Outdoors

Higher water boosts hiking, allows Lake Chelan ferry to sail


Lake Chelan National Recreation Area has numerous boat-in campsites such as this one along the shores of the 55-mile-long lake. 
 (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
Lake Chelan National Recreation Area has numerous boat-in campsites such as this one along the shores of the 55-mile-long lake. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

BOATING — The recent rain and increased snow melt brought good news for boat users and Lake Chelan recreationists.  The Lake Chelan water level is now rising which will make public docks more accessible in and allow the Lady of the Lake to shuttle hikers to lakeshore trailheads.

Read on for details just released by the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

The Chelan County Public Utility District website states the elevation of Lake Chelan over Memorial Day weekend is expected to be between 1,088 feet and 1,092 feet above sea level, or higher, depending on temperatures and snowmelt until then.  The June 1 target elevation of 1,094 feet may or may not be achieved, again depending on temperatures and snowmelt.

For the Lake Chelan Boat Company, this runoff was just what was needed to allow the Lady of the Lake II to resume operations.  The Lady II is now in full operation and making daily scheduled stops including requested “flag” stops at Prince Creek and Moore Point. 

All boaters should be aware that log debris is common on the lake in the spring and even more so now due to the heavy rain storms last weekend.

The rising creeks have caused some trail damage along the Lakeshore Trail.  Over the May 14-15 weekend, rainwater flowed through the Meadow Creek drainage causing debris and mud to flow into Lake Chelan.  As a result, a section of the Lakeshore Trail washed out in the Meadow Creek drainage.  Experienced hikers can still get through this area by hiking down close to the lake, crossing the creek and hiking back up to the trail. 

Hikers looking for easier access to the Lakeshore Trail should plan trips between Stehekin and Moore Point to avoid the Meadow Creek area.  Forest Service personnel are currently assessing the damage and the work required to promptly repair the damaged section of trail. 

For the most current trail information please call the Chelan Ranger District at 509-682-4900.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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