Going to Stehekin is an adventure! It requires a bit of planning, but it is worth the trip!
Stehekin is located at the north of Lake Chelan. No road to get there, you will have to hike or take a boat, choosing among different companies:
– Lady of the lake from Chelan or Field’s Point: 4-hour crossing or 2h30 with the express boat.
– Stehekin ferry : new boat (catamaran) set up in 2020 2h30 ?
Stehekin feels like an island, secluded and relaxing, and that is what we love about it. If someone lends you a car, you can leave the keys inside. People are very welcoming, and you will often meet friendly hikers.
Indeed, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers abound, some of whom came all the way from Winthrop (16-hour hike).
With its gorgeous scenery and laid-back feel, Stehekin is a place outside the world, perfect for nature lovers!
The south side of Lake Chelan is very dry, but the north side is lush. Stehekin is in a beautiful valley at the foot of the North Cascades glaciers. Waters are very cold, even in summer and you will need to bring a wetsuit for swimming or for any water sport.
Trails around Stehekin are gorgeous, whether you’re walking along the river or the lake, hiking to the Rainbow Falls, stopping by an orchard to buy fruits and vegetables, goat cheese and honey or even indulging in a slice of pie at the Stehekin Bakery.
Buckner Orchard is a beautiful orchard located near Rainbow Falls.
There is something for everyone:
– Kayaking: renting sea kayaks
– Paddle-boarding : bring your own paddle and explore the magical lagoons north of the lake
– Horseback riding: classes and excursions at the ranch
– Fly fishing
Examples of trails:
– The Rainbow Loop for its views over the lake
– Agnes Gorges to marvel at the river in early Spring
– McGregor Mountain
– McGregor Mountain Lite
Our recommendation is to stay at least 3 nights.
Some accommodations come with a vehicle, which is a great way to get around other than by bike.
Stehekin Valley Ranch: meals are included, and the food is great, especially the wide selection of fruit pies and cakes from the bakery for dessert. Several options with different levels of comfort: Tent Cabins, Ranch Cabins or Wagons. The ranch is more remote, which is part of the appeal, although you will be more out of the way.
Stehekin Log Cabins: Two nice cabins close to the bakery, a focal point in Stehekin.
Stehekin Lodge: At the pier, where boats arrive and leave.
Other cabins are available for rent by the lake or in the valley.
Choose your accommodation according to what you have planned: easy access to the lake, the valley or hiking trails.