Lake Chelan

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Lake Chelan
Lake chelan.jpg
Lake Chelan, looking northwest from Lakeside Park near Chelan.
Location Chelan County, Washington,
United States
Coordinates 47°50′28″N 120°02′47″W / 47.84111°N 120.04639°W / 47.84111; -120.04639Coordinates: 47°50′28″N 120°02′47″W / 47.84111°N 120.04639°W / 47.84111; -120.04639
Primary inflows Stehekin River
Primary outflows Chelan River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 50.5 mi (81.3 km)
Surface area 52.1 sq mi (135 km2)
Average depth 474 ft (144 m)
Max. depth 1,486 ft (453 m)
Water volume 15,800,000 acre feet (1.95×1010 m3)
Residence time 10.6 years
Shore length1 109.2 mi (175.7 km)
Surface elevation 1,100 ft (340 m)
Settlements Chelan, Manson, Stehekin, Holden, Lucerne
References [1][2]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Chelan is a narrow, 50.5-mile-long lake in Chelan County, northern Washington state, U.S.[1] It is the largest natural lake in Washington state.


The name Chelan is a Salish Indian word, "Tsi - Laan," meaning 'Deep Water'.[3]


Fed by streams from the Cascade Range and the Chelan Mountains, Lake Chelan has a maximum depth of 1,486 ft (453 m) (although some sources cite 1,420 feet),[citation needed] making it the third deepest lake in the country and the 26th deepest in the world. The surface of the lake is 1,098 feet (335 m) above sea level, while the average width of the lake is one mile


The city of Chelan sits at the southeast tip of the lake, where its water flows into the Chelan River through the hydroelectric Lake Chelan Dam. At the northwest end of the lake is the town of Stehekin, where the town's namesake river, the Stehekin River, flows into the lake. The Stehekin is the lake's largest inflow stream. Access to the far end of the lake is limited to boat, plane, or hiking.

Lake Chelan State Park lies along the southern shore of the lake, and can be accessed from the city of Chelan by road. The northern portion of the lake is protected by Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. The area is also home to the Lake Chelan AVA.

Recent history[edit]

Swimmer for cancer awareness[edit]

In 2011, Emily Von Jentzen became the first person alive in America to swim the length of Lake Chelan, which she did in 36 hours.[4][5] She performed the feat to raise money for Katelyn Roker, a young girl battling stage-4 neuroblastoma.[6][7] von Jentzen chronicled her training for the swim on a blog, A Lakke for Katelyn. [sic][8]

Lake Chelan Crossing by Standup Paddleboard[edit]

On July 11, 2014, Lake Chelan was crossed via standup paddleboard (SUP) from Stehekin to Chelan in 12 hours, 30 minutes by Matt Parker and Joe Walker. It was the first such crossing. They left the Stehekin River at 7:15 AM on July 11, 2014 and touched dry land at Campbell's Resort in Chelan, WA at 8:45 PM that same day. They traveled via 14' SUP boards. [9]



  1. ^ a b "TMDL Case Study: Lake Chelan, Washington". EPA Number: 841F94001. Environmental Protection Agency. January 1994. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  2. ^ Kendra, Will; Lynn Singleton (January 1987). "Morphometry of Lake Chelan". Ecology Report 87-1. Washington State Department of Ecology. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Native American Legends". USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Region. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  4. ^ Story; LA Times; retrieved 2013-10-30
  5. ^ She Conquers Lake Chelan; September 2, 2011; Wenatchee World article online; retrieved ?
  6. ^ Swim; Seattle Times article; retrieved ?
  7. ^ Kalispell Woman Becomes First Person to Swim Lake Chelan; Flathead Beacon article; retrieved ?
  8. ^ A Lakke for Katelyn blog
  9. ^ "Paddleboard Adventure on Lake Chelan"; July 16, 2014; Go Lake Chelan article online;

External links[edit]