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Stehekin River Trail

Central Cascades

Location

Central Cascades -- Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan
View map below

Length

7.6 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 100 ft.
Highest Point: 1200 ft.

Rating

4.00 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Permits must be picked up in person at one of the park's Wilderness Information Centers
 
 

If you’re overnighting in Harlequin Campground and just want a riverside ramble to while away the hours, try the Stehekin River Trail. It’s an easy forested walk along the mighty Stehekin River on a side of the valley that few visitors get to see.

Begin from Harlequin Bridge, 5 miles up the Stehekin Road. Cross the bridge and turn right, following the road for a half-mile, looking for a wide gravel road to your left. Turn onto this road, and continue along it to the Stehekin airstrip. The trailhead is at the south end of the airstrip, disappearing almost immediately into dense forest.

For about a mile, the trail meanders at the base of the mountains on the west side of the valley, crossing Blackberry Creek and a few other streams that feed the Stehekin River, before the river itself really comes into view.

A little more than a mile down the trail you are directly across from the historic Buckner homestead. Look across the wide river at views of the large meadows and views of the mountains on the east side of the valley before turning back to the trail and into the woods.

At this point the trail can become more muddy, particularly if it’s springtime. It can also be buggy – bring whatever you use to repel the little pests in order to make your hike more enjoyable. However, if you can make it through this last stretch of trail, you’ll pass various residences visible on the other side of the river, and finally arrive at Weaver Point, a kayak-in campground utilized by anglers, fishermen or other recreationists. There are picnic tables here, and a new perspective of the landing area that many visitors to Stehekin don’t get.

If you elect to swim here, keep in mind that the land to your left (as you look to the lake, across the mouth of the river) is private. Please respect the resident’s privacy.

WTA Pro Tip: About a half-mile from Weaver Point is a trail that takes off up the slopes of the mountain towering above you. This is the Devore Creek Trail, which climbs up the Devore drainage and connects with the Company Creek trail, which provides access into Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center. Unlike Stehekin, Holden Village cannot welcome visitors who have not registered to visit – if you plan on making a thru-hike, please check in with them in advance: holdenvillage.org

 

Stehekin River Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.3491, -120.7224 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Cascades -- Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan

North Cascades National Park

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Getting There

From Chelan, take the Lady of the Lake ferry uplake to Stehekin (there are no roads that connect the city of Chelan to Stehekin).

Drive (or bus) up the Stehekin Valley Road for 4.5 miles to the junction with Company Creek Road at Harlequin Campground. Cross the bridge and arrive at Harlequin Campground. Hike from the campground down the Stehekin River Trail for 3 miles to a junction with Devore Creek trail.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Permits must be picked up in person at one of the park's Wilderness Information Centers
 

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Stehekin River Trail

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