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Stehekin is located at the northwest end of Washington States’s pristine 50.5 mile long glacier fed Lake Chelan.  It is a key stop for hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail before the trail ends in Canada.

Freshly showered Pacific Crest Trail Hikers

Pacific Trail Hikers

The hikers above told me they can no longer smell their body odor after a few days, but they can smell a clean person’s shampoo, body lotion and laundry detergent from far away!


The name Stehekin is an Indian word (more specifically Columbia-Moses) meaning “the way through”.  Stehekin, according to a 2003 article I read while writing this, is the most remote community in the lower 48 states.  There are only about 75 year round residents.


Kids are educated from K to 8 in a one-room log schoolhouse.  The post office is one of the smallest in the country.


There are no roads leading to Stehekin.  The only ways in are by boat, floatplane, small airplane, hiking or horse back over the Cascade Pass.  Our family takes the two(-ish) hour, 50 mile ride from Chelan by boat.

We explore and picnic along the way

Lake Chelan exploration

Mountain Goat SightingChelan Mountain Goats

Stehekin Marina Stehekin arrival

Because vehicles have to be barged in, there are very few.  Most vehicles in Stehekin are old, and uncomputerized for the simple reason that they are easier to repair.

Our Stehekin transportation last yearStehekin rideOur Stehekin transportation this yearQuads in Stehekin

The National Park Service maintains the historic Buckner Homestead and farm/orchard as an interpretive center to give visitors a glimpse at pioneer life in the Stehekin Valley.

Buckner Orchard and wild deer feasting

Buckner Orchard

A sign telling visitors to pick free applesStehekin Apples Sign

I find all of the homes in Stehekin to be creative and charming, but this is my favorite.  One day, I will take the time to photograph it in a way that shows off it’s true beauty.
Favorite house in Stehikin

 Side view and backyard of my favorite house (barely visible, in silhouette, left side of this photo)Head of lake Chelan, Washington

The crystal clear and stunning Stehekin RiverStehekin River

There are three restaurants in Stehekin.  They are The Stehekin Lodge, which is very nice; The Stehekin Valley Ranch, more commonly known as “The Ranch”, and The Stehekin Pastry Company.

The Ranch is the most scenic dinner restaurant.  Diners eat in a rustic cook house on endlessly long chunky hand hewn picnic style tables and benches.  The vaulted ceiling and walls are framed with enormous logs.  Pots of coffee and water are heated on top of an oversized wood stove with an open flame, centered in front of a two-story wall of windows.  The wall of windows overlooks a meadow and a stunning ridge of the Cascade Mountains.  Abundant servings of food are prepared with fresh local ingredients.

The Ranch’s dinner menu

Menu at Stehikin Ranch

Desert at The Ranch Dessert at the RanchHammocks beckoning at The Ranchhammocks in Stehekin

The Stehekin Pastry Company, more commonly known as “The Bakery” is open for breakfast and lunch.  It’s our favorite breakfast spot.

A major mode of local transportation, bikes parked next to a creative planter at The Bakery

Stehekin bikes and planter

Menu board at The Bakery
Bakery menu

Sweets at The BakeryBakery food case

 Path overlooking Lake Chelan and the Stehekin Marina Stehekin over looking Lake Chelan

The House that Jack Built is a cooperative shop that sells local creations.  The shop carries beautiful hand carved wood bowls, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, hand knit scarves, hats, sweaters, fabric pot holders, photographs, books, baby clothes, and other treasures.  Some of the items for sale are made by talented school kids.

The House that Jack Built shopThe House that Jack Built Gift Shop Stehekin, Washington

Butterfly on BridgeButterfly on BridgeWe like to drive by this cliff on our way in and our way out of Stehekin…Exploring Ancient Indian Cliff Paintings in StehekinThey are somewhat tough to see, but if you look close, you can detect ancient Northwest Indian paintings on this cliffAncient Indian cliff paintings

15 thoughts on “Weekend in Stehekin

  1. Janis says:

    Lovely article, Melissa. What a beautiful tribute to our gorgeous state. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim hanford says:

      Maybe sometime you can go on this adventure with us! Hugs Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Janis, the only thing missing on our weekend in Stehekin was YOU!! xox


    1. Kim hanford says:

      So true Melissa. Love you Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sarah Phillipps says:

    I love your documentation with pictures!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for the mini-vacation I just had at my desk. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad your priorities are in order! 😉


  5. Diane says:

    Stehekin beckons to my heart’s deep desire for peace and rest. What a beautiful place for an annual family vacation weekend. I have heard you talk about it many times Melissa, but seeing the pictures explains the allure and wonder of this remote gem. 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so you, Di! It is peaceful, tranquil and restful. That’s why I wanted to share. ❤


  6. Janet Bolinger says:

    Oh Mel, what a great ‘tribute’ to our annual family trek! You put a lot into a very few photos. You hit all the ‘high spots’ in that great remote little area, we enjoy so much! You did good girlfriend. (Did you mention NO cell phones or TV for the time we are there!? (Didn’t miss it much after the ‘guys’ got over the shock of knowing that! ) Thanks mucho. love and hugs Janet B

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed a few highlights, like Rainbow falls, the old school house, the airport (open July, August, and September, and is noted by Washington State as being one of the state’s most challenging airports) and the neat old buildings at the orchard. Gotta leave something for new visitors, right? It is definitely off the grid! It is amazing how well our Seahawks loving, super techi family does without minute to minute access to the outside world.


    2. Kim hanford says:

      A very special family time!
      Hugs Kim

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a great article about a place you and your family love and have made wonderful memories. Your photography is fabulous too! Good job GF!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kim hanford says:

    Great job sister! Love your sight!
    Hugs Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kourtnie says:

    Thanks for the share Mel! I love all the pictures! Makes you feel like you’re there!

    Liked by 1 person

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