Summer in Stehekin: Family Fun Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Contact: Kerry Olson, 360 854-7365
Stehekin and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area provide outstanding opportunities for family fun. Visitors to this unique area at the head of 50-mile Lake Chelan can rent bicycles, raft the Stehekin River, fish, horseback ride, kayak, hike the trails, and attend ranger programs and guided hikes.
How to Get There
Stehekin is accessible by foot, air, or passenger ferry. Hike down the Pacific Crest Trail from Highway 20 or over Cascade Pass and along the Stehekin River to arrive in Stehekin. The Lake Chelan Boat Company operates two boats in the summer, the Lady of the Lake II and the Lady Express. They each travel up the 50 mile long Lake Chelan and back daily. Visit www.ladyofthelake.com. Chelan Airways flies their floatplane several times a day based on reservations. Visit www.chelanairways.com.
Where to Stay
The newly renovated Stehekin Landing Resort enters its second summer season of operation. Guests are treated to rustic comfort in rooms overlooking Lake Chelan and delicious food in the top notch restaurant. This park concessionaire has a variety of accommodations available and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the summer. The resort is also offering a number of packages throughout the summer. Check out Women’s Week in Stehekin and other resort details at www.stehekinlanding.com or call 509-682-4494 for more information.
What to Do
Start your visit at the National Park Service’s historic Golden West Visitor Center just up the hill from the Stehekin Landing. This visitor center was first built as a resort hotel in 1927. Park rangers are there to provide information about the cultural and natural history of the Stehekin Valley or help you plan your trip into the backcountry. You can browse exhibits, find your favorite trail on the area relief map, or sit by the fireplace and read a field guide. Shop for maps, guidebooks, family activity items and a selection of books featuring our natural and cultural history in the bookstore. The Golden West Visitor Center in Stehekin is open daily 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through the end of September. Visit www.nps.gov/noca/focus/focus.htm or call 360-854-7365 x.14 to speak with a ranger.
The Golden West Gallery presents work created by local artists inspired by the North Cascades. It is located within the Golden West Visitor Center and is managed by the Arts and Humanities of Stehekin (AHS), a nonprofit organization operated by volunteers in cooperation with North Cascades National Park. Several exhibits are shown through the year, and accompanied by artist receptions, presentations, and workshops for children and adults.
Hikers of all ages and abilities can find their favorite trail within the Stehekin Valley. Nearly 400 miles of trails and over 100 backcountry campsites accessible to hikers, boaters, and stock users are available for exploration. From the easy, family day-hike to Bridge Creek on the Old Wagon Trail to the challenging adventure up to Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm, you can find miles of solitude, spectacular mountain vistas and landscapes full of wildlife and wildflowers. All overnight stays in the backcountry require a free permit that must be obtained in person at the visitor/information station nearest the departure point. Wilderness travel information and current trail information and conditions can be found at www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit.htm or call 360-854-7245. Daily shuttle service is available from the Stehekin Landing to High Bridge during summer months to help access trailheads. View the schedule at www.stehekinlanding.com.
If you want to explore the backcountry, but don’t want to carry a backpack, consider the Tent-to-Tent camps at Bridge Creek and Cottonwood. Food and outfitted tent accommodations are provided, so you can enjoy the Stehekin Valley with a lighter load to carry. http://www.courtneycountry.com
Park rangers offer a variety of daily programs at the Golden West Visitor Center, including short afternoon naturalist talks, traditional evening programs, guided trail hikes, ranger-led walks through the Buckner Orchard Historic District, and Junior Ranger programs. Check area bulletin boards and at the Golden West Visitor Center for updated schedules.
Within the Stehekin Valley, visitors can visit a number of historic districts and sites. The historic Buckner Orchard is an organic apple orchard that began operating in the early 1900s. Now operated by the National Park Service, it remains an important piece of our heritage and character of Stehekin. Walk along Buckner Lane which follows the 100 year old hand-dug gravity fed irrigation ditch that brings fresh water from Rainbow Falls to the orchard. In the fall, pick apples and make cider from the orchard’s bounty. Visitors can also visit the one-room log school house, which was built in 1921 and served as the Stehekin School until 1988. Next to the post office, a short interpretive walk takes you to the McKellar Cabin and an old pelton wheel. Visitors should not miss the 312 foot Rainbow Falls, the glaciated peaks of Boston, Booker and Buckner peaks, or the aqua blue of the dynamic Stehekin River.
By completing a variety of activities and experiencing the National Park, kids can earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate. Families can also check out a free Family Fun Pack. These backpacks include binoculars, field guides, children’s books, games, and an activity journal to take home. These packs can be checked out for the duration of your stay. A fully refundable deposit is required.
Experience the North Cascades by attending a volunteer project weekend. To inquire about Stehekin projects, please email at Vicki_Gempko@nps.gov or call 360-854-7365 x.17. More information about park volunteer opportunities is available at www.nps.gov/noca/supportyourpark/volunteer.htm.
Other Activities and Services
Stehekin Pastry Company: Located 1.9 miles from the landing, the bakery offers fresh baked goods, coffee, refreshments and ice cream along with a lunch menu and special order cakes and desserts. Open Memorial Day through October.
Cascade Corrals: Day rides, horseback riding lessons and horse supported backcountry hiking and riding trips into the Cascades are available, as well as drop camps and upper valley tent-to-tent base camps. For more information, visit: www.courtneycountry.com or call: (509) 682-7742.
Discovery Bikes: Mountain bike rentals by the hour, day or week. A feature trip is the Ranch Breakfast Ride. Visit www.stehekindiscoverybikes.com.
The House that Jack Built: Located near the Golden West Visitor Center, it has a variety of handcrafted items including t-shirts, cards, wooden bowls and jewelry made by residents of Stehekin. Open during the summer.
In My Hands Massage: State and nationally licensed. For reservations, e-mail: email@example.com.
Rafting and Kayaking: Raft the lower 11 miles of the Stehekin River, or take a two-hour guided kayak tour on Lake Chelan. Visit www.stehekin.biz.
Other Places to Stay
Silver Bay Inn Resort is located at the mouth of the Stehekin River just 1.5 miles from the landing. Visit www.silverbayinn.com or call (800) 555-7781.
Stehekin Rainbow Lodge has several cabins throughout the lower Valley. Visit www.stehekinrainbowlodge.com or call (206) 508-1025.
Stehekin Valley Ranch offers a rustic atmosphere with all the comforts of home nine miles from the landing. Visit www.courtneyranch.com or call (800) 536-0745.
Individual cabins are also available for rent by private owners.
Flick Creek Cabin, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 884-1730
Stehekin Cedar Home, write to P.O. Box 14
Stehekin Log Cabins, call (509) 682-7742
Stehekin Mountain Cabin, e-mail: email@example.com
Websites and Phone Numbers
· North Cascades National Park: www.nps.gov/noca, 360-854-7200
· Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests: www.fs.fed.us/r6/oka, 509-664-9200
· Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce: www.lakechelan.com, 509-682-3503
· Stehekin Landing Resort: www.stehekinlanding.com, 509-682-4494
Did You Know?
Anyone can become a North Cascades Junior Ranger! Pick up one of the four FREE activity booklets at any of the visitor or information centers. Complete the activities and earn your official junior ranger badge! Download the booklet here. More...