The Lake Chelan Valley is a heavily skied area. In Echo Valley, 12 miles northwest of Chelan, Echo Valley Ski Area (509/687-3167, www.echovalley.org, mid-Dec–late-Feb. Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m., $20) has day and night downhill skiing on 3,000-foot Echo Mountain, served by three rope tows and a Poma lift. Other facilities here include ice-skating and snowmobile trails. Get to Echo Valley aboard the free Link buses connecting Chelan with Manson; ski racks are on all the buses.
The Echo Ridge (trailhead parking on Cooper Gulch Rd., www.lakechelannordic.org, $5) area contains 27 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails for every level of ability. Vistas from the summit are extraordinary, encompassing Lake Chelan, the Cascades, and the Columbia River Valley. These are maintained by the Lake Chelan Nordic Ski Club and are used as mountain bike paths in the summer.
Other Chelan-area Nordic ski trails include three miles of groomed runs at Lake Chelan Golf Course ($5), and another three miles of groomed trails plus plenty of backcountry touring at Stehekin. Get ski trail maps from the chamber of commerce.
Rent cross-country and downhill ski equipment from Lake Chelan Sports (132 E. Woodin Ave., 509/682-2629, www.lakechelansports.com, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
Snowmobilers will enjoy the 125 miles of trails on both sides of Lake Chelan, accessible from three Sno-Parks. For information contact the Lake Chelan Ranger Station (509/682-2576).
Ice-skaters will find outdoor rinks at Don Morse Memorial Park in Chelan, Echo Valley Ski Area, and Roses, Wapato, and Dry Lakes in Manson.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition