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Saying goodbye to another great season

With the mild and beautiful Fall we have had this year, it is hard to believe we are already past Thanksgiving! I hope yours was top notch!

Now that the snow is finally starting to fall, I find myself looking back once again to the whirlwind that was 2018.

The summer started with the completion of the Stehekin Road Project. For better or worse the construction workers finished up, and I don’t think anyone was sad to see them depart! While the finished product certainly left us scratching our heads looking for logic, the road did see some improvement, and traffic started flowing without the interruption of flaggers – hooray!

The summer kicked into action Memorial Day Weekend, and seemed to continue on at a high pace from there.

The electric bikes were a big hit. We expanded our fleet to include some step-thru-models which allowed some of our shorter guests to comfortably ride them. We also added some child seats and a cargo bike, and the younger generations were able to enjoy them as well.

This year saw some new furry critters at the Ranch. Roaming freely and eating anything green were 3 lambs. A wee bit skittish, but amusing to watch. The star of the show was the baby Fjord horse – Kjeks. He was super friendly and energetic while putting on regular shows for anyone watching. That is, when he wasn’t playing the part of the exhausted sleeping pony.

Fires stayed at bay for the most part – nothing threatening Stehekin, and only mild smoke for the most part. We continue to be blessed on that front, and are truly thankful!

Before we knew it, a fabulous fall had arrived, bringing out hikers and fishermen to enjoy the last days of the season.

Now, as winter sets it, we look ahead to next year. We are excited to be bringing our new Gypsy Wagons online, and will be busy bees getting them all ready in the spring!

Your Base-Camp for Back-Country Adventures!

Looking for adventure? Want to get in touch with nature? See the untouched beauty of the Mountains? AND sleep in a real bed?
Then head to Stehekin Valley Ranch – the perfect base-camp for your next adventure into the back-country of the North Cascades!

Best Day Hikes in Stehekin: Part 3 – Going to the Top!

Our final suggestion in the Best Day Hikes series. The following describes the best of the best in the “Challenging” category. If you are all about getting the fantastic views, and don’t mind breaking a sweat to get them, then this is for you. I would put this in the “well worth it” category, but you will certainly earn your dinner (and dessert) with this one!

View from McGregor MountainMcGregor Mountain – This trail is the one for those looking to get some elevation and spectacular views of the North Cascades mountain range. There is a well built trail most of the way to the top of the 8,129′ mountain. The last mile is a relatively easy scramble, but you definitely want to exercise caution and use good judgement. The scramble route is marked with red paint, but it can be tricky to find, so if you plan to summit, do your homework before you head out. From the trailhead, it is 7 miles to the top. Those looking for a shorter hike will start getting some great views about 2 miles from the trailhead. Regardless of how far you go, this hike is well worth the effort on a clear day!

Difficult, but with Moderate options for those not wanting to summit, 14 miles RT to summit, many viewpoints

Best Day Hikes in Stehekin: Part 2 – Finding the Vistas

Installment 2 of our day hike suggestions for your stay in the Stehekin Valley (and at our Ranch of course!). The following suggestions fall into the “Moderate” category. More elevation, and more views, but still not overly strenuous.

View from Rainbow TrailRainbow Loop Trail – This trail falls into the easy to moderate category. There are 2 trailheads for this hike. You must hike a bit of the road in order to complete the “loop”, but most people simply start at the Upper trailhead, and come out at the Lower trailhead, which is conveniently located about 1/2 mile from the bakery where they can get an ice cream cone and wait for the next bus to bring them back to the Ranch. The upper end of the trail is mostly wooded – quite nice as you are hiking uphill! You will cross a bridge about halfway – this is Rainbow Creek. From here on out you will get many view points looking out across the Stehekin Valley. Looking straight down, you will see Buckner Orchard, and off to the left is Lake Chelan. As an optional extension, you can branch off onto the main Rainbow Creek Trail a mile or so and get some more great views as you go up.
Easy-Moderate 4.5 miles with viewpoints of the Stehekin Valley and Lake Chelan.

Hiking on the McGregor Mt. TrailMcGregor Mountain Lite – This trail is the one for those looking to get some elevation and spectacular views of the North Cascades mountain range. It is 7 miles of uphill trail to get to the summit (stay tuned for our next installment if you are looking to summit), but the great thing about this trail is that you don’t have to go to the top to enjoy some fabulous views. As you head up, you will pass Coon Lake about 1 mile in. This is a beautiful alpine lake. Keep going past the lake and you will come to the McGregor Trail turnoff. As you continue up, you’ll start getting some great views about another mile from the lake. The farther up you go, the more you will be able to see, but you can turn around at any time. Regardless of how far you go, this hike is well worth the effort on a clear day!
Difficult, but with Moderate options for those not wanting to summit, 14 miles RT to summit, many viewpoints

Family Fun at the Ranch!

Recently, I came across a video demonstrating a trend of today’s youth becoming addicted to technology rather than enjoying the outdoors and playing with other kids. Grandparents remember fishing adventures, exploring the woods and picking berries as some of their favorite activities. Their children remember playing with the neighborhood kids, games of baseball, building forts. What is important to the current generation of kids? Video games, movies, texting – they spend hour upon hour glued to their technology. Is this healthy? I would say introducing these kids to the outdoors and all that nature has to offer would be a huge service to them!

Enjoying a Kayak Tour on Lake ChelanStehekin Valley Ranch provides a great atmosphere for a technology-free vacation for the whole family! Don’t worry about cell phones – there is no service here. WiFi while available, is too slow to watch movies or play online games. So get outside! There are lots of fun activities to try, and natural wonders abound!

Fantastic views on a Trail RideGuided activities include kayaking (kids as young as 3 can go with a parent), horseback riding (8 years and up for the trail ride, lessons and pony rides available for younger kids), and fly fishing. There are also mountain bikes to rent, trails to hike, and a lake to swim in!

Nelsons playing cardsIf that isn’t enough to keep everyone entertained, there are a variety of games right here at the Ranch. We have ping pong, horseshoes, frisbee golf, volleyball, badminton, a playground and more. Or, if you want to stay inside we have a variety of board games, books and puzzles in our reading room.

Plus, with all your meals included, even Mom gets a vacation!

Visit our website for more details or to book your stay in paradise!