Lake Chelan Swim, September 10, 2016 Washington State

A 1.5 mile open-water swim in beautiful Lake Chelan, Washington, in north central Washington State. This is a benefit swim that occurs every year, always the first Saturday after Labor Day. Swim in clear, warm water, great for the whole family or for the beginning open-water swimmer. Proceeds support swim lessons and water safety instruction. For more information



  • Thanks for posting this. I am scheduled to be in WA that weekend and will see if I can fit it in.

    A nice alternative to the 1200-entry Big Shoulders on the same day.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I'll be there! My aunt lives on Wapato Lake, (just up the hill from Manson). If you're going, are there a few days early (I arrive on Thursday) and would like to go for a swim on serene Wapato lake with me, let me know.


    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Conditions for the Chelan swim tend to be "lumpy" (lots of boat wakes at that point in the day) and water temps in the high 60s. There is no penalty for wearing a wetsuit, so most people tend to, but I never have. Unless it's been raining (which it was, one year), the water is very clear and you can see the bottom 20ft+. Good navigation skills and experience with waves are helpful. The course is point to point with a turn into Manson Bay near the finish. The finish goes along the edge of the swim area and there's a dock that your fans can watch you from for the last ~25 yards coming in. It's a small-town event, very friendly people and a lovely place to swim. Hope to see some of you there.


    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • Thanks, @wendyv34. That's good info.

    The photos seem to show a row of kayaks and safety boats alongside the swimmers, so I figured route finding was taken care of, but maybe not. I did have a question about the extra boat traffic and how that might affect swimming conditions. Thanks for your answers!

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    Most of the swim runs roughly parallel to shore, but the shoreline varies. They have tried a few different buoy configurations over the years. One year they had an inside and outside set of buoys, (like a big lane) which caused a lot of difficulty in navigating for a bunch of people, who were drawn to the outside buoys. One year they said "swim near the buoys, either side", so I took a line as far inside as I dared. There are lots of boats moored along the shore, so picking out the buoys can be interesting. You just want to be as far inside as you can when the turn comes up.

    Hope to meet you there. :)>-

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

Sign In or Register to comment.