Adventure Awaits: 4 of the Top Lake Chelan Hiking Trails
Majestic views and Lake Chelan go hand-in-hand! Discover Lake Chelan’s unmatched beauty with a hike through more than 250 miles of area hiking trails! The adventure of a lifetime awaits when you put on your hiking boots and hit these well maintained trails. Along the way, you’ll be comforted by one-of-a-kind views, fascinating wildlife and fresh air that has a rejuvenating effect on the mind and soul. Here are 5 of the top Lake Chelan hiking trails:
1. Chelan Butte Trail
If you’re up for a challenging adventure, the Chelan Butte Trail is a must! Chelan Butte is one of the most commonly summited mountains in the United States, allowing guests to take either a dirt road or a steep hiking trail to the summit. Checking in at 7.4 miles in roundtrip length and gaining 2,601 feet of elevation, this hike typically takes adventurers about 5 hours to complete. Plan a full day of exploring by visiting this Lake Chelan hiking trail and soak up 360-degree views once you reach the top. Savor spectacular views of Lake Chelan, the Cascade Mountains and the Columbia River along the way. Dogs are welcome but must remain on a leash.
2. Chelan River (Reach 1) Trail
Experience the unparalleled excitement of exploring the Chelan River along the Chelan River (Reach 1) Trail! This roughly 3 mile round trip hike is an easy trail for hikers of all skill levels featuring scenic views of the Chelan River, which overlooks the Chelan Dam. The first half mile of this trail begins at the Riverwalk Loop Trail boat launch on the south side of the Chelan River in downtown. You’ll travel through the uppermost section of the Chelan River, eventually joining with the Columbia River and Chelan Falls. Learn lessons about the Chelan Dam, river wildlife and the American Indian tribes that called this area home.
3. Little Bear Trail
Need a hike the whole family can enjoy? Little Bear Trail has you covered! This family-friendly 2.3-mile roundtrip hike only gains 250 feet in elevation so it’s perfect for the inexperienced hiker. Stroll along Lake Chelan on this trail, appropriately named for a bear cub that rangers spotted as they surveyed the trail. Traverse through a pine forest and Eastern Washington ponderosa savanna, admiring both wildlife and views as you make unforgettable family memories. Even man’s best friend can come along, just make sure to keep Fido on a leash!
4. Echo Ridge Summer Trails
Echo Ridge, a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing resort during the winter months, transforms into an expansive area with 25 miles of Lake Chelan hiking trails during the summer! These trails are popular during the spring, summer and fall among hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Echo Ridge features a variety of loops ranging in difficulty levels, many of which are suitable for children, so you and your crew are sure to find one perfect one to explore. You won’t be able to get enough of the Lake Chelan views as you make your way through Echo Ridge!
One of the best ways to explore the area is to immerse yourself in it via one of these incredible Lake Chelan hiking trails. Before you go, be sure to check out our guide to hiking in the Chelan Valley for everything you need to know!