So who has paddled Lake Chelan in Washington in the winter? I realize the lake has heavy motorize use and the ferry and winter is winter, but I have some time off and being outside is better than in the office. So what are the problems with doing a 3-5 trip? Can you camp along much of the shore? Any suggestions of where to put it? Other thoughts?
I used to hangglide a lot at Chelan and often threw a kayak on the rack to play with when it was blown out. I haven’t used a kayak as a vehicle for camping there but have looked into it some in the past two years. I didn’t consider winter, but with the lower lake levels you would have more options for camping than in summer (I think).
In researching the possibility of a Chelan-to-Stehekin-and- back trip it was pretty clear from folks who had done it that the place to launch was at 25 Mile Creek (eliminating the first 18-some miles) due to development, private property, etc. During the summer, campsites are limited and if you arrive at your intended single tent site and find it already occupied the next may be a long way off or require a wet exit to access due to the nature of the shoreline. Could make packing up and leaving in the morning interesting. In the winter I doubt that competition for campsites would be an issue and would suggest that maybe you do a Google search to find the info I looked at, get the coordinates of the first campsite and try a weekend trip from 25 Mile Creek. The steep shorelines may have some exposed “beaches” further up-lake but I wouldn’t count on it. Try contacting the Marilyn Raines with the Lady of the Lake and see what she can tell you from their daily trips.
I know that in the summer the afternoon winds can force you off the water further up the lake but during the winter? What does the wind do? I didn’t fly or paddle there in the winter. Why don’t you find out and let me know. I might be interested.
Thanks for the info. A winter trip is in the works because I have the next two months off from work. Of course living in SW Montana all the lakes around here are starting to freeze up. Anyway Lake Chelan is on the way to the coast and I thought I might give it a shot.
I got my hands on the Forest Service map for the area. It shows several established campground along the shore above the 25 Mile Creek put-in. If I make it over there I’ll let you know.
Lake Chelan kayaking
I saw your inquery about Lake Chelan and wondered if you did it, how it went, etc. I have been thinking about the same thing, but more like in March or April.