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Reach 1 Trail

August 4, 2021
Type : Hike
Length : 3.2 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain : 300 ft.
High Point : 1200 ft.

The smoke from the Cub Creek 2 and Cedar Creek fires around Winthrop had dissipated, providing my first opportunity in the week to get out for a hike. Getting up early and making the 25 minute drive from Manson, I was able to get a nice, quick hike in before work.

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This was my first time hiking the Reach 1 trail, and I was unsure where to park. I had seen some information indicating I should park at the Lake Chelan Public Boat Launch, while other sources mentioned parking at the Chelan Butte Trailhead. I opted for the Public Boat Launch, and had to walk up a couple of streets before I reached the trailhead for the start of the Reach 1 trail.
Morning sun and haze at the Boat Launch
Morning sun and haze at the Boat Launch
Trailhead for Reach 1 Trail
Trailhead for Reach 1 Trail
At the trailhead, I was happy to find an informational sign about the planet Uranus. The Chelan Riverwalk trail has signs for each planet, and my son really enjoyed learning about all the planets last summer over the course of a couple of walks on the trail; however we were never able to find Uranus. You can imagine my delight when I was able to text my wife “I have finally found Uranus”. Anyways... this section of the trail is paved, and there are a number of interesting Vignettes posted along the trail that provide great history about the area, as well as the dam, so it’s worth walking this section at least once.
Paved section of the Reach 1 Trail
Paved section of the Reach 1 Trail
Lake Chelan Dam
Lake Chelan Dam
At the Chelan Butte Trailhead, the trail turns into gravel, although it is still quite wide. You parallel the road for awhile, before starting your descent towards the river. Interesting fact : Chelan River is the shortest river in Washington State at 4 miles long. There is an opportunity venture off on a side trail, but I opted to stay on the main trail and make my way down to the river.
Chelan Butte Trailhead and start of the Reach 1 gravel trail
Chelan Butte Trailhead and start of the Reach 1 gravel trail
Lake Chelan River
Lake Chelan River
Reach 1 Trail heading down the the Chelan River
Reach 1 Trail heading down the the Chelan River
Old rusted out metal near Chelan River
Old rusted out metal near Chelan River
After ascending down into the Chelan River Valley, I noticed a number of hunks of rusted metal. Up on the hillside, it looked like the area might have been an old dump. I walked to the end of the trail and then took a nice break at the river. I can only imagine what the River was like prior to damning the lake and controlling the flow. The steep walls of the River Valley certainly gave an indication.
Chelan River on the Reach 1 Trail
Chelan River on the Reach 1 Trail
360° View - Chelan River from Reach 1 Trail

My final stats for the walk were 3.61 miles and 322ft of elevation gain. A great easy hike 5 minutes from Downtown Chelan, and one that I am sure I will take again.