Lake Chelan Activities

Things to Do in Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan, Washington, offers year-round activities and fun for the whole family. The Lake Chelan Valley combines small-town charm with world-class activities and jaw-dropping scenery. Plentiful sunshine, sparkling blue waters, rugged Cascade Peaks, and rich, fertile soil perfect for growing grapes make a Lake Chelan vacation truly memorable. This unique and exciting vacation destination offers something for everyone, including water sports, outdoor adventure, golf, wine tasting, shopping, and exceptional dining. Lake Chelan provides plenty of things to do during all four seasons of the year. Some visit Lake Chelan for rest and relaxation, and others come to take advantage of the many outdoor activities. Regardless of what is on your agenda, our Lake Chelan vacation rentals put you right in the heart of it all, where you can easily enjoy wonderful activities, dining, and shopping. No matter the time of year, there are plenty of Lake Chelan activities to keep you entertained!

Chelan Summer Activities

Boating and Water Sports - With 55 miles of glacier-fed, beautiful blue water, there is no reason not to get out on Lake Chelan and play. The lower portion of Lake Chelan, called the Wapato Basin, is a water sports haven. Here you can enjoy jet skiing, water skiing, knee boarding, wakeboarding, tubing, and zipping through the water on personal watercraft. Lucerne Basin, in the upper portion of Lake Chelan, is the quieter part of the lake where the depths can reach 1,500 feet. This area is perfect for kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, and exploring the wildlife and untouched shoreline of Lucerne Basin. This upper portion also serves as a gateway to the 15 spectacular boat-in campgrounds provided by the Forest Service and the National Park Service, as well as to the picturesque community of Stehekin at the head of the lake. Sailing on Lake Chelan is also an incredibly popular summer activity, and there are opportunities to rent sailboats of all sizes and types on Lake Chelan.

Fishing - Fishing on Lake Chelan promises to be a memorable day spent on crystal clear waters in the sunshine. Surrounded by stunning scenery, anglers can fish for a variety of trout, salmon, and bass on Lake Chelan and other nearby bodies of water. The Lake Chelan area has several fishing outfitters that will provide a guided day on the water, or row boat and fishing gear rentals for those that want to fish on their own.

Hiking - The Lake Chelan Valley offers a variety of beautiful hiking trails, from mile-long loops, to more strenuous mountain hikes and multi-day hiking trips. The Echo Ridge Trail System is a popular hiking area near Lake Chelan. With 25 miles of intertwining trails, hikers of all ages will find everything from wide-open trails to single track trails higher up. Magnificent views abound, from birds eye vistas of Lake Chelan, to expansive views of the Stewart Range, the Okanogan Highlands, and the Columbia Plateau. These trails are only open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horses, and most are suitable for children. For the adventurous, hiking trails that are a bit more strenuous can be found in the upper regions of Lake Chelan and the surrounding Cascades.

Mountain Biking - Lake Chelan offers numerous mountain bike trails suitable for all ages and skill levels. Visitors and locals alike enjoy trails ranging from gentle to extreme around the Lake Chelan Basin and drainage. The Chelan Ranger District provides trail maps for the mountain biking trails in the area, and bike rentals are available in Chelan.

Golf - Lake Chelan is a wonderful golf destination, with six courses in the area and two directly in Lake Chelan, including the Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course and the new Bear Mountain Ranch Golf Course. Within just a short drive from Chelan, golf enthusiasts will find several fantastic courses, including an 18-hole links course, and an 18-hole championship course with an 18-hole putting course. Golfers will enjoy 300 days of sunshine and panoramic views of Lake Chelan, rolling hills, and rugged mountains. Make Lake Chelan your next golf destination!

Wine Tasting - The Lake Chelan Valley offers a wine tasting experience that you simply won’t find anywhere else in the world. The volcanic, mineral-rich soils combined with the lake effect climate of warm days and cool nights leads to an ideal setting for growing grapes and producing top-notch wines. A relatively new wine destination, Lake Chelan’s wines have already received dozens of awards and accolades. Tour the local vineyards surrounded by the picture-perfect setting of rolling hills, panoramic Lake Chelan views, and North Cascade peaks. The Chelan Valley wine scene is an up-and-coming and exciting destination. Many of the area wineries even feature concerts, festivals, special dinners, and more.

Lake Chelan Winter Activities

Nordic Skiing - The Echo Ridge Trail Syste, just 15 miles from downtown Chelan, is a Nordic skiing paradis. With 21 miles of groomed cross-county skiing trails suited for all abilities and preferences, the whole family will enjoy cross county skiing in Chelan. Take in the beautiful views of the surrounding Lake Chelan Valley and explore these fantastic trails on Nordic skis. There are a few places in the area that rent Nordic skis, so leave your gear at home and explore the un-crowded trails.

Snowmobiling - Snowmobiling is an incredibly popular winter activity at Lake Chelan, and with 170 miles of well-marked and groomed trails, it’s no wonder why. The 3 snow parks in the Lake Chelan Valley offer trails for novice riders to the more advanced snowmobiling enthusiasts, and all trails take advantage of incredible views and scenery. Find a snowmobile rental and get out into the Washington backcountry on your next trip to Lake Chelan.

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Tubing - The Echo Valley Ski and Tubing Area offers winter fun for the whole family, and it’s just seven miles from downtown Chelan. With a 2,500-foot elevation, skiers, snowboarders, and tubers can access snow-covered slopes via three rope twos and a surface Poma lift. A lodge with a restaurant and cozy fireplace area make taking breaks and watching the action a joy. Mission Ridge, a little over fifty miles away from Chelan, offers slightly longer ski runs, 2,000 acres of terrain, and a high-speed quad chairlift to the top. If you don’t want to travel with your ski or snowboard gear, both facilities offer rentals.

Shopping - The towns of Chelan and Manson offer every type of shop and boutique a person could imagine, from the charming, to the elegant, to the practical. Visitors will find unique furniture and crafts made by local artisans, alongside trendy clothing, and Northern Washington State treasures. Markets, boutiques, and gift shops will surprise and delight visitors, and most people find it impossible to leave empty-handed.

Dining and Nightlife - Chelan might be considered a small-town, but this charming lakefront destination in Washington State offers world-class dining sure to please any palate. No matter what type of setting or cuisine you crave, there are unique Lake Chelan restaurants that will fit any mood. From pubs to bistros, pizzas to elegant dining, visitors can enjoy a variety of Chelan restaurants with great ambiance and in many cases, Lake Chelan views.