Exploring northern Lake Chelan

Ever since my first visit to Stehekin (the town on the north end of Lake Chelan), I’ve been wanting to explore the remote campsites along the lake. Luckily, I have family members who own boats, and said family members sometimes take us out on their boats.

Back in May, we took a quick weekend trip over to Chelan. One day, we explored the entire lake by boat. We launched the boat in the town of Chelan, and we drove it all the way up to Stehekin.

Along the way, we stopped at a few of the remote campgrounds. There were not any campers yet, so we had the places to ourselves.

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Safety Harbor campground

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Prince Creek campground

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The final stop for the day was Stehekin. We had a delicious lunch at the lodge. Unfortunately, the Stehekin Pastry Company was still closed for the season.

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Lake Chelan is probably my favorite lake in the state. I love how beautiful it gets as you travel north. I’d like to camp at one of the many northern campgrounds sometime.  Below is a list of the campgrounds in the national park.

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For more information on camping at Lake Chelan, go to the national park service website here.

Soaking up sunshine on Orcas Island

September and October were really busy months for my travel companion and I. We visited Orcas Island, Pullman, British Columbia, Skamania, and Whidby Island. With all this rain over the past couple of weeks it’s hard to remember that we had a great start to fall in the Northwest. It wasn’t too long ago that we were blessed with sunshine and warm days.

Back in September, I spent two days on Orcas Island. This was my first time on the island. The busy summer season was over but the sunshine was still out and the skies were clear. We stayed at the Deer Harbor Resort. The unit we stayed in had a great harbor view, and a private hot tub on the deck. It was a perfect place to sip a few glasses of wine, and take in the beauty of the San Juans.

We spent a few hours exploring the town Eastsound. It’s very quaint town, and has a beautiful water view.

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We then drove up to the top of Mount Constitution. It’s a long windy road to the top, but the view is amazing. We were pretty lucky to visit on such a clear day.

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We were pressed with time, so we didn’t get to explore the whole island. We drove through Moran State Park and then drove to the ferry to get in line. While waiting for the ferry to come, we had lunch at a local restaurant. Luckily they were showing the Hawks game. I’m  always amazed by the beauty of the San Juan Islands, We really do live in an awesome place.

Wallace Falls Hike

Since I don’t work during the summers, I like spending my time exploring the hiking options around me. After doing a few hikes off the I-90 corridor, I decided to move on to the Highway 2 area. Wallace Falls seemed like a perfect choice for a day hike. I called up a co-worker and we met in Monroe.

The trail  head is easy to find. It’s within the Wallace Falls State Park. There are a lot of road signs pointing to the park.

We started on the trail head around 10:00ish, and surprisingly it wasn’t that crowded. I read that this is a really popular trail but we only passed people at the viewpoints. Of course, we were hiking mid-week which helps. We hiked all the way up to the upper falls viewpoint. It’s a pretty challenging hike at times, and we were both sweating by the time we got to the top.

After a quick snack, we hiked back down. At this point, the trail was getting more crowded and we passed by a lot more people. Overall, it is a beautiful hike. The old forests are lush and green. There are numerous views of the river and waterfalls. Next time, I’d like to try mountain biking up to Wallace Lake.

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More information

WTA Wallace Falls Hike

Wallace Falls State Park

Whislter, BC

When I was in middle school (about 15 years ago), my parents and I went up to Whistler, BC for a weekend. They bought a timeshare, and neither of us have returned since.

Initially, my husband and I originally planned on bringing our mountain bikes up. But as I was doing research about mountain biking in the area, I got a little intimidated by the Whistler Bike Park. It looked pretty technical, and way above my skill level. As soon as we drove into town, I knew that not bringing the bikes was a mistake. There are miles (or should I say kilometers) of paved and gravel biking trails. Everyone there was biking! I was constantly reminded that I left my bikes at home. So if you’re not an aggressive downhill rider, here is some information about biking trails in the area. There are a lot of paved trails for road bikes too. Don’t make the same mistake that I did!!

Whistler valley trail

Lost Lake trails

In the summer if you buy your gondola pass 5 days in advance, you get a second day for free.  Luckily we saw that deal exactly five days before our trip.  We spent two days up on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. First we rode up to the top of Whistler Mountain. Then we rode the chairlift up to the peak.

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We then rode of the peak to peak gondola. That was a really cool ride!!

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At Blackcomb, we rode the chairlift down to the upper village.

Since we didn’t have our bikes, our weekend activities included shopping, strolling through the village, and watching the hawks game at a sports bar.

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We were in town for two of the summer concerts. We went to one of the concerts. The band was really fun and I really enjoyed it.

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Whistler is such an awesome place to visit year round. This is a place I’d like to visit every couple of years. Maybe next time I’ll come up during winter and go skiing (another thing that I haven’t done since middle school).

Fort Stevens State Park

While staying in Seaside for a week, we visited Fort Stevens State Park. When I was little, I used to camp there every other summer. It’s probably been at least 15 years since I last went, and I couldn’t really remember what it was like.

We first drove to the beach to check out Peter Iredale, the shipwreck. It ran ashore in 1906 during a storm.

It was a sunny but windy day on the beach. It was crowded, and perfect for people watching. I enjoyed watching the kite surfers for a while.

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Next, we drove over to the museum. We looked through the main building for a while, and then we walked around the old bunkers. This fort was built during the Civil War and was used during World War II to defend the Columbia River.

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That ended our tour of Fort Stevens State Park. I’d love to go back and camp. There were a ton of bike trails that I’d like to ride.

More information:

Friends of Old Fort Stevens

Oregon State Parks – Fort Stevens