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Stehekin: A Secret Mountain Getaway for the Whole Family

  • Written by Sara Graham
Stehekin is a small community, surrounded by mountains, in the North Cascades. It is located at the north end of Lake Chelan. It is also a perfect place to escape the everyday busyness of life.
 
There are no roads to get there – you must travel by boat, plane or foot.  The most common way to get there is aboard the ‘Lady Express’ passenger ferry (www.LadyofThelake.com) which leaves the town of Chelan daily at 8:30 a.m.. 
 
It’s a very scenic two hour boat ride (cost is $61 Round Trip and reservations are recommended) to Stehekin.
 
Wheres Sara(Courtesy photo)
Once you are on the boat you will feel you are off to adventure camp leaving all cares and worries behind.
 
Upon arriving at the Stehekin landing “adventure” will be calling you!  Stop by the Golden West Visitor Center where North Cascades park rangers will answer any questions you have and help you plan your stay. My favorite personal adventure, of course, involves renting a bicycle at Discovery Bikes) and riding to the end of Stehekin Road, 11 miles to High Bridge. From there you may want to hike the Agnes Gorge Trail (5 miles round trip).
 
After this, return to Stehekin with an Aprés Adventure treat from the famous Stehekin Pastry Co. (for the best Cinnamon rolls ever). There are many other sites to visit via bike; the Old Bruckner Orchard, Rainbow Falls, the Old Schoolhouse (built 1910), the Ranch, and the Organic Garden where you can buy fresh vegetables.
 
You can spend the night at the North Cascade lodge (reservations recommended) or bring your gear for free camping at Purple Campground.
 
Instead of biking, there are also the North Cascades Red Bus shuttles to see the different sites for a minimal (cash only) fee.
 
The return boat back to Chelan leaves at noon so get up early and allow time to see any sites you may have missed the first day. 
 
Visit Trailcrossings.com for additional ideas.
 

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