Lake Chelan Tour: Deep Waters and Scenic Vistas
  • The three-day Lake Chelan and Walla Walla tours offer Puget Sound riders the chance to enjoy sunny skies and long-weekend getaways in eastern Washington.

Fifty miles long and nearly 1,500 feet deep, Lake Chelan is a natural wonder and recreational paradise of eastern Washington. Its name translates as “deep waters” by the region’s original Salish peoples.

The hills and mountains surrounding these deep waters offer some of Washington's most beautiful and invigorating bike riding. Bicyclists can enjoy the region’s lake views, vineyards and typically dry fall weather during Cascade Bicycle Club’s Lake Chelan Tour Lite, Oct. 8-10.

Cascade limits the number of participants to 200 on the fully supported ride to ensure maximum enjoyment by all. Registration closes Oct. 1, so sign up now. 

My wife and I had never ridden in the Chelan area prior to attending last year’s Lake Chelan Tour Lite, but we have since returned multiple times due to the fun we had. The Chelan Tour Lite consists of three different loops that start and end in the small city of Chelan.

Big blue skies and low-traffic roads greeted riders during the fall 2020 Chelan Tour Lite. 

“The routes have all been created to make sure riders see the area’s most scenic viewpoints and also get to challenge themselves with some good climbs,” says Davíd Urbina, Cascade’s rides program manager who helps organize the tour. “Each day offers multiple spur routes that cyclists looking to challenge themselves can take to add extra mileage and elevation to their ride. There are shorter routes that cyclists can take if they would rather take it easy and enjoy the view”

With its waterfront park, beaches, restaurants, pubs and tasting rooms, the city of Chelan is a nice, walkable community that offers tour participants plenty of opportunities for evening fun and post-ride entertainment. My wife and I joined with friends and had pizza on the beach one evening, and another night we ordered takeout and grabbed a bottle of wine for a romantic dinner at a picnic table in Chelan Riverwalk Park.

Tour participants also have the option of booking discounted rooms at Campbell’s Resort, located on the waterfront with its own beach. Important: make sure to mention that you are booking with the Cascade Bicycle Club group block to ensure that you receive your discount. Campbell’s asks that people call to make their room reservations: (800) 553-8225.

The Manson loop was my personal favorite of the three routes, and it seemed to be the favorite of many participants thanks to both the scenic vineyards and orchards it passed through, as well as the optional stop at the Blueberry Hills Farm and Restaurant for blueberry pie. 

Sunset views on Lake Chelan.

People who can’t make the Chelan Tour Lite dates work should also consider our Walla Walla Tour Lite, Oct. 1-3, which will present opportunities to visit the many wineries that surround this eastern Washington college town.

“Cascade’s fall tour lites are a great chance for Puget Sound area bicyclists to get over to the eastern side of the state, where the autumn weather is typically sunnier and drier for prime riding conditions when Seattle turns gray and drizzly,” Urbina says.

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