It’s no secret that the lake is the place to be on a hot summer’s day in Chelan. It’s also no secret that finding a patch of grass or sand large enough to lay your towel out and bask in the sun is harder than it should be. Lakeside Park and Don Morse Park are popular for a reason. They’re easily accessible, provide beach, grass space, and a fun and lively environment. But if you’re looking for something a little quieter and don’t mind going out of the way a bit, there are still a few options!
WILLOW POINT PARK
While Willow Point Park in Manson is still a popular spot, you’re likely to have a slightly easier time finding a place to spread your towel under a shady tree here. It’s a secluded spot on the far end of Manson, so pack a lunch and spend the day. There’s a playground for the kids and a designated swimming area that makes wading in or floating easy. The surrounding views of the trees and mountains make you feel like you’re uplake and provide a great getaway feeling without being too far from town.
The Forest Service on Woodin Ave might not be ideal for laying out on a leisurely afternoon, but if you’re looking to take a quick dip before hitting the town, this stop might just be the way to go. It’s a bit of a local swimming hole for folks who are looking for a refreshing dip. There’s a small grassy area above, but you can get to the water by following the steps directly onto a tiny beach. You’ll miss it if you don’t keep your eyes out for it, located just before the old bridge on your way into town. You can wade in, go for a float or a paddle, or grab a rock and sunbathe. The view straight up the lake is unbeatable and sunset swims here are a must.
CHELAN FALLS PARK
If you’re looking to get away from the lake crowds and wouldn’t mind some river time, Chelan Falls Park is located in Chelan Falls, just before the Beebe Bridge. The amenities include acres upon acres of grassy space with a soccer field, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, volleyball net, picnic shelter, and a playground for the kids. There’s also a boat launch if you’re looking to do some tubing or wakeboarding. There are no stores nearby so stock up on what you need beforehand, and plan on a day spent at the river!
And as a bonus, the Powerhouse Park is located just across the way from the Chelan Falls Park. While this park tends to be a little busier, there’s still plenty of grassy area to set up camp on. There’s a designated swimming area where the lake water flows into the Columbia, which makes for a nice and refreshing swim.
25 MILE CREEK STATE PARK
25 Mile Creek State Park is located exactly where you would guess - 25 miles uplake. The distance makes this park a little more of a destination but the scenic drive along the south shore of Lake Chelan and the scenery of the park itself make it well worth the time. The park offers a boat launch, moorage site, and a full campground. There’s a small protected beach for swimming as well as picnic tables and a volleyball net. The little store on site makes camping a no-brainer, providing the essentials like beer and wine (and as a bonus, they also provide ice and some groceries!). Pack your tent and make an overnight trip out of it, or head out early to spend the day before heading back in for a night on the town. Whichever you choose, 25 Mile is sure to relax and rejuvenate you.