Explore the most popular Camping trails in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 months ago

360 deg views at boulder butte. TOUGH hike but well worth it!

on Rainbow Loop Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Just not super interesting. Burned out forest, decent path itself, a couple spots with gorgeous views. Saw a rattle snake on the path. No shade on the southern half of the trail.

My friend and I wanted a less trafficked 2 day backpacking trip, and this one met our expectations. We took the 0830 ferry from Chelan to Prince Creek (booked ferry tickets for 2 adults and a dog about two days prior to the trip). It seems like Prince Creek is simply a drop off for hikers. There were three other pairs who also got off the ferry here, but there was no town or anything, just a trailhead sign. We then hiked 11 miles to a river which had a sign for the Moore campground. We took the half mile path to the Moore campground which was very nice. It was right along the calm lake with a couple piers and designated spots for campfire. About 4 other groups were camping there. It was lovely, though a few saw/heard rattlesnakes on the way there. The next morning we hiked the half mile back to the main trail then 7 miles into Stehekin. There, we got lunch at the lodge before the 1400 ferry back to Chelan (which took about 4.5hrs). There was more direct sun than shade during the whole hike but it crossed several creeks with beautiful purple wildflowers. Recommended for those willing to make the ferry ride out there.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
blowdown
no shade
private property
4 months ago

We went from Prince Creek to Stehekin in 3 days with a 7, 8, and 14 year old. There were long periods of no shade, and a few long treks up. We only had to depack once to get across a blowdown on a river. Cascade Creek was a cute campsite but a hike downhill to get to it so the next morning it started with a long 1/4 mile hike straight up. Moore point is large and has secluded areas, but push to Flick Creek early. There is only 1 site there and it’s windy. We pushed past and make it to Lakeview which is an overflow area for Purple Point. Lakeview is better sites but no campfires allowed. The general store in Stehekin has everything you need or just mail a box to the Stehekin post office. Overall it was good, but windy this time of the year. We did encounter a bear, a doe, and a bat on the trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Did the southern half, up and back, to the rainbow bridge. Nice hike. Great view about 1 mile in.

hiking
5 months ago

Well built trail with steady elevation gain and no one part super steep, just a gradual grade to the top. 4 down trees on the upper trail (5600' elevation and up). Snow patches started at 5800' elevation and became more consistent/deep toward the top - all passable. Consistent snow on North and Northeast aspects (beyond the pass). Went to the top of Boulder Butte and down by Juanita Lake (which had more snow on / around it than not). Beautiful wildflowers on the lower trail. Check yourself for ticks - they're out!

It was incredibly beautiful! On Friday we hiked from Prince Creek to Moore point and camp there, then Saturday we hiked to Stehekin and also camp there. Sunday morning we went to the bakery in Stehekin and waterfalls, then we took the ferry back at 2pm. Keep an eye out for rattlesnakes!!

7 months ago

18 April 2019. Ferry unable to drop off at Prince creek because the bridge from the drop off to the trail has been washed out.

on Twisp Pass Trail

Tue Aug 07 2018

Hiked in September 2016. Gorgeous fall colors in the trees. Arrived late in the afternoon, allowing only a couple miles hike before nightfall. we camped by the first Creek crossing. next day it was at least 4 more miles to Twisp Pass. amazing views all around, and we descended into North Cascades NP to Dagger Lake. Great camp sites on northern edge of lake but were occupied, so we camped in the stock camp a tenth of a mile from the lake. Beautiful views from Dagger Lake and the bugs weren't bad. definitely will attempt again. Well worth the 12 mile(ish) round-trip.

hiking
Fri Jul 27 2018

I don't often say this, but I'm sorry I took this hike. I don't understand how other people gave it such a high rating. And the distance is misleading, as well as the name. The trail leaves from the main road, goes up hill 1,222 feet, crosses the river that feeds Rainbow Falls, then comes back down and meets the road again, about 3 miles up, or down the road, depending on which direction you hiked, so it's not a loop unless you walk along the road back to where you started. The sign at the trail head on the North end says it is a 5 mile hike. Actual distance was 4.4 miles. The hike is through mostly forest and burnt-out trees. It is not an attractive hike, its only redeeming qualities are some brief views of the mountains across the valley and of Lake Chelan through the dead trees. Save your energy and find another hike.

Trail is 17 miles, not 13. Minimal elevation change.

backpacking
Tue Jun 19 2018

This is an amazing trail! Very beautiful, but also this AllTrails resource is incorrect about the mileage and elevation. Distance is 17-18 miles and elevation gain according to the WTA is 4030 feet, which it definitely felt like with the amount of up and down climbing over the course of this trail. Plan on camping at cascade creek or Moore point depending on if you’re doing two nights or one night. Enjoy

backpacking
Sun Jun 17 2018

Completed this trail from May 4th to May 6th. We took the Lady of the Lake to Prince Creek from Chelan. THe boat departed at 830 am and we arrived at 11 am. It was my second trip and my partners first time backpacking. The weather was a perfect scattered cloud overcast and 75 degrees. I think this was the perfect time of year to go because this trail offers little relief from the sun. Two nalgene bottles would be perfect to hold water, we had one each and made it, but the trail leads you away from the lake for most of the trail, you are able to refill at streams. The first day we hiked 7 miles and stayed at Meadow Creek. The campsites are up on a hill away from the creek and the lake. There is a toilet but no bear box, so we hung a drybag with our food and set up camp. There was two other groups who camped at this site with us. The next day we took our time getting up and taking down the camp the next day. Right away we saw many snakes including two rattlers (one of which I nearly stepped on!). This day had less elevation gain and was an easy going 7.5 miles. The second night we camped at Flick creek which was right on the Lake and the creek. There was two other groups at this site as well. The next morning we left at 8 am to head the last 2 or 3 miles to Steheiken and realized the restaurant was closed until noon. A burger and beer costs about 20 dollars and it's a great reward after a weekend stay. This trail was perfect for a couple of beginners, and offered lots of wildflowers and amazing views of the lake.

backpacking
Wed May 30 2018

We departed from Prince Creek about noon. It was hot and dry. The trail was very exposed and no shade. I had my black Australia shepherd with me and he began to show signs of heat stroke one mile into the hike. I turned around. Met up with my party a few days later. It was 30 miles from Prince Creek to Stehekin. Other reports are not reflecting this mileage.

backpacking
Thu May 17 2018

We spent the first night in Chelan (staying at the Riverside Inn, which I can recommend). Caught the 8:30 boat to Prince Creek, where we poked around until all the other hikers were ahead of us, hitting the trail about 11:00. The temp was high for May, hitting the 80’s with crystal clear skies. Encountered two rattle snakes along by the way to Moore’s Point. One was pretty big...maybe 4’ and the other was less than 3’ long. The first and larger one mozzied across the trail but the little one just laid in the middle of the trail for several minutes until I brought a trekking pole close to it, then it moved along. These snakes are best left alone and usually get out of your way. We arrived at Moore’s Point about 7:30. We’re not speedy, but we’re steady. After spending the night at Moore’s Point, we had lunch at Fisk Creek before pressing on to Stehekin, the first person who we encountered was coming out of a cabin, wearing a tie-dye shirt and carrying a guitar. He said that a music festival was going to take place later at the school, along with a potluck. He invited us. Next, we got cold beer from the general store. Chris, the cashier also invited us to the music/potluck. Well, you don’t have ask me twice, but thank you! After setting up camp, we got bikes from the bike stand and started the three mile ride past the end of Lake Chelan to the school. There were about 60-70 people on the lawn, eating and playing games. We met a man who proudly told us that his grandkids are sixth-generation Stehekin residents. Everyone was super nice and hospitable. We caught the 2:00 boat back to Chelan. A lot of people ordered food from the Stehikin restaurant to eat on the boat. We arrived in Chelan about 6:00 then made the drive back to Seattle. A lot of people caught the boat at Fields Point. It might save a little time, depending on the direction that you come from, but we really wanted to spend the night in Chelan. If we had more time, we would have visited some wineries. All in all, this was a great hike, although I might stayed two nights on the trail before arriving in Stehikin. There are a number of good spots to camp.

backpacking
Thu Sep 07 2017

Beautiful hike that travels 17 miles along the lake Chelan shoreline. We got dropped off at Prince Creek and the first 10 miles were very hot and exposed. With only 2 water stops, make the most of each stop. The last being about 4.5 miles away from Moore Point (Make sure you refill here). We read a lot about rattle snakes and black bears, while we didn't see any in 96 degree weather, a group behind us did come across one in the brushy part of the trail, so just be aware. We did see plenty of droppings on the trail. Leaving Moore Point it is a quick 7 miles into Stehiken the last 3 miles are very pleasant being right along the lake. Make sure you save some time and rent bikes and ride up to the bakery before you go.

backpacking
Sun Jul 09 2017

We hiked this trail this weekend. It's 17 miles from Prince Creek drop off point to Stehekin. One thing to consider when making your plans is that during the summer when temps are above 95 the boat may not drop you off until noon making your start uphill a bit treacherous. Even the younger hikers (my husband and I are nearing the 60 mark) were overheated and looking for shade. Meadow rest area at 6.5 miles would have been a nice spot to camp because the miles seem to be going so slow in the heat but we decided to press on a little more, 3.5 miles to Moore Point for the night. I'm glad we did. The next morning we were able to start off in the coolness of the morning with the sun behind the hills. The 7 miles in to Stehekin was very pleasant. Most of the campgrounds were booked by the time we arrived so we were able to camp in the overflow grounds next to the visitor center. Another thing to consider is to book an earlier boat home as there's not much to do in Stehekin other than hike and the lake water is way too icey cold to swim. I'll definitely do this beautiful hike again but in the early spring or fall.

backpacking
Mon May 29 2017

Perfect weather- Memorial Day weekend 2017. Camped at Moore Point after a 10 mile hike. Day 2 was a 7.5 mile day. Would love to spend more time there.....

it was great a little harder then I expected but lots of fun

backpacking
Sun Jan 01 2017

Amazing views from the top. Lake is beautiful.

hiking
Tue Jul 05 2016

Did a shortened version on 7/5/16. The first mile and a half has dense foliage hanging into the trail that will get your shoes and pants wet after a rain. You can't enjoy the moderate views because you're looking down at the rocky trail. After 2 miles, you'll get to the log bridge over the creek. From there, the climb continues to some decent views. There's a great look down the valley before a sharp turn, but keep going. Another quarter mile and you can jump off the trail to the left onto a large rocky outcrop with amazing views both up and down the valley. It's evident that people camp here too. It was at this point we turned around (it was rainy and we really weren't feeling it) and ended up with a 5 mile trip back at the car.

hiking
Sun Feb 21 2016

The ferry dropped us at Prince Creek. We pushed up to bag a few summits, and four days later came back down around Fourmile Creek. We took the Lakeshore Trail up to Stehekin for victuals and RnR. We went back down the Lakeshore back to Prince Creek to catch the ferry again. It was a great week, and I can't wait to do it again.

camping
Fri Jun 19 2015

Beautiful hike, a bit more elevation than anticipated, but a nice trail and awesome views. Definite plus to push on to Moore Point to camp. Great spot on the lake to swim and camp.

So much to do at Lake Chelan. There are lots of boats during the summer, but this is a huge lake and you can find lots of space. Swim, canoe, kayak, or just watch birds. Hiking is good around here, with the Chelan lakeshore trail among others. But that's another entry.

hiking
Wed Jun 25 2014

A great hike to a pass with expansive mountain views in the North Cascades. Several sections of the trail were overgrown with brush so long pants helped. When you get to the log crossing you are just shy of half way and shortly after the views start to kick in. The next section of the trail is carved out of the side of a mountain slope and a bit rocky but gorgeous views of the valley and peaks to the south. The views from the pass are great if you take one of the side trails that lead upwards to some better views. The trail straight heads down to Dagger Lake. There was still snow at the pass in June but that should melt in another week or two.

hiking
Tue May 27 2014

Great opening season backpacking. Beautiful wildflowers, views and ample wildlife if lucky.

hiking
Wed May 01 2013

well maintained and scenic

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