Lake Chelan is a wonderful mix of resort and nature. It is located in northern Washington State. The land that Lake Chelen resides on, was developed over millions of years; it rose with the Cascade Mountains. Glaciers still exist atop the Cascade Mountains. Every year, water from these glaciers flows to the lake below. This also waters the orchards in the area.
The Cascade Mountains are 14,411 feet tall. It’s 700 miles in length, 80 miles in height and reaches into Canada. The actual Lake Chelan Lake is 50.5 miles long, and 1,486 feet deep. Its width is, on average, 1.8 miles, but spans up to 52.1 square miles.
Lake Chelan has fourteen trails, providing 250 miles of hiking experience. Sixty miles are reserved for back-country trails that are open to motorcycles, horses and bikers as well as walking hikers. The rest of the trail, totaling at 190 miles, is only for non-motorized hikers and bikers. These trails are included in the Chelan Ranger District, consisting of 422,000 acres of land surrounding the lake.
It’s has picnic areas, bathrooms and children’s play areas. It goes into the forest, and overlooks the lake providing a wonderful view. The Echo Ridge Summer Trails is more challenging. During the winter it is used for skiing. Lake Chelan also offers several 18 hole golf clubs offering a panoramic view of the water.
For lodging, Lake Chelan offers cabins and tents near the lake that complete with cots and lanterns. They also offer places to camp out with tents. For those that want Lake Chelan to be more than a vacation, Sage Vacation Rentals and The Lookout at Lake Chelan sell vacation homes.
Although the Lake has many trails a hiker can experience, they only have eight main trails. They range from very easy, to very challenging. For example, beginners can do the 2.3 mile long Little Bear Trail; more experienced hikers can attempt the massive Echo Ridge Summer Trails, topping out at 25 miles. The Little Bear Trail is a wonderful quaint route.
It inhabits several species fish such as Chinook Salmon and Lake Trout. Some active volcanoes still reside on the Cascade Mountains. Although most volcanic activity in the United States are volcanoes on the Cascade Mountains, the activity is largely controlled and handled with proper safety.
Different people inhabited the land that would become Lake Chelan. The Tsillane people were Native Americans who lived in the area for thousands of years, until the arrival of Europeans. Miners arrived in the area in the 1880s, under the lure of precious metals.
This ushered in an era of mass extraction of 66.5 million dollars’ worth of copper, gold, silver and zinc. Like other areas in the country, Congress passed a bill in 1968 creating the North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and Pasayten Wilderness.
The area is also home to ferryboats and a hydroelectric power plant. Because of surrounding fertile land, Lake Chelan Valley has several apple orchards. These apples are used to create fresh juice, cider and ale.