Chelan Summit Trail

Hike the ridge top of the Chelan Sawtooth Mountains in north-central Washington east of Lake Chelan. The trail is 38 miles with numerous access points that can make for backpacking trip of 80 miles or more. Popular lakes are found both on the trail and nearby including Juanita, Oval, Upper Eagle, Martin, and Surprise Lakes. The best time to go is early October when the larches turn golden.

Getting There


Access from the north. From SR-20 or SR-2, drive SR-97 to Chelan. Take the Lady of the Lake or Chelan Seaplanes to Stehekin.

Navarre Trailhead

Access from the south. From SR-97 in Pateros, turn east onto SR-153, drive 17 miles, and turn left onto Gold Creek Road. Drive 1 mile, turn left onto Forest Road 4330 (South Fork Gold Creek Road) and drive to the junction with Forest Road 8200 (Grade Creek Road) and Forest Road 8020 (Cooper Mountain Road). Turn right on Grade Creek Road and drive 11 miles to South Navarre Campground and Trailhead.

Other Trailheads

There are other trailheads that can be used to access the Chelan Summit Trail like the War Creek Trailhead near the north end and the Foggy Dew Trailhead near the south end.

on the trail

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Hike from one of the southern trailheads to Sunrise Lake.
Day 2: Hike to Upper Eagle or Boiling Lake.
Day 3: Hike to Surprise Lake.
Day 4: Hike to West Oval Lake.
Day 5: Hike to Juanita Lake (permit required).
Day 6 Hike to Williams Lake.
Day 7: Hike out to one of the northern the trailheads.


  •  Juanita Lake is in North Cascades National Park and a park issued permit is required. Juanita Lake offers both a hikers camp for up to four people and a horse camp allowing groups up to twelve  All other campsite and trailheads are in Okanogan/ Wenatchee National Forest and require no special permits and have no quotas.
  • There are additional access trails and trailheads on the eastside of the Chelan-Sawtooth Crest connecting to both West Oval Lake and Upper Eagle Lake than allow for shorter length trips with fewer days. These lakes and the Chelan Summit Trail can also be accessed from several trailhaeds along the east shore of Lake Chelan, including the Purple Pass  Trail out of Stehekin.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Length: 48.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 15,000 ft
  • 7,500 ft
  • Green Trails North Cascades Lake Chelan No. 114SX
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