If you’re a hiker interested in an immersive Lake Chelan experience, the 17-mile Chelan Lakeshore Trail could be just what you’re looking for!
The Lake Chelan area is crisscrossed with more than 250 miles of popular hiking trails. One of the most popular is Lakeshore Trail, which takes you from Prince Creek to Stehekin via an endless gallery of stunning lake views.
Ferry to the Trailhead
The first step in the trail is actually aboard a boat – the Lady of the Lake ferryboat, that is.
The farther north you travel up the lake, the less “civilization” there is. No roads lead to the trailhead at Prince Creek, so a ferry ride is the next best thing. You can meet the boat in Chelan … or just down the road from Kelly’s Resort at Field’s Point Landing.
The Lady Express picks up at Field’s Point Landing at 9:20am, the Lady of the Lake at 9:45am. They’ll both get you to the trailhead at Prince Creek but the Lady Express will get you there at 10am, one hour before the Lady of the Lake.
If you prefer to cut ten or so miles off your hike, ask to be dropped off at Moore Point, instead. This option is only available to passengers aboard Lady of the Lake.
Be sure to let the crew know that you need to be dropped off at Prince Creek or Moore Point when purchasing your tickets.
Hiking the Trail
Prince Creek is a boat-in campground on the eastern shore of Lake Chelan and borders the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. The campground has a floating dock and tent sites with fire rings, tables, and toilets.
Follow the Prince Creek trail to the Lakeshore Trail junction. Don’t worry: the junction is less than a quarter-mile up Prince Creek Trail and Lakeshore Trail’s grade is at far less of a grade.
Moore Point is another boat-in campground with a fixed dock, picnic shelter, tables, fire rings, and toilets. Follow the half-mile long Moore Point trail to the Lakeshore Trail junction and head north towards Stehekin.
Moore Point is also a nice resting place, if you started at Prince Creek. The lake’s glittering waters are very welcoming after a hot day of hiking!
Should you complete the entire trail, you’ll enter Stehekin at the south end of town.
Chelan Lakeshore Trail
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for this hike is coordinating with the ferry schedule. You don’t want to strand yourself, so be sure you plan your trip out.
The trail crosses a number of creeks, which may or not be running, and provides endless stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. It can also be hot, dry, and full of mosquitoes and rattlesnakes. Be sure to take appropriate cautions – and plenty of water!
Remember that Lakeshore Trail is popular. Some even think it’s too popular. If you’d prefer to avoid potential crowds, consider hiking mid-week, rather than Friday or Saturday.
Learn more about the trail at www.wta.org.