Have you driven “The Loop?” The MANSON Scenic Loop that is!
The community of Manson is both rich in history and full of beautiful scenery. The quaint village is surrounded by fields of lush agriculture growing in every direction the eye can see. From the apple and cherry orchards that have always been the backbone of the community to the pristine vineyards and wineries bringing new beginnings to the local economy. To some we are the end of the road, and to others we are where all roads begin. Driving the Manson scenic loop is the best way to get to know our little slice of paradise for yourself.
The Manson Scenic loop starts out at the Welcome to Manson Sign, a symbol of the identity of the community built by a collaboration of residents and businesses. It’s also a great place for a photo op. Right after you pass Lake Chelan Winery start out by turning right up Winesap Avenue. Passing thru the fields of Apple and Cherry trees and the wandering whiff of the fresh fruit mixed with the BBQ in the Vineyard at Lake Chelan Winery fill the fresh air with the perfect blend of savory and sweet aromas.
After following Winesap around the corner past Benson Vineyards Estate Winery (if you have time, take this side trip; the view and the wine are amazing!), the loop takes you left down Chapman Road. Directly on the left-hand side is a public pullout overlooking Manson. This is the perfect place for a fun photo op, or a great place to watch the sunset with a stellar view. After following Chapman Road to Swartout Road and turning right, the road takes you thru residential neighborhoods before coming to the junction at Wapato Lake Road. Turn right onto Wapato Lake Rd.
Follow the road past lush vineyards surrounded by breathtaking mountain views in every direction. Along this road there are signs leading towards several winery estates along the way. A few of our favorites featuring yummy wine, stunning views and great stories are Hard Row to Hoe, Tipsy Canyon and Four Lakes Winery. These are must see attractions and would be a great place for a couple of pit stops. The first Lake you pass on the left-hand side is called Roses Lake. During the winter, the Lake completely freezes over, and locals (and eagles!) take to the lake for ice fishing. The next lake on the right is Wapato Lake. There are a couple of campgrounds on the lake and a public boat launch for easy lake access.
The next junction on the journey is at Lower Joe Creek Road, and you will find the first Manson Scenic Loop sign directing sight seekers along the way. The road leads you past Harmony Meadows Tennis and Event Center and Stink Creek where you will head up to the right towards Loop avenue. Once you have crested the hill, the view of Lake Chelan is simply breathtaking. If you go at the right time you can catch the Lady of the Lake traversing thru the narrows, the narrowest part of Lake Chelan, ferrying passengers to and from the villages of Stehekin, Lucerne, Manson and Chelan up the 55 mile long lake.
After following Loop Avenue until it joins with Summit Boulevard, the views of Lake Chelan and Slide Ridge on the right, the cascading farmlands of Manson on the left, and the Columbia Gorge and McNeil canyon off in the distance bring your emotions to your heart; the majesty of this place we call home becomes overwhelmingly apparent.
As you merge back on to Manson Boulevard and descend into the quaint and friendly village of Manson, reality starts to set back in as you emerge from your daydream. But life in a simpler time is left as a gift of memory in your mind. A gift that will bring you back to that place where all roads begin.
Driving the whole loop takes just under an hour and is the perfect day trip for guests staying with us at The Lodge. We have a special map with all the places for photo ops along with important geographical information. We put this map in every one of our rooms, but also have them at the front desk. If you’re lucky, you can get Kim or Gerry to be your chauffer; the guided tour is really special!