If your kids are young and not suited for lengthy biking riding, hop the national park’s red bus for a ride up the 11-mile valley. For day trippers from Chelan, try the Rainbow Falls Bus Tour, a 45-minute narrated bus tour that gives a good snapshot of Stehekin Valley and takes visitors to Rainbow Falls for a short walk and a great view of the 312-foot thundering waterfall.
For longer stays, the bus runs four times a day to High Bridge, a forested drop-off point with access to hiking trails. You can ride just to the Stehekin Pastry Company (a must-do!) for a small fee, where you can walk to the historic school house, or up valley to Stehekin Valley Ranch for dinner.
If taking the bus to High Bridge for hiking, be sure to determine the bus schedule so you know when to be back for the return trip. Getting around takes some advance planning that we’re not used to in this age of cell phones, but it’s feasible and fun. Your kids will enjoy it. Plan to pay with cash.