Over the past few years, good friends of ours have invited us over to their cabin on the shores of Lake Chelan. Prior to a wedding in 2009 and our friends’ invitation two weeks later, we’d never been here.
In the summer, it is a very popular playground for water sports, rarely raining here as it does in western Washington, about 10 inches per year. Part of the North Cascades National Forest, it is 50 miles long, 1.5 miles at its widest point and almost 1500 feet at its deepest, the largest lake in the state. Increasingly, the area is becoming known for its excellent wines.
The most populous areas are Chelan and Manson at the southeastern end of the lake. Any boat ride toward Stehekin, the northernmost town, will take you past spectacular mountain scenery, one which was carved out many times by glaciers, at one time over 6,000ft under the Cordilleran ice sheet. The scenery is rugged with gneiss, granite and basalt outcroppings lining the shore and composing the mountainsides.