Home #WHERETONEXT USA Lake Chelan is the Northwest’s Winter Wonderland

Lake Chelan is the Northwest’s Winter Wonderland

Holiday Happenings, Snow Sports, Wine Tastings and Small-Town Charm

Fireworks Winterfest courtesy of Stepanov Photography

Winter Wonderland Escape

Nestled in the snowcapped North Cascades and an easy three-hour drive from Seattle, Lake Chelan is the ideal destination for a winter getaway. Enjoy the stunning views from its award-winning wineries, explore the snowy peaks or shop the boutiques in Chelan and Manson for the perfect holiday gifts.

Off the Grid in Stehekin

During the colder months, the unincorporated town of Stehekin (population under 100), nestled atop the northern end of Lake Chelan in North Cascades National Park, becomes a winter wonderland. It’s a haven for those looking to get away from it all, as it is not accessible by car and has no connecting roads, ATMs or cell phone reception. Venture in by boat on the Lady of the Lake, check into the North Cascades Lodge or Stehekin Valley Ranch and get ready to immerse yourself in nature for the ultimate unplugged escape. Only have time for a day trip? Let Stehekin Valley Adventures be your guide.

Small Town Holidays – November 25, 2022 – December 31, 2022

From festive gatherings to joyful family moments, Lake Chelan welcomes you to share the spirit of the season with wine tastings, Santa sightings, restaurant dining, outdoor adventures and more. Come explore the valley’s holiday lights all winter long. A full schedule of featured events can be found here.

Callan Cellars Mulled Holiday Wine – December 23 – 31 (closed Christmas Day)

Warm up this holiday season at Callan Cellars in Chelan! Cozy up by the fireplace inside the charming historic stone building that houses a tasting room. Or sip your glass outside around one of the dual-zone fire tables, and watch the snow gently fall in the magical tiered garden.

Amos Rome Oysters & Bubbles! Wine Release Event – December 31, 2022

Be the first to try Chelan’s 2021 Sparkling Block ’98 Cuvee – a wine made in the Méthode Champenoise style from Estate Block ’98 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Vineyards. Pair your glass of bubbles with three fresh, raw oysters from Taylor Shellfish.

Stormy Mountain Brewing New Year’s Eve Party – December 31, 2022

Bring your friends and family for a rocking New Year’s Eve at Stormy Mountain Brewing! Dance the night away and enjoy a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.

Lake Chelan Winterfest – January 13–22, 2023

Watch fireworks reflect off the snowy peaks over Lake Chelan during Winterfest! Come with friends or family for the intricate ice sculptures, two spectacular fireworks shows and more in both downtown Chelan and Manson. Enjoy a scavenger hunt, ice sculpture tours, live ice sculpting and live music on the Wapato Point Resort Stage. And for the brave, there’s the Polar Bear Plunge! A full schedule of featured events can be found here.

Red Wine & ChocolateEvery Friday – Sunday throughout February, 2023 Bring your special someone for a romantic retreat, or a group of friends to enjoy a winter getaway! Local tasting rooms will feature red wine and chocolate all month long – immerse yourself in love this February in the Lake Chelan wine valley.  A full list of participating wineries can be viewed here.

Explore the Outdoors

The snowcapped mountains and weaving Echo Ridge trails offer a winter playground for any snow-sport enthusiast. Whether satisfying your adrenaline rush snowmobiling or bringing the kids out for a fun day of tubing, Lake Chelan plays host to various events and activities throughout the season. These can help you get your daily dose of outdoor adventure:

  • Cross-Country Skiing – Less than 10 miles from Chelan, the Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area offers 25 miles of groomed and backcountry trails for snowshoers, as well as cross-country, single-track and skate skiers of all levels. Glide along the high ridge and snap photos of the enchanting Stuart Range and the valley below.
  • TubingEcho Valley’s Family Ski Area provides a six-lane tubing hill, great for all ages and family members.
  • Snowmobiling – Sunny weather, beautiful scenery and 170 miles of uncrowded trails in spectacular condition bring snowmobilers back to Lake Chelan year after year.
  • Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding – Just nine miles from downtown Chelan, Echo Valley Ski & Tubing Area offers uncrowded slopes, low prices and outstanding snow conditions. Mission Ridge, another great hill with small lines and great skiing, is only a 75-minute drive from Chelan; it has more than 36 designated runs spread over 2,000 acres of terrain.

Pup-Friendly Paradise

Bring all of your family members—including the four-legged ones—on your next trip to Lake Chelan! If you’ll have your furry friends in tow, plenty of area hot spots have special pet-friendly offerings:

Aim for a Strike at Chelan Lanes

Featuring ten auto-scoring lanes, a full-service sports bar, arcade games, billiards and restaurant, Chelan Lanes has something for everyone! Enjoy a fun-filled night of bowling and some friendly competition this winter at a beloved establishment.

Lodging Options

  • Campbell’s Resort – Family owned and operated since 1901, Campbell’s Resort offers guest rooms and award-winning dining on the shores of Lake Chelan.
  • The Lookout – Just minutes from Chelan, The Lookout is a lakeside village offering vacation homes for sale and nightly rentals.
  • Harmony Meadows Tennis Resort – Seclusion and tranquility await at this world-class destination tennis resort featuring accommodations for up to 50 people. Guests can enjoy a variety of lodging options, all surrounded by apple orchards and the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains: the opulence of The Inn, the casual elegance of the Hayloft Suite or the cozy luxury of The Cottages.
  • GrandView on the Lake – Offering direct access to Lake Chelan, GrandView on the Lake features panoramic views from every guest room, a waterfront pool and a hot tub oasis.
  • Wapato Point – With a wide range of distinctive villages at Wapato Point, each boasting a unique style and location, you can choose to relax and unwind or dive into the action on the north shore.