I came through Stehekin on my Pacific Crest thru-hike. It is the last town before the northern terminus of the 2,500+ mile trail so it is usually pretty emotional for the thru-hikers that have come all the way from Mexico.
When I was there we camped at the park campground and took the shuttle bus up the valley to get to and from the trail. The boat trip on Lady of the Lake is worth the price for the stunning views and the great pizza in Chelan. We met an hippie guy there that let us crash in his backyard after a night of celebrating with a friend who got off the trail.
There is an awesome dude ranch up-valley from the town that has a great dinner (ask around) and they have the most beautiful Icelandic horses cavorting in the greenness.
North Cascades is also really superb because of their highly-evolved attitude about dogs. It is the only US National Park that allows thru-hikers to backpack the trail with their dogs under voice control. (Everywhere else we were forced to walk extra miles around, hitchhike, or risk fines; and even jail in Yosemite!) Cheers to this park’s more civilized attitude and the friendly welcome we received from the shuttle bus driver who cheerfully yelled to me…“YES! Dogs are allowed on the bus!!!” If you look carefully you can probably still see our names colorfully signed on the ceiling of the bus along with all the other jubilant hikers. All the way from Mexico to Canada we walked… and FINALLY we found a place where our intrepid four-pawed hiking partner was respected!
I would go back to Stehekin in a second. It is a magical and wonderfully hidden gem of a place!over 6 years ago