Trip Planner:   USA  /  Washington State  /  North Cascades National Park  /  Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, North Cascades National Park

4.2
#8 of 9 in Nature in North Cascades National Park
National Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Create an itinerary including Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
Lake Chelan National Recreation Area is a national recreation area located about 35 miles (56 km) south of the Canada–US border in Chelan County, Washington. It encompasses an area of 61,958 acres (25,074 ha) including the northern end of Lake Chelan and the surrounding area of the Stehekin Valley and the Stehekin River. The area is managed by the U.S. National Park Service as part of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex.

Lake Chelan NRA is adjacent to the North Cascades National Park South Unit. There are no roads that lead into Lake Chelan NRA. The recreation area and Stehekin, a small town in the park with fewer than 100 permanent residents, are accessible only by floatplane or passenger ferry from the south end of Lake Chelan near the town of Chelan, Washington. The area can also be accessed by hiking trails through the Cascade Range during the summer months. During the summer, an off-road bus service operated by the NPS carries weary hikers to the town from the Pacific Crest Trail.

Visitors to Lake Chelan NRA can get general information about the area at the Golden West Visitor Center located near the ferry landing. The Buckner Homestead Historic District, Purple Point-Stehekin Ranger Station House, and the one-room Stehekin School are in the Lake Chelan NRA. They are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Use our North Cascades National Park attractions planner to add Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and other attractions to your North Cascades National Park vacation plans.
Source
Create a full itinerary - for free!

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
19 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • Drove through this beautiful area while doing the North Cascades Scenic loop drive. Just stunning. Beautiful properties along the lake and nearby farming areas. 
    Drove through this beautiful area while doing the North Cascades Scenic loop drive. Just stunning. Beautiful properties along the lake and nearby farming areas.  more »
  • The lake looks very beautiful in summer. Water activities are relatively cheaper compared to some other places like Lake Tahoe, Hawaii etc. Good place for folks in the Seattle region to go for a... 
    The lake looks very beautiful in summer. Water activities are relatively cheaper compared to some other places like Lake Tahoe, Hawaii etc. Good place for folks in the Seattle region to go for a...  more »
Google
  • Starting at Bridge Creek trailhead we hiked the loop to Rainbow and then returning via the N. Rainbow trail to McAlester Lake. The trail passes through old growth and meadows with vistas on the passes to the lakes. The campsites are excellent and some have bear lockers and tree-round tables for cooking. Bring a misquote net!
  • Amazing area! So pretty and relaxing. Be careful outside of the summer season as most things are closed. You cannot drive here nor will you have any internet or cell reception. A great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Rent some bikes and go see Rainbow falls. Take a hike and enjoy the views. Relax on the lakeshore and watch the sunset.

Plan your trip to North Cascades National Park

  • Get a personalized trip
    A full day by day itinerary based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place. Everyone on the same page.