Campgrounds in Lake Chelan National Recreation Area are walk-in sites located in the Stehekin Valley at the head of Lake Chelan. The Purple Point Camps are a five-to-seven minute walk from the boat dock at Stehekin Landing.
Stehekin is a remote community with limited facilities and is only accessible by foot, boat, or plane.
There is a group shared space in Lakeview Camp reserved for backpackers heading out or coming back from a wilderness trip. These sites need not be reserved separately; backpackers may camp for one night with a valid backpacking permit.
Visitors can access several trails from the campground areas, such the Imus Trail, the Purple Creek Trail, and the Lakeshore Trail (in the Landing area). Many of these trails also lead to other backcountry trails and the opportunity for longer wilderness backpacks. A backcountry permit is required for overnight stays in the backcountry.
Campgrounds are located along the Stehekin Valley Road which leads to other trails via foot, bike, or shuttle bus. Visitors can boat, fish, and swim (although the water is a chilly 45 degrees) in Lake Chelan or the Stehekin River. Bears do inhabit the area, so care should be taken when hiking, picnicking, or camping.
At the Stehekin Landing area, the North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin has a small store with very limited groceries and a restaurant. Public showers and laundry facilities are located near the Landing, though not in the campground.
There are no roads or car access into Stehekin. Accessible by foot, boat (ferry and private) or plane only. Visitors may take a passenger ferry or their own boat, which may be parked at the public docks in Stehekin. Each campsite offers a picnic table. Fires are allowed in the Purple Point and Harlequin campgrounds in designated fire pits. Lakeview and Purple Point offers drinking water, flush toilets, and garbage removal. Harlequin has pit toilets and no running water and it situated right on the Stehekin River.
Stehekin is a gateway into the east side of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. Many short to multi-day backpacking trips begin in the Stehekin area. Other attractions in the area are the historic Buckner Orchard, where visitors can pick apples in the fall, and Rainbow Falls, a 312-foot waterfall near the Stehekin Valley Road. Kayaking, canoeing, boating, fishing, and horseback riding. The Golden West Visitor Center offers interpretive exhibits and ranger program during peak season.
There are no roads that connect Stehekin to the rest of Washington. Access is via foot, boat, or plane.
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