekin hotels include the Silver Bay Inn & Resort, the cheaper Stehekin Landing Resort, and the even cheaper Stehekin Valley Ranch.
The best hiking trails that can be found in the Lake Chelan area are arguably those that start in the more immediate Stehekin area. The community is surrounded by the natural confines of the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, and to the near north unfolds North Cascades National Park. While hiking on the trails in these parks, visitors can climb up to lofty points that provide amazing views, or they can stick to easier paths that stay closer to lake level. There are waterfalls to visit on the side, such as the 312-foot Rainbow Falls, and it's certainly not uncommon to spot birds and other wildlife wherever you choose to hike. Both day hikes and extended backpacking sessions that include camping can be enjoyed in the Stehekin area, and as far as the peak hiking season is concerned, that distinction goes to the April through October period.