Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness

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Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
A backpacker on the Prince Creek Trail
Map showing the location of Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
Map showing the location of Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness
LocationOkanogan / Chelan counties, Washington, USA
Nearest cityTwisp, Washington
Coordinates48°20′06″N 120°28′52″W / 48.33500°N 120.48111°W / 48.33500; -120.48111Coordinates: 48°20′06″N 120°28′52″W / 48.33500°N 120.48111°W / 48.33500; -120.48111
Area153,057 acres (619.40 km2)
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service
Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness

The Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness is a 153,057-acre (61,940 ha) protected wilderness area located within the Okanogan and Wenatchee national forests in Washington State. The wilderness borders Lake Chelan National Recreation Area and North Cascades National Park and the Stephen Mather Wilderness to the northwest.[1] It was designated with the passage of the Washington Wilderness Act of 1984, on lands occupied by the old Chelan Division of the Washington Forest Reserve, now part of both the Okanogan and Wenatchee national forests.[2]


There are 63 lakes, many too small to have ever been named, often located in the high country without trail access. The wilderness encompasses a diverse mixture of dense forest, meadows, alpine slopes, geology, and high country. The open forest below tree line is home to bears and mule deer. Snow often covers much of the area from mid or late October through late June.[3]


Approximately 194 miles of trails traverse the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. Trails tend to be steady climbs into high basins and glacial cirques with lakes. The south facing portion of the range has more open, rolling high country that falls off very steeply into the Lake Chelan valley. All trailheads on the south side, on Lake Chelan, must be gained via a regularly scheduled ferry boat or a private craft. Trails entering from the west first cross North Cascades National Park or Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.[3]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the U.S. Forest Service.

  1. ^ "Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness". University of Montana. Retrieved December 2, 2007.
  2. ^ "History". Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness". Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved April 6, 2015.

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