Wildflower Hunting at Lake Chelan

by | Apr 24, 2024 | Activities, Things to Do

We’re so lucky to live near such pristine nature! The Lake Chelan Valley is nestled at the base of the North Cascade Mountains, and much of the surrounding flora and fauna reflects the semi-arid climate of the area.

The Lake Chelan Valley literally blooms to life during springtime, with lots of native vegetation adding color to our hillsides and trail systems.

If hunting for beautiful wildflowers and spotting unique, native vegetation is on your Lake Chelan bingo card, consider this your flower guide while venturing about!

Don’t forget to recreate responsibly while out and about! Here’s a charming video from the Cascade Loop on how to do just that.

Without further ado, enjoy this list of five wildflowers you’ll find around the Lake Chelan Valley. There are so many beautiful and unique flowers, we could only pick five, but you can find a comprehensive list of local species here!

Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot is a perennial herb that can be spotted far and wide across the hills of the Lake Chelan Valley from early April to late May.

Arrowleaf Balsamroot is recognizable for its vibrant yellow, sunflower-like blossoms that bloom in spring. The leaves are broad and arrow-shaped, and the plant is remarkably drought-tolerant, thriving on dry, sunny slopes.

It’s well-suited to the semi-arid climate of places like the Lake Chelan Valley, where summers are hot and dry.

Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa)

Western Columbine

This flower features distinctive, nodding red and yellow flowers with elongated nectar spurs, attracting hummingbirds and butterflies. 

Columbine prefers shady to semi-shady conditions, usually found in the alpine meadows further uplake. Western Columbine thrives in a variety of habitats, including moist woodlands, rocky slopes, and streambanks. 

It blooms from late spring to early summer, offering an early source of nectar for pollinators. 

The flowers are specially adapted to attract hummingbirds, thanks to their red color and tubular shape, which is suited to the birds’ feeding habits.



Castilleja, also known as Indian Paintbrush, is a striking wildflower known for its vibrant leaves, often mistaken for petals. These leaves come in shades of red, orange, pink, or even yellow and purple! 

Castilleja typically grows in meadows, grasslands, and forest clearings, making it a common sight in the wilder areas of the Lake Chelan Valley.

This plant is a hemiparasite, meaning it can photosynthesize on its own but often taps into the roots of neighboring plants to draw nutrients and water. 

This allows Castilleja to thrive in the well-drained soils and the open, sunny environments that characterize much of the Lake Chelan Valley.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


Yarrow is a hardy perennial herb recognized for its feathery, finely divided leaves and flat-topped clusters of tiny flowers. These are typically white in our area, but can also appear in shades of pink or yellow. 

The dense, composite heads of these blooms provide a distinctive and ornamental appearance. Flowering from early summer to fall, yarrow offers a prolonged display of color.

It thrives in the Lake Chelan Valley due to its tolerance for drought and poor soil, flourishing in both sunny areas and partial shade. This resilience makes it prevalent across the valley’s diverse microclimates, from dry meadows to grassy slopes.

Lupine (Lupinus)


Lupine comes in all shapes and sizes across our region! It’s notable for its striking spikes of densely packed flowers, varying in color from blue, purple, and pink to white and yellow. 

These blooms rise above the foliage on sturdy stalks, with the distinct leaves adding a textural backdrop. The leaves themselves are typically comprised of several leaflets that radiate from a central point, resembling the fingers of a hand. 

They are particularly suited to the sandy and volcanic soils found in the region, flourishing under full sun exposure. Lupines are drought-tolerant once established, aligning well with our valley’s dry summers.

Visit Antheia During Your Spring Stay


Attention flower fanatics: did you know guests of The Lodge get special access to our sister business, Antheia of Chelan?!

Antheia is a local flower garden, nursery, and farm nestled into the hills of Manson! We offer u-pick flowers during peak season, which really kicks off in early June. Be sure to ask about visiting Antheia during check-in and we’ll be happy to set up a special time for you and your loved ones to visit the farm for an exclusive experience! And follow them on Instagram here for all the up to date information on u-pick and farm activities!

Mountain View Lodge Is Your Headquarters for Spring Fun!


Located in the heart of the Village of Manson, Mountain View Lodge & Resort is conveniently located to several wildflower hunting opportunities, including hikes that are just a short drive from your room! 

Book online or give us a call today to reserve your spring getaway to the Lake Chelan Valley. We look forward to hosting you!