Stehekin, Washington is located on the edge of the North Cascades National Park on the north-end of the 50.5 mile long Lake Chelan and is almost completely cut off from the rest of world, only accessible by boat, air, or a hefty hike. There’s no cell phone reception and while satellite Internet is offered for a charge at the main lodge, it’s not always available. This is the perfect place for a weekend getaway, or longer if you can manage, especially when you’re looking to really disconnect and enjoy some time in a natural setting.
The most popular method for getting to Stehekin is to take the Lady of the Lake ferry boat which leaves daily from Chelan. There’s also an express ferry that docks at the same spot and travels a little faster and makes fewer stops along the way, cutting the travel time nearly in half. Check with the Lady of the Lake’s schedule and make reservations ahead of time to guarantee your seats. Enjoy a snack and drink while watching the beautiful views pass by as you travel nearly the entire length of Lake Chelan. Learn about the history of the lake and the settlements that have called the banks of this massive lake home over the generations.
Once you arrive in Stehekin, check out the North Cascades Lodge, the gift shop, the park center, and restaurant that are all located around the dock area. There’s only one main road so rent bikes, or an ATV, or take one of the shuttle buses or vans, and start exploring as much as you’re able. You can even rent electric bikes which is one of the best ways to enjoy the town. Ride up the road to the Stehekin Pastry Company, enjoy views along the Stehekin River, and watch for wildlife, including lots of fish in the river. Rent kayaks, go for a horseback ride, hike to several falls, pick fresh fruit and vegetables, fish along the river banks; there are so many options, it’s truly an outdoor lover’s paradise. Stehekin Valley Ranch offers cabins, meals, and a range of activities on their expansive property that is close to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Watch the video below to join along as we explore what makes the remote village of Stehekin such a popular destination, and what life is like on the far end of the lake where there’s more wildlife than human-life. Enjoy breathtaking views and learn about the many recreation opportunities available, as well as a little about the history of this unique Northwest town.