Because of the remote nature of the uplake area, you can enjoy the great outdoors without the crowds. The uplake area offers so many camping possibilities that we can’t list them all here for fear of bringing the internet to its knees. We have listed some of the most notable.
6920 ft elevation. 3 hike-in, tent-only campsites on the lake accessed from the trail starting at Prince Creek Campground on Lake Chelan. Secluded lake for fishing, and backpacking. An ORV Trail also leads to and beyond Boiling Lake. Crater Creek Trailhead is off of Gold Creek Road (Forest Road 4340) and Forest Road 300. Includes 3 fire rings, 3 tables, and 2 open air toilets on site.
This is the end of the road and makes the best base camp for the short hike to Horseshoe Basin or Cascade Pass, or even a summit attempt on Buckner. The shuttle bus stops at Bridge Creek so there will be a hike or better yet a bike ride to get to Cotton Wood.
This lake is just due west of Big Bear Lake about 600 feet. Cub lake is up hill of Big Bear Lake and is very unique that it has a drainage from the northeast and southeast corners. Although Cub Lake is the little lake its northeast outlet feeds Big Bear Lake. Includes 3 camp sites, 3 fire rings and 1 open air toilent on site.
DOMKE LAKE, STUART CAMP, HATCHERY
Domke Lake Campground and Hatchery Camp are located on Domke Lake, along with a small cabin and boat rentals resort. There are six campsites at Domke Lake Campground with tables, fire grates, outhouses, and plenty of area to pitch tents. These sites incude 8 tables, 8 fire rings, 8 tent sites, and 3 toilets.
Like Prince Creek and Moore Point, Flick Creek is a lakeshore campground which could be either boat-in or hike-in via the lakeshore trail. Flick Creek has one shelter and one fire ring. My suggestion is early spring or late fall. Most hikers use the Lakeshore trail in the summer, leaving it to the rest of us in the spring and fall. Because of snow, the Lakeshore Trail is one of the first trails to open up in the spring and one of the last to close in the fall. Spring brings a fusion of wild flowers and waterfalls. If you like fall colors and crisp autumn air fall, is a real treat.
Harlequin is 4.5 miles up valley from the Stehekin Landing. It makes a great family campground. You’re far enough up valley to feel like your camping but close enough to everything to take advantage of the bakery, restaurant, rafting, horseback, shuttle buses , etc… Bring your bikes, which make a great mode of transportation around the Valley.
This is a small campground at the base of McGregor Mt Summit. It is situated at about 7,000′ and is extremely beautiful. Fall is a wonderful time of the year as your sure to be one of the only people there.
6665′ Lake Juanita is a beautiful high mountain lake. The lake is accessible by way of the Purple Pass trail. Just behind the Lodge in Stehekin.
This boat-in campground offers a picnic shelter and a fixed dock with a three boat capacity. There are four picnic tables, four fire rings and two toilets available.
Located in the upper Valley, Park Creek is close to the end of the road. The shuttle bus stops at Bridge Creek so there will be a short walk or bike ride to get to Park Creek. From Bridge Creek you can venture up to Cotton Wood and beyond to Horseshoe Basin or Cascade Pass. Also Five mile camp up the Park Creek Trail is a very beautiful place to camp, with spectacular view of the Buckner Glacier.
This boat-in campground is located on the shores of Lake Chelan and borders Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. The area offers a floating dock with a three boat capacity. Prince Creek offers six tent sites, five fire rings, five tables, and three toilets. Good site for larger groups. Includes 6 tent sites, 6 fire rings, 4 tables on site. This site is also a boat-in campground.
PURPLE POINT CAMPGROUND
This is very close to the landing area in Stehekin. Good for those campers who may want to be close to the boat landing. We must warn you though it is in a high traffic area and may lack the privacy, peace and quiet you expect when you go camping.
Even though it’s 11 miles up Valley, it really makes a very nice camp for anyone wanting to still take advantage of the bakery, restaurant, biking, rafting, etc… Situated half way from either end of the Valley it is located in a great spot to explore both ends. Because it’s on the shuttle bus route you always have access to the lower valley and you’re far enough up that you can hop on a bike and ride up valley for a picnic or all the way to the end of the road and a hike to Horseshoe Basin. Another fantastic option is to take off early in the morning. And head up McGregor Mt. for a summit at 8,200′ The view up there is absolutely incredible. For something a little more relaxed you can take the 1-2 mile hike up to Coon Lake.
This camp is just outside Holden Village. For a small fee, the Holden bus will haul you and your gear up the hill to Holden. From Holden you can take off in several directions or just set up camp at the Ballpark and kick around the area for a day or two. Includes 2 tables and 2 fire rings on site.
Very nice area, could be used as a second night after Lake Juanita making a loop out through Boulder Creek.
At 5630′ Rainbow Lake is a wonderful place to camp. The trail head starts just 2-3 miles up from the landing so it’s an easy one to get to and get started. There are several camps along the way as well. Rainbow Bridge, Rainbow Ford, Bench Creek, & Rainbow Meadows. From Rainbow Lake you can head north to hook up with the Pacific Crest Trail and loop around to Bridge Creek or High Bridge to be picked up by the shuttle. Another choice would be to continue north to Highway 20 and have someone pick you up at Rainy Pass. And of course you can hike-in from Rainy Pass, take the boat out, and have someone pick you up in Chelan.
Conditions occasionally require trail closures – Please contact the National Park Service or the Forest Service for up to date information:
National Park Service at 509-682-2549
U.S. Forest Service at 509-682-2576
Outdoor & Camping Rules of the Road
The upper Lake Chelan Valley offers some of the most spectacular hiking and camping in the world. The following information is provided as a guideline for all your wilderness experiences, when all else fails there is no replacement for good old common sense.
PACK IT OUT!
Do not bury your garbage. Clean your fire pit and remove all traces of aluminum and glass. Pack out all litter including food scraps and the litter left by others. Store garbage and food away from bears and other wild animals.
NEVER LEAVE CAMPFIRES UNATTENDED
Use existing fire rings and keep fires small. Collect down wood only and leave snags standing. Know local campfire restrictions and make sure your campfire is left dead out.
PRACTICE NO TRACE CAMPING
Select campsites that have been previously established. Do not cut or hack any trees or pound any nails into them. Trenching around tents damages soil and vegetation.
KEEP LAKES AND STREAMS CLEAN
Dispose of all wash water well away from water sources and use biodegradable soaps. Graze and confine pack and saddle stock at least 200 feet from lake shores and streams.
BURY HUMAN WASTE
Choose a site at least 200 feet from any water source, campsite, or trail. Dig a hole deep enough so that you can cover your feces and toilet paper with at least six inches of soil.
For more information and or maps contact:
National Park Service at 509-682-2549
U.S. Forest Service at 509-682-2576