ot exactly a household name, Lake Chelan is a secret aching to be told. Though people from Seattle and Spokane kind of hope they can keep the place for themselves, word is slowly spreading — in good part due to timeshare exchanges — that this is a pretty nice place to visit.
Fed by more than 100 glaciers from the Cascade Mountains, Lake Chelan is characterized by its crystal clear, blue water; sunny, semi-desert climate; and sprinkled horizon of fruit orchards and vineyards. Described as one of the most beautiful lake settings in the world, generations of families have been making the journey to Lake Chelan to enjoy year-round recreational opportunities in a world class setting.Visitors experience a combination of breathtaking scenery along with a long list of activities including boating, water sports, golf, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling and cross country skiing. Currently, there are over 20 boutique wineries operating as members of the Lake Chelan Wine Valley that attract attention from winemakers, grape growers and wine enthusiasts throughout the Northwest. Downtown Chelan is home to a classic American Main Street with galleries, retail shops, a variety of dining options and the crowned jewel, Ruby Theatre offering visitors a look back into the history of small town America. Dating from 1914, the Ruby has operated nearly continuously as a cinema since that time. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Consistently ranked as one of the most pristine waters in the United States, the lake is 55 miles long and quite narrow through most of its length, very much like a fiord. At 1,486 feet, and extending nearly 400 feet below sea level, Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the USA. For most of its length it lies in a valley far deeper than the Grand Canyon.From the resort areas in Chelan and Manson, you will get little idea of the spectacular views offered just a few minutes away in the high country. Here the sky-blue water, orchards and rolling hills provide no clue of the granite cliffs and snow covered mountains that soar dramatically from the glacial green water Uplake. But Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall, the scenery hypnotizes.
The roads in this rugged area don’t even make it halfway up Lake Chelan. Beyond the end of the road, the deep green of Douglas Fir trees lead your eyes up to the jagged peaks rising over 7,000 feet from the lake shore. It gives you a whole new appreciation for tameness.
If you like to hike or camp or bird- and critter-watch or fish or just take some fabulous pictures, this is a superb place to do it all. Portions of a National Park, two National Forest Wilderness Areas, and a National Recreation Area encompass much of the Chelan Drainage, and there are hundreds of miles of trails.
And if you’re a fisherman you will like to know that Lake Chelan is one of the top fisheries in the Northwest, with its stocking programs releasing 100,000 Chinook salmon, 60,000 Lake trout, 100,000 Rainbow trout and 600,000 Kokanee into the Lake each year. Fishermen can also head to nearby Antilon Lake, Roses Lake Wapato Lake, Stehekin River and Columbia River that yield Bluegill, Catfish, Crappie, German Brown trout and largemouth Bass.
A very pleasant trip uplake in one of the Lady of the Lake boats (a lovely boat ride) will show you the striking contrast between the arid climate of the lower Lake Chelan Valley, taking you through gorges carved by glaciation to the headwaters of the lake deep in the Cascade Mountains. Along the way you will witness some of Mother Nature’s most awesome work. You will return to the lovely civilization of the resort area awestruck– and grateful for the comforts provided there.
The small lake side village of Manson lies along the north shore of Lake Chelan. This quaint agri-artisan community enjoys incredible views of snow capped peaks that rise over 7,000 feet from the lake shore. The tranquility, spectacular setting and lush resources have inspired and sustained many generations of unique family businesses, shops, restaurants, vineyards and wineries. From the apple orchards to the alpine firs and glaciers of the Cascade Crest, Manson offers an unparalleled variety of scenic and recreational experiences.
Claiming an address in Manson, Wapato Point and its surrounding communities are only 3 1/2 hours from the Seattle area and 3 hours from Spokane. It is here that you will find the delightful Wapato Point Resort, an RCI-affiliated property that has been delighting owners and guests for years.
According to WapatoTimeshares.com the Wapato Family has owned Wapato Point for over 100 years. This area was originally part of the Columbia or Chief Moses Indian Reservation, established by two executive orders in 1879 and 1880. The reservation originally extended from Lake Chelan and the Chelan River on the south, to the Columbia and the Okanogan River on the eastern side, to the Canadian border on the north, and to the crest of the Cascade Range on the western side. Today it is MUCH smaller.
In 1884, Peter Wapato obtained the Wapato Point area as part of the Moses Agreement allotment No. 10, and his descendants still retain his interest. You will find lots of interesting information about this family and Native American history all over the general Chelan area. Because Wapato Point is located on leased land, owned by the Wapato Indian Family, timeshare owners have a leasehold interest until the year 2075.
Wapato Point consists of 116 acres of meticulously groomed grounds and over 1 1/2 miles of waterfront. Recreational amenities are practically endless with 7 outdoor pools, an indoor pool and hot tub, 6 lighted tennis courts (open from Spring to late Fall), miniature golf, and a year round recreational department with virtually all types of recreational equipment from boats to bicycles to horseshoes and fishing poles (a catch and keep Trout Pond is located in the center of the resort. The pond is open and stocked with Trout on a seasonal basis from approximately mid-June through August). You will not get bored here.Inside you will find roomy studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom townhome accommodations equipped with everything a body could need.
In addition, there is fun shopping at some of the little boutique stores in Manson and there are some interesting restaurants, too– from the funky to the sublime. There is a nearby casino, skiing in the winter — both Nordic and downhill — and lots to explore.
Take a sweater or jacket with you no matter what time of year you visit. Though the days can get nice and warm in the summer, the evenings are usually cool and if you take the trip Uplake you’ll need a little something extra to keep you warm.
Sources/Websites relevant to the area:
- http://www.wapatopoint.com – The resort’s website
- http://www.lakechelan.com/ – The Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Center
- http://www.cometothelake.com/ – An excellent site for everything
- http://wapatotimeshares.com/ – Just what it says
- http://www.ladyofthelake.com/ – The Web site for The Lady of the Lake boat tours
- http://www.mansonvillage.com/ – The Manson Village Web site
-Compiled by InsideTheGate.com staff
“On the Road” is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of “On the Road” is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. 5-Star quality. However, these resorts are not usually the only timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out— enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
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