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7.7 miles

Elevation Gain

2674 ft

Route Type



Added by Rob Bolton

Chelan Butte provides sweeping views of Lake Chelan and the Columbia River and is actually located within the limits of the City of Chelan, with the trailhead sitting just outside the downtown area. While Chelan Butte is typically covered in snow during the winter providing a nice snowshoe, most folks opt to head to Chelan Butte in warmer weather. The spring is an ideal time, with wildflowers blanketing the slopes in April. With little shade on the trail, mornings provide the best opportunity to hike Chelan Butte during the summer, while fall brings cooler temps and a touch of color to the slopes.

From the Chelan Butte trailhead, cross the Gorge Road, and follow a dirt road up a quarter of a mile. There will be a sign on your right marking a short trail that crosses down through a gully over to another dirt road. Follow this dirt road for roughly another quarter of a mile, and look for a sign on your left this time. The trail proceeds to climb up Chelan Butte before leveling out for a moderate traverse. At the second mile, a side trail splits off for Elephant Head, which is also a good turn-around spot for those looking to cut the hike short.

The trail follows the ridge for two more miles up to the top of Chelan Butte. There is a mix of moderately steep climbs as well as more level sections and you will be treated to uninterrupted views of both Lake Chelan and the Columbia River. At the top, you will find cell towers and may see paragliders during the summer months, as it is a popular paragliding spot and the top is accessible via a forest service road.

Dogs are permitted on-leash. 

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