Lake Wenatchee sits high in the Cascade Mountains, in between the community of Leavenworth and the Stevens Pass Summit, just five miles off of Highway 2. This is another of the many fun places in Washington’s Cascade Mountains that are enjoyable all year long.
The easiest way to access the lake is at Lake Wenatchee State Park. Here, you will find parking and a large beach area, in addition to a camp store, play toys, boat dock, and a large campground. The water is cold and clear, having just drained down to the lake from the melting snow in the surrounding mountains. One of the top draws to the lake for us is of course the water. I like to bust out the kayak and make the quick trip from the wide open beach area to a small island that sits just offshore. After some time exploring the island, I can easily cruise right on up the north shore of the lake and return to the beach over open water.
Other ways to enjoy the water include boating, fishing, swimming, water skiing, and more. The water exits the lake at the start of the Wenatchee River and this first stretch is popular with rafters and kayakers too. It usually is not too hard to find a place to rent any water equipment you might need.
In addition to the campsites, there are lots of picnic spots at the state park too. Driving the highway around the north side of the lake is a fun way to extend the road trip a little further. If you have a good map, you can even find a forest service road that will take you from the west end of Lake Wenatchee, up and over the mountain range to the south, and out on Highway 2, just a few miles east of the Stevens Pass summit.
A visit to Lake Wenatchee is a great idea, both as a destination for spending the night as well as just a stop before continuing east or west across the Cascade Mountains.