Chelan Butte — Thursday, Jul. 12, 2012
Great Hike. You can drive the road as described elsewhere, or you can hike a trail up the from the NE corner of the butte. There is a fairly new parking lot on the Southeast edge of town on E. Iowa Ave. - see map here - http://www.chelanpud.org/documents/ChelanRiverwalk_Reach1Trails.pdf Directly across Iowa Ave. from this parking lot is a jeep trail that seems to head straight up the butte. It does! about a quarter mile up the track, there is a nice new sign which points off to the right and says "Chelan Butte - 4 miles" "Elephant Head Butte - 2 miles" If you take the trail, it's 3.62 miles to the top using the trail. About 3.9 from the parking lot according to Garmin. There are 2 well placed and well maintained benches along the route. Not much shade and very steep at places. I of course ignored the sign and hiked straight up the side of the hill and met the real trail on the ridge-line. I thought I might be the only crazy person who would try this, but found a couple on their way up when I was headed down that had done the same thing! I would not recommend this. I took the trail down and it was very pleasant, although steep in parts. Elevation gain 2735+/- feet in 3.9 miles. (Top is 3835, lake is 1100) I met a BLM worker at the top who was surveying the trail for endangered plants or the like as there may be an effort to widen or add switchbacks to the trail??? Great Hike! Bring water and enjoy the 360 degree views of Lake Chelan, the Columbia, the Central Cascades and everything out to the horizon.