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Hiking Trails In Washington - Yellow tent next to a lake with mountains in the background

Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Trails & Lakes Region

Uncover amazing hikes and stunning lakes.

The state’s largest region by land area, Trails & Lakes in north-central Washington extends east of the Cascade Range to the Ponderosa Region and up to the Canadian border.

Much of the Trails & Lakes Region is protected land. The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest boasts 3.8 million acres along the east slopes of the Cascade Range, while the Colville Indian Reservation covers 1.4 million acres of land.

With 300 days of sunshine, four distinct seasons, and tons of forest lands, there are opportunities for practically every type of recreation imaginable, from hiking and swimming to fishing and horseback riding.

The quaint Bavarian-style town of Leavenworth makes a great base for exploring the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and provides plenty of alpine charm. Come winter, the Methow Valley bills itself as the largest cross-country ski trail system in North America.

As the name suggests, this region is also home to a tremendous number of lakes. Whether you want to boat or fish at Banks Lake, swim in the clear waters of Lake Chelan, or hike to a glacial pool in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, you’ll have plenty of chances to dip your toes in the water.

In addition to outdoor recreation, visitors can soak up arts, culture, and history in the region’s many towns. Lake Chelan boasts a robust winery scene, while Ellensburg holds a top-notch rodeo each Labor Day weekend. Stehekin is one of the most remote places in the lower 48.  For art galleries, museums, and fruit stands, turn to the towns of Winthrop, Twisp, and Wenatchee.

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