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May 18, 2021

5 Fun Hikes with Kids at Lake Chelan

No screens. No toys. No phones. Just sunshine, nature, and time together as a family! When you’re on vacation at Lake Chelan, take advantage of the incredible hiking trails in the area – from valley riverbank walks to high mountain lakes. We’ve rounded up the best hikes in Chelan for kids, where littler legs can hit the trail and be entertained along the way.

1. Little Bear Trail, 2.3 miles round trip

This easy loop trail is in Lake Chelan State Park, about a 20 minute drive from The Lookout. There are fun sights and variations to keep kids entertained along the way, like a short tunnel, two small streams, a pine forest, a dry prairie, and views of the lake from log benches. When you get to a fork in the trail, turn left on the Bitterbrush Loop to take the widest loop.

2. Echo Ridge Trails, varying lengths

dog at echo ridgeThe trails at Echo Ridge are beautiful in the spring, with views of snowy mountains contrasted against blooming wildflowers. With many different trails to explore, you can choose your length or go back multiple times for daily exercise during your Chelan vacation! Bring your camera to take in the panoramic views. The trailhead is about 25 minutes from The Lookout.

3. Reach 1 Trail, 3 miles round trip

For an educational walk near downtown, take this trail from the Riverwalk Loop in downtown Chelan to the uppermost section of the Chelan River. With interpretive signs along the way, you’ll learn about the American Indian Tribes of the Chelan Valley, the unique geology of the area, local wildlife, and the hydropower of the Chelan Dam – all while winding through the riverbanks and enjoying lake views.

4. Blue Lake Trail, 4.6 miles round trip

blue lake Winthrop and Twisp
Photo Credit: Erynn Allen

For a longer adventure (trailhead is almost 2 hours from The Lookout vacation rentals) head into the North Cascades for a day hike and stop into the charming small towns of Winthrop and Twisp along the way. This out and back hike is a bit more challenging but the incredible clear blue lake is a nice reward at the end. Kids will enjoy a series of boardwalks over streams, boulders for picnicking at the lake, and possible sighting of a mountain goat or two. Northwest Forest Pass required.

5. Elephant’s Head at Chelan Butte, 4 miles round trip

For those familiar with the popular Chelan Butte trail, you may be thinking this is quite a challenge for young hikers – but “Elephant Head” is a nickname for the east end of the butte (looking a bit like an elephant). It’s only a third of the way up to the top of the Butte, but still offers awesome views of the lake and downtown Chelan. Bring snacks to keep kids motivated, and look forward to them tiring themselves out on this one!

Whatever Chelan hike with kids you choose, your vacation rental home at The Lookout will be a nice relaxing reward when you’re done! And if your kids still have energy to burn, check out our other ideas for outdoor activities with kids, right in our neighborhood!