166 miles E of Seattle, 37 miles N of Wenatchee, 59 miles S of Winthrop
Formed when a glacier-carved valley flooded, Lake Chelan is 1,500 feet deep, 55 miles long, and less than 2 miles wide in most places. This landlocked fjord is the third-deepest lake in the U.S. (reaching 400 ft. below sea level) and the longest natural lake in Washington. Only the southern 25 miles of the lake are accessible by road, yet at the northern end, the community of Stehekin (reachable only by boat, plane, or on foot) has managed to survive for more than 100 years, despite not being connected to the outside world by road. Plenty of summer sunshine, clear water, and blue skies have made the lake one of the top summer-vacation destinations in eastern Washington, and the town of Chelan has a beach-town feel, despite rugged mountain views all around.
At the lake's southern end, apple orchards and vacation-home developments cover the foothills, and ski boats and personal watercraft zoom around the lake. In contrast, at the northern end, forests and rugged, rocky slopes come right to the water's edge, and mountain goats and black bears can often be seen along the shoreline. At the southern end of the lake, you'll be one of the summer hordes, while at the remote northern end of the lake -- as idyllic a locale as you could wish for -- you'll feel completely cut off from the outside world.