Chelan Riverwalk

Chelan, Washington
Chelan Riverwalk
Length : 1.2 mile loop
Elevation Gain : 25 ft.
The Chelan Riverwalk is a 1.2 paved loop which passes along both sides of the Chelan River utilizing the two bridges to cross the river. There are a number of grassy areas along the walk, a raised wooden walkway, and signs with information about the various planets. It’s a popular spot in the summer to bask in the sun and grab a quick swim (signs along the walk ask people to not swim, however you will likely see many people enjoying the lake/river). People generally start the loop from the Riverwalk Park, however the trail is easily accessible from many other locations.

Directions

Follow US-97 ALT North across the bridge, turn right on East Okanogan Ave and right onto South Emerson Street to arrive at the Riverwalk Park.

Parking

There is ample free street parking available on East Okanogan Ave, and many other street in Chelan have free street parking as well.
 

July 30, 2022 Trip Report

 
Type : hiking
Length : 1.3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain : 60 ft.
High Point : 1,130 ft.
After dropping off our glass for recycling in Chelan, we decided to take the dogs on a walk on the Chelan Riverwalk. There are a couple of places where the dogs can easily get into the water to cool down and grab a quick drink, and my son really likes the fact that they have the signs with information about all the planets.
We easily found parkings at the Chelan Riverwalk park, and set out on the walk, opting to go counter clockwise. The dogs didn’t waste any time getting in the water, with Belle hoping in near some ducks the first chance she got.
Duck seen from the Chelan Riverwalk
Duck seen from the Chelan Riverwalk
Belle in the Chelan River
Belle in the Chelan River
We made our way to the Woodin Avenue and took the bridge across the Chelan River. It seems like it is really still part of Lake Chelan, but I guess the bridge more or less marks the end of the lake and the start of the river? Would have been interesting to see this area back before the first dam was built, causing the lake level to rise.
The Chelan River
The Chelan River
Once across the bridge, we took a left to follow the Riverwalk trail, and encountered our first planet sign, the sun. There were a lot of people sunbathing, as well as swimming in the river, despite the numerous signs that said "no swimming". Seems like the perfect place to go for a swim to me, and apparently many people agree with me, and not the sign.
Planet sign along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
Planet sign along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
Deck along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
Deck along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
In addition to the planet signs, there was a cool sculpture of a coyote and fish which depicted a tale from the Chelan Tribe. I don’t remember all the details, but basically the coyote was mistreated and decided to put the waterfall in the Chelan River and prevent the salmon from coming into the lake.
Cool sculpture along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
Cool sculpture along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
Past the sculpture, we opted to continue along the raised walkway rather than head up to the road. It meant we had to circle back around and cross Saunders Street, as the pedestrian walkway is only on the north side of the bridge, but I feel like the raised walkway is one of the cooler parts of the walk.
Chelan Riverwalk trail
Chelan Riverwalk trail
We cruised along the bridge, and then stopped for a short break on the other side as the dogs wanted to jump in the water again. My son and I picked a nice spot on the grass to take a seat under some large trees. It was pleasant in the shade. Then we made our way back to the car.
View from the bridge along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
View from the bridge along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
My son enjoying the shade along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
My son enjoying the shade along the Chelan Riverwalk trail
The Chelan Riverwalk is a great place for a stroll, even when it’s hot out!