Backpack the Chelan Lakeshore Trail

17 miles 1800 ft gain  - Point-to-Point Trail

Added by Nathan Wall

Enjoy low-elevation backpacking in a spectacular backcountry setting nestled in the North Cascades along Washington State's largest fresh water lake: Lake Chelan.  

Make Note: This adventure requires out and back travel via the 'Lady of the Lake' ferry from Chelan, Washington or Field's Point Landing on Lake Chelan. Schedules, fares, and reservations can be made at: http://ladyofthelake.com/

The route described herein utilizes the Lake Chelan Lakeshore Trail and traverses through the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, Okanogan National Forest, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, and ultimately ends at the town of Stehekin. The trip can be done from Prince Creek to Stehekin, or vice versa, but it is recommended that the route be done as described since the ferry cannot land at Prince Creek in rough waters. I will be describing a relaxed 2 night, 3 day itinerary below, but the route could reasonably be completed with a single overnight. Please respect the plethora of private land that dots the lake shore so future generations are guaranteed the access to the same backcountry splendor!

Board the Lady of the Lake at either Chelan, WA, or Field's Point Landing and relax for over an hour admiring the fjord-like chasm of Lake Chelan while the captain points out various landmarks as you make your way up the lake. Disembark at Prince Creek landing around 11am and either make camp or begin your trek Northwestward. The trail rolls up and down, gradually gaining and losing elevation with the lake often in sight, and meanders through riparian zones and shady ponderosa forests. Cross Rattlesnake and Rex creeks and eventually pass or utilize the first designated backcountry camp at Cascade Creek. Shortly thereafter, come to Meander Creek Camp at 7 miles from from Prince Creek and locate one of the many fine sites nestled in the woods or use the provided lean-to if you're traveling light. 

The next morning set out once again along the idyllic shores of the lake as cares fall away and you hike unencumbered towards camps at Moore Point or Flick Creek (note: the Flick Creek Campground is about a half mile south of the creek). Be silent and watch for deer, elk, and black bears roving in the meadows and take in the bird songs and hum of the forest. Shortly after setting out from Meadow Creek you'll reach the high point of the trail before dropping down to Fish Creek at about 11 miles from Prince Creek. A spur trail leads to Moore Point where many fine camps abound. Be sure to take the time to explore the ancient orchard and if the weather allots take an enticing swim in the cold glacial waters of Lake Chelan. If Moore Point is too crowded, or your legs simply desire more walking, make for the small, but blissful camp at Flick Creek by continuing over Hunt's Bluff: a stunning outcrop with panoramic vistas of the lake and formidable North Cascade peaks. After passing over the bluff and basking in the fantastic views abruptly drop to the lake shore yet again and pass (or find camp) at Flick Creek. Continue ambling along the shore eventually crossing Fourmile, Hazard, and Purple Creeks before marching into the absurdly handsome town of Stehekin. Kick back and relax, grab a cold beer or a sandwich at one of the restaurants before boarding the Lady of the Lake yet again to return to your car.

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Fishing
Photography
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Loved It!

Such a great hike with spectacular views!

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