Lake Chelan Journals

Blue Chelan: Waterway to American Alps

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A travel journal to Lake Chelan by El Gallo

Air Chelan Photo, Lake Chelan, Washington More Photos
Quote: Lake Chelan is one of Washington's primary tourist playgrounds with two distinct aspects: the bikini/waterski resorts downlake and the remote, majestic alpine penetration uplake. The deep, 55 mile long lake is a bridge to deep, pristine wilderness.

Blue Chelan: Waterway to American Alps

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Overview

Quote:
It's a place for boaters and fishermen, for high school kids chasing each other, for family summer cabins, for the whole excited/bored vacation resort thing. But that's downlake--uplake that all falls away as the blue waters (certified as the purist in America) round wooded curves into the heart of North Cascades National Park--a Switzerland of 8000 foot peaks and an abiding, bracing calm.Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: What makes the time-travel from wacky jetski resort to stately wilderness possible is the Lady of the Lake, whose regular runs make it possible for people to live uplake, where there are no roads, no mail, no phone, no television. Or, fly Chelan Airways up ther...Read More

Holden Village Bed and Breakfast

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Hotel | "Holden Village B&B"

Quote:
Holden is an old mining town situated in a beautiful valley leading up into the deep Cascades from the Chelan valley. It's a unique place full of mountain wildlife and wildflowers. Holden Village is a Lutheran Retreat center, but that doesn't dominate the area. Lots of people get off the Lady of the Lake and just start hiking off the dozens of trails that lead up out of the village. You can stay at the rustic lodges without having to be into the religion. $48 a night or $226 a week. Which, let me add, includes access to snack bar, bowling alley, pool hall, sauna, and jacuzzi. You can write them at: Registrar, Holden Village, Chealan WA 98816 or leave a message at (509)687-3644. This is another...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 10, 2000

Holden Village Bed and Breakfast
21081 South Lake Shore Toad
Lake Chelan, Washington 98816
(509) 687-9695

Snowshoeing

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Attraction

Quote:
The effortless access the Lady of the Lake gives to deep mountains and three meter snow makes snowshoeing an attractive option--a way of hiking in wintertime. Obviously you can get some snowshoes and head out anywhere, but here I'm dealing with it as a semi-organized activity out of Stehekin Lodge at the top of Lake Chelan. Snowshoeing is not as well-known or popular as skiing (possibly because you end up slogging along instead of zipping around looking cool) but is a nice, low impact, accessible activity. You don't need skills, or expensive equipment, or groovy clothes, or expensive lift tickets, or environment-transforming facilities. And you don't burn gas, scare animals, and pollute th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 9, 2000

Snowshoeing
Throughout Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan, Washington

Chelan Seaplanes

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Story/Tip

Wings over Stehekin Photo, Lake Chelan, Washington
Quote:
The Lady of the Lake boats (why do they call them that on every damn lake in the country?) provide wonderful access to the Uplake wilderness, but there's a cooler way to go if you can afford it--seaplane. And not only to Stehekin and Holden, either. You can get them to drop you off at Domke Lake or other remote tarns where you will be flat ALONE and ISOLATED. Especially impressive in winter. Fortunately you can also arrange for them to pick you up and take you out. These guys have been doing this forever and have a perfect safety record (or so they claim). You get on down in the bustling resort atmosphere of Chelan, then lift over all that, and the acres of apple orchards, and immediately start ...Read More

Boat-Only Campgrounds Uplake--FREE!

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Story/Tip

Campground View Photo, Lake Chelan, Washington
Quote:
The downlake end of the Chelan Valley is crammed with motels, hotels, resorts, condos, rental houses, bed & breakfasts, while uplake there are only a few resort lodges. But the real fun, for my money, is in between--canoeing up and camping at the string of campsites that are only accessible by boat. They are nicely spaced to allow a trip up lake and back, and provide a great place to stay for awhile and explore the mountains above. Do a little fishing and hanging out in a place with no cars and where nobody is going to suddenly walk up on you. These are thought of as fairly primitive sights by the Park Service and Forest Service, but I call them pretty luxurious--they even have toilets...Read More

Lady of the Lake--Uplake by Boat

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Story/Tip

Lady of the Lake II Photo, Lake Chelan, Washington
Quote:
Before mentioning the Lady Boats that make the runs, let me say a little bit about the lake itself. 'Blue Chelan' is accepted as the most pristine open water in the country. Though part of the 'clear blue' water reputation, it turns out, was because copper tailings from mines at Holden killed micro-organisms of the kind that cause green water in other lakes. The Chelan Valley is the deepest gorge in North America, surrounded by 9000 foot mountains, with the glacier-carved lake itself over 1400 feet deep (third deepest in the U.S.), the bottom 400 feet actually below sea level. 27 glaciers and 57 creeks feed the lake, whose shoreline is maintained by the damn down at Chelan. The lake provide...Read More

About the Writer

El Gallo

El Gallo
Monkey Junction, Afghanistan