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Things To Do In Lake Chelan In Summer

What Is The Best Bait For Trout Fishing

Best Things To Do in Chelan, WA!

A trout bait is a hook that is used by anglers to catch trout. It is best to use a bait that imitates the natural food found in a trouts diet in order to catch trout. The 5 best baits for trout are worms, fish eggs, flies, artificial baits, minnows, and live baits, but there are many other options as well.

Castle Vineyards & Zip Lines Tours

You will likely drive right by the Castle Vineyards & Ziplines Tours on the side of the highway on your way into Chelan. They open for ZipLine experiences Memorial Day Weekend and could be a fun outing for the adventurous at heart. You can even combine it with a little wine tasting!

Image Credit: Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce

Go Tubing Or Learn Downhill Skiing

If youre a new skier or snowboarder or have kids in tow, you can also stop at the Echo Valley Ski Area right before the Echo Ridge trailhead for some downhill ski or snowboard action.

Theres also a tubing hill for those who want to feel the wind in their hair. A full day of Echo Valley ski tubing is only $15 per person so you can ride to your hearts content!

If youre more of a thrill seeker, you can also rent snowmobiles at this sno park!

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The 10 Best Things To Do In Lake Chelan Washington

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Lake Chelan has a secret. Although its located just three hours from Seattle, its part of a different weather system. While Seattle is known for clouds and rain, Lake Chelan enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year. Whats more, its that rare destination with fantastic views from every direction. Everywhere you turn, you see mountains, vineyards, and of course, the glistening expanse of Lake Chelan, stretching as far as you can see.

This isnt to suggest that Lake Chelan isnt more than just a pretty face. The area offers a variety of diverse year-round activities. Here are the best things to do while youre there.

At 50 miles long and almost 1,500 feet deep, Lake Chelan is the largest natural lake in the state of Washington. The lake is narrow and framed by hills and mountains, offering stunning views from both the water and shore. There are 15 docks for boaters maintained by the National Forest Service or the National Park Service. Permits are necessary and can be purchased through the ranger station in downtown Chelan.

Kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and parasailing are also attractive activities. Equipment is available through Chelan Parasail and Watersports and Shoreline Watercraft, among other places.

Be carefulthe Lake Chelan Dragon, a fearsome beast rumored to be related to the Loch Ness Monster, supposedly haunts the lake.

Stay Awhile At Chelan Falls Park

We really missed Lake Chelan this summer :(

Take a break from Chelan Lake by visiting the other side of the city, the one right next to the Columbia River.

The premier destination in this area is Chelan Falls Park, which sits right next to the aforementioned body of water.

Its a 33-acre outdoor attraction ideal for the whole family, with lots of verdant grounds, woodland, and walking trails for explorations.

And since its next to a river, the park offers plenty of water-related activities like swimming and kayaking.

The most prominent feature here is the view of the Cascade and Columbia River Railroad Bridge, framed perfectly by the surrounding mountains and the river flowing underneath.

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Explore The Wonders Of Chelan Lake

Most people come to the city of Chelan to visit the body of water that shares its name, so its a no-brainer that this should be on the top of your itinerary.

Lake Chelan is a long lake that almost looks like a river, spanning more than 50 miles and going as deep as 1,500 feet, making it the largest natural lake in the whole state.

Perhaps the most striking feature of this attraction, aside from its disproportional length, is the steep mountain ranges that flank all sides.

These frame the narrow lake and create stunning vistas comparable to that of the fjords in Nordic countries.

Whether you want to try fishing, boating, kayaking, or swimming, there are many spots on the lake for water-related activities.

Lake Chelan also serves as the gateway to the other attractions along its lengthy banks.

One of which is the scenic Lake Chelan State Park.

What To Do In Chelan: Complete Travel Guide To Chelan Washington

Lake Chelan Washington is one of my favorite places in the world. Chelan is a small lake town in Eastern Washington state. The small town has recently become super popular due to the local wineries, sunny weather, and local charm. Keep reading for my complete travel guide including what to do in Chelan.

When I was born, my family bought a small 500 square foot cabin in the hills of Chelan. For the past 24 years, I have visited multiple times and view it as my second home. It is my happy place and I hope this guide helps you plan a trip to make it a happy place for you too!

Chelan has many great activities for all ages, all interests, and all seasons. Some of my favorite things to do are wine tasting and boating but below is a complete list of what to do.

This post contains affiliate links, which are unlabeled ads. We may earn a small commission if you purchase through these links, which is at no extra cost to you.

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Is Lake Chelan Open For Fishing

The fishing at Lake Chelan is open all year round, though certain times and areas are better than others for different types of fish. The best time to fish kokanee is between mid-April and June, while June and July are the best times to fish cutthroat trout. The best time to visit Lake Trout is late winter or early spring.

Go To Slidewaters Waterpark

What to do in Lake Chelan | Local Lens Seattle

One of our favorite things to do is visit Slidewaters! We have been to some of the best water parks in the world, and Slidewaters is still one of our favorites. Its a beautiful waterpark with views of the lake below. Its always been exceptionally clean and there are plenty of attractions. There are lots of waterslides, a lazy river, the worlds largest stationary wave, and much more! Its a true oasis during the summer.

102 Waterslide Dr, Chelan, WA 98816

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Places To Stay In Lake Chelan

There are a variety of Lake Chelan hotels to choose from, whether you want to stay on a budget or indulge in more luxurious accommodation. Prices will be more expensive during the summer, which is peak season, and taper off during the rest of the year.

  • Deep Water Inn If youre looking for a cheaper place to stay, check out this hotel. Its located downtown so youll have access to plenty of restaurants and stores and is also pet-friendly.
  • Campbells Resort This is a popular Lake Chelan hotel that I personally love staying at. Its right on the lake and they have their own pool and beach, so you have multiple ways to get in the water. They have their own restaurant on-site and are across from Safeway and Starbucks.

You also have plenty of options to stay at if you prefer a vacation rental.

  • Two-bedroom condo Youll have a gorgeous view of the lake and mountains, a balcony to drink wine on, sleeping for up to four guests, and a washer and dryer available.
  • Lakefront condo w/hot tub This pet-friendly condo has a private hot tub, dock, and a grill and outdoor patio set.
  • Huge waterfront home This stunning seven-bedroom house sleeps up to 20 guests and has a large back deck overlooking the lake.

Get Your Golf Game On

Lake Chelan is a premier golfing destination with eight different golf courses located in and near Chelan Valley. Bear Mountain Ranch is an 18-hole golf course, each of which has spectacular views of the mountain or lake. The Lake Chelan Municipal Golf Course also boasts one of a kind views and daily lessons from PGA professionals. The award-winning Gamble Sands golf course is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Chelan and consistently named as one of the best golf courses in North America.

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Shop Fresh Fruits And Veggies At Sunshine Farm Market

For those who want a taste of the high-quality produce farmed from the fertile soils of Chelan, make a stopover at the Sunshine Farm Market.

There are other farmers markets in the city, but Sunshine Farm Market is open every day, so you can just drop by whenever its convenient for you.

Its located near Tsillan Cellars, making it one of the first things youd see as your travel the highway into Chelan.

Here, youd find a carefully curated selection of the regions finest fruits, vegetables, and other crops.

There are also handmade products such as preserves, roasted coffee beans, oils, tablecloths, and Chelan-themed merchandise.

Best of all, these are all local and organic products, so quality is already a guarantee.

Best Ways To Get On The Water At Lake Chelan

The 10 Best Things To Do In Lake Chelan, Washington

You cant rightly visit a lake region without getting on the water in some way. Boating is one of the best things to do at Lake Chelan in summer or fall. Even in spring you can enjoy getting out on the lake, but itll be a bit chilly with the breezes and cool weather.

Boating in Lake Chelan

Boating means different things for different people, but at the heart of it is getting on the water. There are lots of wonderful places for boating in the Pacific Northwest and Lake Chelan is one of them. With three very easy to access public launch areas , Lake Chelan is an easy place to put in your own boat. From Lake Chelan State Park, you can easily head up-lake towards the Stehekin area, enjoying the mountains and cliffs as you go.

From the Manson area, you can launch from Old Mill Park and cruise the shores taking in the vineyards and orchards as far as you can see. If you just want to launch from downtown Chelan, thats an option too with the public boat launch being just two blocks off the main drag, Woodin Ave, in Chelan. All launch sites have a launch fee, and you may need to pay for parking as well, so be aware of the rules before you hit the lake.

Renting a Pontoon Boat at the Lake

For a fun day out on Lake Chelan on a pontoon boat, heres what you need:

  • sunblock
  • snacks without plastic wrappers
  • a good playlist

Best Places to Kayak or SUP Around Chelan

Fishing in the Chelan Area

Lake Chelan Boat Tours

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Where To Stay In And Near Chelan

As mentioned above, Chelan is a small town, so there arent a ton of accommodation options. When you are deciding where to stay in Chelan, first consider what location you prefer.

Downtown The most expensive, but most convenient area to stay. You will be walking distance to the historical downtown, many restaurants, and tasting rooms. This is where most of the traditional hotels are. My two favorite Chelan hotels are the Worldmark and Campbells. Both are pricey but offer comfortable rooms and great amenities in the heart of Chelan.

Manson Just pass Chelan, still on the lake, is another town called Manson. There are a few hotels here and some great vacation rentals. If you want to be walking distance to activities, but save money, stay here.

South Shore vs North Shore If you are traveling as a group, a vacation rental is the best option. There are many rentals all around the lake and in the hills. The North and South shores are both great with many nearby wineries. However, the North shore gets afternoon sun, so I recommend staying here if you plan to hangout in the pool or lake.

In addition to some hotels and many vacation rentals, there are a few options for camping in Chelan. The best campground is the Lakeshore RV Park that is in downtown. If you want to stay here, plan to book at least 6 months in advance. Other campgrounds in Chelan include the Lake Chelan state park and BeeBe Bridge Park.

Lake Chelan Wine Tasting

There are more than sixteen wineries that can be found around the Lake Chelan wine valley. The glacially carved soils of Lake Chelan give the grapes a unique flavor profile and intensity. The size and depth of Lake Chelan mean that the seasons are longer so you can enjoy more of the late-summer sugars in the grapes.

Wine Tasting is the perfect way to soak in the atmosphere of the Lake Chelan wineries!

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Day Trip To Stehekin On The Lady Of The Lake

While the south end of Lake Chelan contains more than enough things to do, those looking for a more rustic adventure can take a day trip to Stehekin.

Stehekin is Washingtons most remote inhabited community. The small town lies at the northern end of Lake Chelan, near the entrance to North Cascades National Park.

The town is the yin to Chelans yang. It is everything Chelan is notquiet, tranquil, remote, and off the beaten path. The little village oozes calm. After all, there are no roads that connect the communitys 75 permanent members with the outside world.


The cheapest and most convenient way to travel between Chelan and Stehekin is by boat. So, for the sake of time, ease, and money, Dan and I chose to take a ferry from Chelan to Stehekin for the day.

The Lady of the Lake is the name of the boat that travels between the two ends of the elongated waterway. Depending on whether you take the fast boat or the slow boat, the journey can take between 2.5 and 4 hours one way.

Our combination day trip ticket to Stehekin cost us $67 per person and included a three hour stopover on the north side of Lake Chelan. It included a one way ticket on the fast boat, and a return on the slow boat. If we had wanted to travel both ways on the faster boat, we would have been forced to reduce our layover length to 1.5 hours.

You can find updated Chelan ferry schedules on the Lady of the Lake website.

Cinema In Memorable Surroundings

Lake Chelan Wineries – A Tour through the Vineyards

Enjoy your popcorn and pop-culture with a side of history. More than just a cool, dark place to take a break from the summer heat, Chelans Ruby Theatre is a Main Street America treasure. As the states oldest continuously operating theater, the Ruby has been screening first-run films since 1914. Drop in for a quick flick, or rent the theater out for a truly memorable party. View All Entertainment

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Best Wineries To Visit In Chelan

This complete guide to Chelan wouldnt be complete without mentioning all the great wineries. As mentioned above, wine is a new industry in Chelan and is still growing quickly. What I love about Chelan wineries is that they are mostly family owned, have a great community feel, sell great wine for reasonable prices, and provide fun events.

The below wineries are some of my favorites in the valley, with each having their unique benefits.

Root Wood Cider

If you get tired of wine, root wood cider is a great place to stop. It honors the apple farming history of the area with delicious apple and fruit ciders. My favorite is the apple cider with honey.

Read my complete guide to wineries in Chelan here for a more comprehensive list and some insider tips.

Dinner With A View At Sorrento’s Ristorante

Sorrentos Ristorante at Tsillan Cellars offers one of the best views over Lake Chelan along with delicious authentic Italian food that will make your taste buds beyond delirious with happiness. The restaurant is perched on the hillside between rows and rows of vineyards with a view of Lake Chelan that goes on for miles.

Make sure and make a reservation if you are visiting during a busy time of the season or want to make sure you get in at a specific time. We visited in late September and the restaurant was still fairly busy.

Address – 3875 Hwy 97-A, ChelanPhone – 509-682-9463Website –

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Wapato Point Resort In Manson

If you are looking for a type of all-inclusive location for families, Wapato Point is located in Manson, about 20 minutes from Chelan & its a favorite for families due to the wide variety of activities for both summer & winter. In the summer, they offer everything from miniature golf, boat rentals , fishing, bicycle rentals, indoor & outdoor pools & more.

In the winter, they set up an ice rink that is only available for guests of Wapato Point. The views are incredible from all of the condos you can rent & you could really enjoy your time of relaxation without ever leaving the resort. The condos can be a bit more dated, but they are very spacious & they are also working on updating them more, too. My family has been going here for years since I was a kid and its one of my favorites for the amount of fun activities right on the grounds.

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