Boat-in Camping at Lake Chelan

Rate this Adventure Washington Lady of the Lake

Added by Whitney James

True remote camping just south of North Cascades National ParkAccessible only by boat, horseback, or planeMultiple campgrounds for every type of visitor

You'll pick up the Lady of the Lake Ferry in downtown Chelan. Take the slowboat or the faster version, and prepare to settle in to an incredibly scenic and enjoyable ride up the 50 mile long Lake Chelan (the largest lake in the state by any measure). Don't forget to wear your sunblock if you sit on the open deck. You won't notice you're getting burned with the cool breeze, but this part of Washington is arid and the sun shines bright!

Arrive several hours later at the small town of Stehekin. You've got options once you dock. First, check in with the Golden West Visitor Center to get your bearings. You can camp right there on the lawn to have access to the lake, or you can check out any number of backcountry options. We hitched a ride just across the lake to Weaver Point campground, where we were eaten alive by mosquitos, but had an entire dock and view of the surrounding 9,000-foot peaks to ourselves.

If you're not into the backcountry hiking scene, don't worry. You can always rent a kayak, bike, or horse, and explore the surrounding area. Insider tip: you'll pull salmon out of the lake if you bring a fishing pole. Return down-lake on the ferry or by hitchhike (the locals are friendly) and stop by one of the area's many, many wineries for some well-deserved chilled vino.

Pack List

  • Mosquito repellent
  • Your own coffee and beer
  • Camp stove
  • Water filter
  • Swimsuit
  • Ferry ticket
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Features:

Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

More Adventures Nearby

Photograph the Deception Pass Bridge

Washington / Deception Pass Bridge

Once you've parked your car, there is a $10 fee which can be paid at the station right next to the bridge unless you have a Discover Pass.

Andrew Hoang
19 Saves

Explore Tide Pools at Kalaloch Beach 4

Washington / Kalaloch Beach 4

Parking at Kalaloch Beach 4 provides an easy walk to Olympic National Park's infamous tidal pools.

Hillary + Matt
17 Saves

Climb Prusik Peak's West Ridge

Washington / Snow Lakes Trailhead

The Enchantments are an amazing experience in themselves.  Yet one of the most striking features of any hike into the core zone of the Enchantments is that of Prusik Peak.

Connor Charles
15 Saves