Chelan Lakeshore Trail Hike, Memorial Day weekend

We went on a three day backpacking trip on the Lakeshore Trail for the Memorial Day weekend with some friends. The lake in question is lake Chelan in central Washington. Here are some photos.

Day One

Lake Chelan is a long lake, 53 miles long and there are no roads past about a third of that distance. The trailhead is way uplake at Prince Creek. To get there you need to take a boat from Chelan.

Lady of the Lake II

Three hours later we got dropped off at the trailhead

Prince Creek Camp

and we’re off in one of the more isolated areas in the lower 48. The only way out is on foot.

Here’s our first day of hiking

Day 1

The lake is about a mile wide all the way up and mostly steep shores. It makes for dramatic views



Our guidebook pointed us to a great camp spot for the first night. It wasn’t easy to find but well worth the effort.

Camp 1

Here’s what it looked like out our tent door

Looking good

It wasn’t all great. The wind was howling from up the lake, there was the constant thought of rattlesnakes, I had issues with my stove (thanks for the stove assist, Nanci, Laurie and Michale!) and there was the late evening visit from a man with his kid (no map) looking for his wife at a camp 3 miles up the trail (no kidding), but what a great evening it was.

Day Two

The wind died down overnight and we woke up to a brilliant sunny morning

Closeup on that outhouse thing

We first hiked up to the boat landing at Moore Creek Point

Laura crossing Moore Creek

The second day’s hike looked like this

Day 2

The plan was to hike somewhere a couple mile short of Stehekin and then walk into town to catch the boat back on Sunday. The second day had the highest vantages

Here I am striking the Warrior pose

We were looking for a particular campground but never found it so we ended up hiking all the way into Stehekin. Our timing was good because there was a shuttle bus leaving right as we arrived and the driver agreed to take us up to the Harlequin Camp 4 miles up the road. It turned out to be a great campsite with only a large group of Boy Scouts to share it with us.

Picnic table and fire ring! (and more than a few mosquitoes)

In the evening the aforementioned bus driver dropped by our camp with the other driver and a few beers. Stehekin is a small, isolated town with only about 100 permanent residents so I suppose we were what passes for good entertainment for the locals. The drivers, Ronnie and Steve were a pretty entertaining guests with good stories to tell and they also brought some firewood so we had a nice campfire.

Day Three

The final day was pretty cushy.

Day 3 (the walk from Harlequin Camp)

We walked down the 4 miles of paved road to the boat dock in Stehekin. The highlights are Rainbow Falls

and the Stehekin bakery (Mmmm)

Then it was onto the boat and back to Chelan

We had pretty good weather overall. It was supposed to rain and it did rain a bit but not too bad. It wasn’t too hot either. We got a couple of great campgrounds and had a lot of fun.

cc: @laura, @laurie.wasson.hill, @seattlenvj