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Washington State Parks

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USA Parks
North Cascades Region
Lake Chelan State Park
Lake Chelan State Park © Nancy McLean
Cool Swim ©
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7544 South Lakeshore Road
Chelan, Washington   98816
(lat:47.8731 lon:-120.197) map location

Phone: 509-687-3710
Reservations: 888-226-7688
Lake Chelan State Park is a 127-acre camping park on the forested south shore of Lake Chelan. The park has 6,000 feet of shoreline, lakeside views and expansive lawns for strolling and playing. The park gets an annual average rainfall of 11 inches. Summer tends to be hot and dry. Annual average snowfall is 42 inches. A coniferous forest and a lake provide respite from summer heat in this Eastern Washington park. A large, sandy beach and boating opportunities attract visitors. Daily ferry service is available to the roadless community at the head of the lake.
Nature of the Area

History of the Area
Native Americans used this site as a home and hunting area for many years. The name "Chelan" is a Salish Indian word meaning both "lake" and "blue water."

The location of a cabin owned by John Stevenson is visible in the park. One of the earliest white settlers in the area, Stevenson was a colorful trapper, blacksmith and ferry operator. He was the first postmaster on the southshore.

In 1880, Col. John Merriam established a military post on the shores of Lake Chelan. Civilian settlers began arriving in 1886, and the town was incorporated in 1902.

According to local lore, Lake Chelan was used as a lure in a real estate scandal of the 1940's. Unsuspecting buyers were sold inferior property in the mistaken belief they were buying property on the shores of Lake Chelan, or so the story goes. The real estate company, when accused, refused to acknowledge ownership. As a matter of public record, 124 acres of Lake Chelan State Park was acquired through a court settlement against a company named Babco, Inc. in 1943.
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
The park has 109 tent spaces, 35 utility spaces, one dump station, five restrooms and five showers.

The 35 full utility hookups are left from an older park and are not designed for the modern RV. The sites have been upgraded, but motorhomes and trailers longer than 30 feet will not be able to enter or use the facilities at this park.

Chelan is extremely popular. Early reservations are a must. To reserve a campsite, call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.

Check-in time is 2:30 p.m., and check-out time is 1 p.m.Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.Engine-driven electric generators may be operated only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.Length of stay: You may stay up to ten consecutive days in any one park during the summer; the stay limit is extended to 20 days between Oct. 1 and March 31.
1. Lake Chelan State Park offers a large, designated swimming area with lifeguard services during peak season.
2. The lake's clear waters are perfect for cooling off on hot summer days.
3. Swimmers can enjoy the sandy beach and gradual depth increase, making it safe even for beginners or children.
4. There is also an accessible swim dock available to park visitors who prefer deeper water immediately upon entry.
5. For those seeking more privacy, there are numerous smaller coves around the lake suitable for swimming as well.

In the winter the watercraft launch is open weekends and holidays only, depending on water level.

The park has one single-lane launch with a nearby 28-car parking lot that fills rapidly on weekends. The park offers 495 feet of dock, some of it near the launch and some of it at the opposite end of the park near lakeside camping.

A daily watercraft launching permit and a trailer dumping permit is available at the park. Annual permits also may be purchased at State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff is available.

Moorage fees are charged year round for mooring at docks, floats and buoys from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Enjoy fishing in a pristine lake setting, with species such as Cutthroat Trout and Kokanee Salmon available. Other options include Rainbow Trout and Lake Whitefish. The park also offers boat launches for easy access to deeper waters where larger fish reside.

The park provides one kitchen shelter without electricity plus 52 unsheltered picnic tables. All are available first-come, first-served. Be advised the parking area is small and fills early on weekends.
Biking enthusiasts should be aware that the park itself doesn't offer dedicated cycling paths. However, nearby areas provide several options.

The surrounding region boasts a variety of trails suitable for different skill levels but requires caution due to terrain and wildlife encounters.

For those seeking an easy ride, Chelan Riverwalk Park Loop Trail is ideal with its paved path along the lake's edge.

More experienced cyclists might prefer Echo Ridge Trails which offers over 25 miles of mountain biking routes in summer months only.

Bear Mountain Road provides another challenging option featuring steep climbs and descents through forested landscapes; it demands advanced skills and careful navigation.

Always remember safety measures: wear helmets, follow trail rules, stay hydrated & respect nature during your adventure on two wheels around this beautiful area.
1. Little Bear Trail: A 2-mile loop trail that offers a moderate hike through the forest with views of Lake Chelan and surrounding mountains.

2. Lakeshore Trail: This is an easy, flat path along the shore of Lake Chelan offering stunning water vistas and opportunities for bird watching.

3. Big Creek Loop: An approximately 5 miles long moderately difficult trail featuring beautiful wildflowers during springtime, it also provides access to several backcountry campsites within park boundaries.

4. Echo Ridge Summer Trails: These trails offer over 25 miles of hiking options ranging from easy strolls to challenging climbs; they provide panoramic views across lake chelan valley as well as glimpses into local wildlife habitats.

5. Chelan Butte Lookout Hike: It's a strenuous uphill trek leading hikers up towards old fire lookout station at summit where one can enjoy breathtaking aerial view over entire region.

6. Stormy Mountain Summit Route: Another demanding route which takes you high above treeline onto exposed ridges before reaching peak - this journey rewards adventurers with unparalleled panoramas stretching out in all directions.

7. Pot Peak Wilderness Study Area Trails: For those seeking solitude, these remote paths wind their way deep into untouched wilderness areas around Pot Peak itself - expect steep ascents/descents plus potential encounters with native fauna such as black bears or mountain goats.

8. Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park Pathways: Located on western shores near mouth Twenty Five mile creek, these interconnected pathways allow visitors explore diverse ecosystems including wetlands , forests & rocky bluffs overlooking lake below.

9. Rainbow Falls Accessible Nature Walkway: Easy level walk suitable for wheelchairs/strollers providing close-up experience Rainbow falls cascading down nearby cliff face.

10. Sugarloaf Mountain Climbing Routes: Not traditional 'trails' per se but rather series established climbing routes ascending sheer rock faces Sugarloaf Mountain: only recommended experienced climbers due to technical difficulty involved.
Birdwatchers can spot species like the Western Tanager, Red-naped Sapsucker and Mountain Bluebird. The park is home to various waterfowl including Mallards, American Wigeons and Canada Geese. Raptors such as Ospreys are also common sightings here. Other birds include Black-capped Chickadees, Northern Flickers and Dark-eyed Juncos.
Nature Programs
The park maintains a roadside monument on Hwy. 97A at Earthquake Point. This monument describes an earthquake and landslide that occurred many years ago. The force of the quake was so great that a landslide blocked the Columbia River for several days.

Another monument stands one mile east of the park. At this site, in 1945, a school bus carrying the children of Southshore residents plunged into the lake after hitting rocks that had fallen onto the roadway. The bus driver and a number of children died in the accident. The monument was erected and is maintained by the families of the children.
Area Attractions

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
December 4
park review stars; one to five
October 20 Excellent!!! by H&C
park review stars; one to five The park was great me and my kids had a great time camping and going to the beach! We cant wait to come back and visit again
August 2 Wonderful!!!! by B&A
park review stars; one to five We went just for the day and loved it!! The park was clean, bathrooms were clean, staff friendly and helpful. We are going to plan a week long trip next summer!!
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Located nine miles west of Chelan, Wash.

Northbound from Wenatchee : On U.S. Hwy. 97A, drive nine miles north of Entiat and turn left onto SR 971. Continue seven miles until highway ends at South Lakeshore Road. Turn right, then immediately turn left into park entrance.

Southbound from Chelan : Take Hwy. 97A south. Three miles south of Chelan, turn right on South Lakeshore Rd. Proceed six miles on Lakeshore Rd., and turn right into Lake Chelan State Park.

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Washington State Parks