Lake Chelan State Park is a beautiful recreational area located in Chelan County, Washington. It is named after the Chelan Indian Tribe that used to inhabit the land it sits on. The park is situated on the southern shore of Lake Chelan, a pristine and glacially carved lake that stretches over 50 miles (80 kilometers) in length, and 1,486 feet deep. The park encompasses approximately 139 acres (56 hectares) of land and offers a wide range of outdoor activities and amenities for visitors to enjoy.
The park was created in 1943, and is situated on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountain range.
Getting to Lake Chelan State Park
Physical Address: 7544 S Lakeshore Rd, Chelan, WA 98816
Being that Lake Chelan State Park is near the middle of the state, it’s not near any of Washington’s larger metro areas. It is situated about halfway between Seattle and Spokane, Lake Chelan is just over 3 hours away from both.
The largest town near the state park is Wenatchee, WA, which is still pretty small. It only has around 35,000 residents, and is ranked 36th in the state. However, it is large enough to have a handful of quality hotels, and plenty of restaurants if you’re looking to spend a few days here.
Lake Chelan’s entrance is about 35 miles north of US Route 2, which is the main artery between Seattle and Spokane.
Fees & Parking
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to all state parks and recreation lands managed by Washington state. A vehicle pass costs (at the time of this writing in 2023), $10 for a one-day permit, and $30 for an annual one. If you are camping or renting lodging inside the park, a Discover Pass is not needed.
The park gets an annual average rainfall of 11 inches. Summer tends to be hot and dry, which is great if you want to relax on one of its many beaches. The Park’s annual average snowfall is 24 inches.
Nearby Parks to Lake Chelan State Park
Lake Chelan State Park is near the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. However, there are no roads that lead into this park. The only way to access it is via a floatplane or passenger ferry from the south end of Lake Chelan.
Adjacent to the Lake Chelan NRA is North Cascades National Park. Unfortunately, it is not exactly close to this state park. It takes over 3 hours to drive from Lake Chelan State Park to the western entrance of the North Cascades NP.
There are also a few national forests that surround the park. The Mount Baker-Snosqualmie National Forest and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest are to the west of the state park.
Things to do at Lake Chelan State Park
Lake Chelan State Park is most well known for its access to the large glacial lake by the same name. While any water sport rules here, there are a handful of other activities as well.
- Fishing – There is 495 feet of dock and 6,000 feet of shoreline.
- Boating – A launch permit is required, and a one-lane dock. The boat launch is closed from November 1 to March 1, each year. There is an additional boat launch in the town of Chelan Falls, but it is outside the park.
- Hiking – 2 miles of hiking trails, 0.2 that are ADA approved (paved & flat)
- Camping – Has 103 standard campsites, 18 partial-hookup sites, 17 full-hookup sites, one dump station, five restrooms with showers. Reservations must be made. The park does have a full-service concession offering groceries and supplies.
- Swimming – The calm lagoon and sandy beaches is perfect for swimming.
- Picnic – 1 shelter plus 52 other unsheltered picnic tables throughout the park.
- Sports – The park has a volleyball court, paddleboard rentals, horseshoe pits and a children’s playground. There is also a large flat field where team sports can be played.
Must See Locations Inside the Park
There is a monument on State Route 97A at Earthquake Point. In 1872, the North Cascades Earthquake hit at this spot, and is estimated to have been around a 6.5-7 magnitude. The earthquake was so severe that it caused a landslide that blocked the Columbia River for days.
Hiking Trails in Lake Chelan State Park
|Reynolds Creek Trail||Hard||13.2 miles|
|Little Bear Trail (Bitterbrush Loop)||Easy||1.8 miles|