ATTRACTIONS: This ride is one portion of a tough but scenic century ride put on by the Lake Chelan Rotary Club each June. That event is called the Chelan Century Challenge. If you combine this ride with the McNeil Canyon Ride and the Manson Loop (also listed in this guidebook) you’ve got the century ride covered. Most riders will find this loop an adequate workout without adding the other two loops. They’ll also find the ride very scenic. It exposes you to the scenery of Lake Chelan, orchards, volcanic lava flows, vineyards, scenic views looking down on the lake, forest lands–a little of everything. It also gives you a moderate amount of climbing and, hence, some fast descents.
SKILL. 2 (intermediate).
FITNESS. 2 (intermediate).
DISTANCE: 30 miles.
ELEVATION GAIN: 2,000 vertical feet.
ACCESS: At the town of Chelan, follow Highway 150 north and west toward Manson. On the north end of town, park at Don Morse Park.
THE ROUTE: (For a map of the route, click the link above)
–Ride Highway 150 back into the town of Chelan and, at the intersection with Highway 97A, turn right and head west out of town.
–Ride along the south shoreline of Lake Chelan and after about 4 miles, at the junction with South Lakeshore Rd (Highway 971), stay on Highway 97A by branching left. Now Highway 97A leads through Knapp Coulee away from the lake and toward the Columbia River.
–Follow 97A for about 7 miles. At the junction with Highway 971, turn right and follow Highway 971 through the Navaree Coulee which leads back to Lake Chelan.
–After about 9 miles, you’ll be back at Lake Chelan at Lake Chelan State Park.
-Turn right and follow South Lakeshore Rd (Highway 971) and, later, Highway 97A along the southern shore of Lake Chelan back to the town of Chelan (8.5 miles).
–In Chelan at the intersection with Highway 150, turn left and ride .5 miles back to Don Morse Park.
CONS: In late spring and summer afternoon winds and heat can be intense. Many riders will enjoy the route more if they tackle it in the morning.
HAZARD: There’s a tunnel to contend with in Knapp Coulee (ride loop as described so you’re going downhill through the tunnel). Time your ride to coincide with low traffic, wear a reflective vest, and use both a taillight and headlight for the tunnel.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Click here for information about the Lake Chelan Century Challenge ride.
LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT. This should be every user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings, throw branches over unwanted spur trails…
DISCLAIMER. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.