River Trails Section 4

 

Wells Dam to Rocky Reach Dam

(Section 4)

 

 

Length of this water section: 43 miles
Lake formed behind Rocky Reach Dam: Lake Entiat
Dams completed: Wells - 1967; Rocky Reach - 1961

 

Landscape: The shoreline and adjacent land offers up a classic Central Washington mix: Foothills, cliffs and lowlands supporting Ponderosa pine, sagebrush, orchards, vineyards and vacation homes. From a distance, the orchards can appear to be swaths of green carpet. From just below Pateros to Beebe Bridge, there are no services, few roads and just a smattering of homes. The shoreline is more developed south of Beebe Bridge, with several parks, pockets of homes, and the towns of Orondo and Entiat.

Put in: Beebe Springs Natural Area (Note: Paddlers also can arrange ahead of time for the Douglas County PUD to provide portage around Wells Dam to Lake Entiat. Call the Wells Project Office at (509) 923-2226 to make arrangements. In that case, put in will be at the Carpenter Island boat launch, about two miles downriver from the dam.)

Take out: Lincoln Rock State Park. (Note: The Chelan County PUD has a policy of not providing portage around its dams and Rocky Reach Dam is one of them.)

Elevation drop: From 781 to 707 feet above sea level
Water character: Flat

Navigation tips: On most days, the current is weak on this stretch of the Columbia. However, wind can turn the calm surface into a choppy mess quickly so be careful about getting too far offshore on a gusty day. Another issue is dodging power boats and their wakes. This is popular place for locals and visitors to water ski and jet ski during the warm weather months.

Navigation links: Wind conditions | River flow - Link 1 - Link 2

Paddler on-river facilities (north to south on river):

  • Carpenter Island (Mile 42, west shore): Boat ramp
  • Beebe Springs Natural Area (Mile 31, west shore): Hand-carry boat launch, toilet
  • Beebe Bridge Park (Mile 30, east shore): Campground, RVs, dock, toilet
  • Chelan Falls Park (Mile 29, west shore): Dock, toilet
  • Daroga State Park (Mile 15, east shore): Campground, RVs, dock, toilet
  • Entiat City Park (Mile 11, west shore): Campground, toilet, store nearby
  • Orondo River Park (Mile 10, east shore): Campground, RVs, dock, toilet
  • Lincoln Rock State Park (Mile 1, east shore): Campground, RVs, dock, toilet

 

Places to eat/drink: If you have access to a vehicle, you can slip into the cities of Chelan and Manson (located on Lake Chelan, above Chelan Falls) and find several restaurants to choose from. Otherwise, your best bet is Entiat, where you'll find some eateries within walking distance from the waterfront’s Entiat City Park.

Other lodging: Lake Chelan, located above Chelan Falls, is a major visitor destination in the Northwest so it has numerous lodging options. There also are hotels downriver in Wenatchee.

If you have a vehicle: The roadside along Highway 2/97 (east side of the river in Douglas County) is sprinkled with fruit stands and other businesses that are a byproduct of the apple industry. Lone Pine Fruit Stand & Espresso and Orondo Cider Works - both located between Beebe Bridge and Daroga State Park - are two must-stops.

Links of interest: Lincoln Rock State Park | City of Entiat | Daroga State Park | Chelan Falls Park | Beebe Bridge Park | Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce | Wells Dam | Pateros Chamber of Commerce

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