Summertime Fun in the Sun

Lake Chelan sits on the eastern side of the Cascade mountain range in a glacial valley boasting 300 days of sunshine annually and close proximity to many attractions in the Pacific Northwest. While it feels a world apart, it’s an easy three-hour drive from Seattle, the ideal weekend getaway or longer summertime escape. 

(Photo Credit: Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce)

Off the Grid in Stehekin

Nestled atop the northern end of Lake Chelan, the unincorporated town of Stehekin (pop. 75) is a haven for those looking to get away from it all. Situated in North Cascades National Park with no connecting roads, Stehekin is not accessible by car, and has no cell phone reception or ATM. Venture in by boat on Lady of the Lake, check into the North Cascades Lodge or Stehekin Valley Ranch, and get ready to immerse yourself in nature for the ultimate in distanced relaxation. Only have time for a day trip? Let Stehekin Valley Adventures be your guide.

Outdoor Adventure Awaits

Whether you’re satisfying your adrenaline rush, mastering miles of racing or simply heading out for a stroll, Lake Chelan plays host to various events and activities throughout the summer that will help you get your daily dose of activity:

    • Go Fish – Every year, Lake Chelan’s 50.5-mile expanse is stocked with hundreds of thousands of salmon and trout. As residents of a landlocked lake, these fish get big — which is fantastic for your fish stories. Try your luck in the lower lake around Chelan and Manson, or head uplake to Stehekin, where the Stehekin River is ideal for fly-fishing. 
    • Make a Splash – Lake Chelan has you covered when you’re ready to head out on the water. Head to LakeRider Sports to rent kayaks and paddleboards, or for a more high-octane lake experience, Shoreline Watercraft & Boat Rentals has boats and jet skis at the ready. 
    • Echo Valley – The local ski hill transitions into a web of hiking and biking trails in the spring, great for all ability levels. For a serious challenge, register for the NW Epic Series 30/60 Echo Valley Mountain Bike Race on June 12.
    • Get Airborne – Embark on a scenic ride with Lake Chelan Helicopters or take the leap (literally!) with Sky Dive Chelan and get a whole new perspective on the beautiful vineyards of the region. After your adventure, swing by your favorite tasting room for a much-needed glass of wine!
    • Summer Swing – Offering golf courses for beginners and experts alike, Lake Chelan is the ideal destination to bring your buddies for a weekend spent on the green at Lake Chelan Golf Course, Bear Mountain Ranch, Rock Island, Alta Lake or Highlander.
    • Electric Bike Wine Tour – Experience this beautiful wine region with the fresh air in your hair and a glass of wine in hand (not simultaneously, of course). Reserve an award-winning, guided Chelan Electric Bikes tour through the Lake Chelan wine valley, or the new Path Less Pedaled tour to ride fat tire bikes along the Old Chelan River Gorge dirt road, deep into the Columbia River Gorge.
(Photo Credit: Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce)

Pup-Friendly Paradise

Bring all your family members – including the four-legged ones – on your next trip to Lake Chelan! If you will have your furry friends in tow, plenty of area hotspots have special pet-friendly offerings:

Succession Winery

Outdoor Wine Tasting 

Soak up at the sun on the patios at Lake Chelan’s many world-class wineries. Don’t miss the sweeping views at Siren Song Vineyard Estate and Winery and Tipsy Canyon Winery, and the beautiful patio setting at Fielding Hills. Be sure to explore the region’s stunning recent award winners, 2021 Washington Winery of the Year Mellisoni Vineyards and 2020 Washington Winery of the Year Tsillan Cellars.

Lights, Camera, Action at the Ruby Theatre

More than just a cool, dark place to take a break from the summer heat, Chelan’s Ruby Theatre is a Main Street American treasure. As the state’s oldest continuously operating theatre, the Ruby has been screening first-run films since 1914. Drop in for a quick flick or rent the theatre out for a truly memorable party. 

Evening Farmers Market – Every Thursday 

Shop the weekly Evening Farmers Market (Thursdays, 2-6 p.m., May through October) for peaches, cherries, apples, tomatoes, herbs, cheeses, crafts and more. Enjoy special events and get to know the growers and artisans, who just might have a story to share along with their wares.

Music in the Park Summer Concert Series – June–September 

Enjoy live music in historic downtown Chelan’s Riverwalk Park every first and third Sunday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. For a full schedule of featured artists, click here

Rosé Soirée Auction — June 26, 2021 

Sip and savor your way through an enchanting evening at Larc Hill Vineyard Ranch and celebrate the delicious diversity of summer’s favorite wine at the Rosé Soirée Auction.

Independence Day Fireworks – July 3-4, 2021 

Prepare to be dazzled by not one but two fireworks shows over the lake during the holiday weekend. On Saturday, July 3, the show will be presented from the Chelan side of Lake Chelan, and on Sunday, July 4, it will be on the Manson side. Both shows kick off at 10:00 p.m. 

Lake Chelan Boating Club Poker Run 2021 – July 10, 2021

This “Halloween in July” event welcomes boaters from all over to enjoy Lake Chelan for the Poker Run. This fun ride goes up the lake from Manson, including five locations to pick up sealed cards for your poker hands. A third of the proceeds are donated to Manson- and Chelan-area organizations.

Tsillan Cellars

Local Lodging Options

  • Campbell’s Resort – Family owned and operated since 1901, Campbell’s Resort offers guest rooms and award-winning dining on the shores of Lake Chelan. 
  • The Lookout – Just minutes from town, The Lookout is a lakeside village offering vacation homes for sale and rent. 
  • GrandView on the Lake – Offering direct access to Lake Chelan, GrandView on the Lake features panoramic views from every guest room, a waterfront pool and a hot tub oasis. 
  • Wapato Point – With a wide range of distinctive villages at Wapato Point, all boasting a unique style and location, you choose how to relax and unwind or dive into the action on the north shore.

About Lesley Michelle

Lesley is the founder and editor of What's Up NW. Lesley does love her beer and writes about that A LOT, but she also loves to shine the light on local events, people and businesses that call the Pacific Northwest home!

View all posts by Lesley Michelle

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