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Winter activities in Chelan.

The Lake Chelan Valley ( that encompasses the resort towns of Chelan, Manson and Stehekin ) in central Washington State, is famous for its summer water recreation - fishing, boating, jet skiing, parasailing, kayaking, and ( surprisingly to me) even snorkling and scuba diving !

The whole North Central Washington ( which includes The Lake Chelan Valley ) has a very intriguing and appealing claim of " 300 days of sunshine " , which for outdoor enthusiasts means more time to do their favorite seasonal activities in more pleasant ( comparing to Seattle ) weather.

Though, the “Lake County ” is mainly associated with summer water recreation and resort activities, hoping to catch one of those " 300 days of sunshine", this February , I set out on my ( only !) second trip to Lake Chelan.

According to numerous " travel resources" :
...the area is becoming well known for a variety of winter sports , like downhill and cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing...
Just seven miles from downtown Chelan, they have a great, little known snow playground - Echo Valley Ski area ( for skiing, boarding and tubing). This year, the winter has been horrible for every ski area, and during my visit, the Echo Valley Ski ski area was closed due to lack of snow.

But 2 miles past downhill ski area, and high in the hills above Lake Chelan, ( I discovered for myself ) Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area, the scenic ridge-top location that provides breath taking views of Lake Chelan's fjord like valley and the Stewart Range. Echo Ridge has 40 kilometers of trails that follow the contours of the terrain creating interesting and exciting skiing for all ability levels. The Echo Ridge Nordic Trail system also includes trails designated just for snowshoers, but I've never been a fan of snowshoeing in an area mainly designed for xc skiing ( just not that fun for me ! ).

Pressed on time I took a quick trip to the Ridge View point. The weather that day just didn't want to cooperate , and after taking a ( very disappointing ) picture ( been there, done that ), I went back to downtown.

Whenever I travel, my first stop is always at a local visitor center. Often, here you can find information that you can't find even on the Internet.

Unfortunately, this time , even here I couldn't find any info on snowmobile guided tours, so if you know about a local outfitter, please share with us.

At the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center, I picked up several brochures to plan my summer retreat here. Among activities that I am super stoked to do are : a trip to Stehekin ( backpacking, horseback riding), wakeboarding/windserfing/jet skiing on the lake, paragliding/hand gliding off Chelan Butte, taking a trike flight over the lake, diving ( ?), and though I am not a big fan of fishing, I am willing to give it a try.

Here are a few images from Google, to consider Chelan ( and Echo Ridge in particular ) to be your next winter destination:

Check out more outdoor adventures related to Lake Chelan area :


Blue Alpine said...

Snowmobiling out in that country looks amazing!

Unknown said...

Now I am surprised! Who would have ever expected that you could snorkel or scuba dive in central Washington state. I would recommend a thick wetsuit!
Have fun...
Jane Warren, Publisher

Mary said...

Looks like a nice place to visit (in the summer). I think I'll stay put in Louisiana for the winter, where I can ride my motorcycle most days of the year. The snow if beautiful, however.

ExtraHyperActive said...

Snowmobiling does look great, I wish I coud find somebody to go with...
Jane, I was surprised myself to find out about scuba diving in Chelan ! They actually have an outfitter that probvides scuba trips there. Not sure how fun it could be diving in the lake...

ExtraHyperActive said...

Hey Mary,
I think you told me you did that scenic drive ( Cascade Loop ) before ? They say in the summer it's really beautiful ! In March, I am planning ( finally ) to get my motocycle license, rent one one of those Harleys from Eagle Rider and make my childhood dream come true ( actually, owning Harley was my dream, but, well, looks like this is as close as I could be )!