Stehekin State Airport (WSDOT-Managed)


City: Stehekin
ID:  6S9

All State Airports Image - Stehekin/Stehekin State/6S9  

Note: Stehekin Airport will be temporarily closed for one day only starting May 28, 2020 at 5 am local Pacific time for maintenance. Crews will be working on the runway and vicinity applying herbicides for noxious weed control. Due to reentry restrictions for “Milestone” (aminopyralid) herbicide, the airport will remain closed for one day reopening on Friday May 29 at 6 am local pacific.

Please check NOTAM’s and contact Airport Manager at or 360-618-2477 for questions and updates.

Note: Forest Fire Fighting is common at this airport during summer months. Please check NOTAM's, TFR's and watch for helicopter activity. Contact the State Airport Manager for additional information at or 360-618-2477.


Just west of the village of Stehekin, at the head of Lake Chelan, Stehekin State Airport provides access to some of the most awesome scenery in Washington. This location is a favorite of campers, fishers, and hunters. Food, lodging, and resort activities are available in the village. Pack trips into the heart of the Cascades are also available. When you fly into this magnificent country you will be amazed by its beauty. However, the magnificence of the terrain makes Stehekin one of the most difficult airports in the state. It is definitely a strip for an experienced mountain pilot.

The 2,630 foot turf runway is rough, and frost heaved rocks are common, however our local maintenance man continues to improve the runway surface and keeps the irrigation system in service.  Both approaches are difficult. There is a large mountain directly off the east end of the field. The runway slopes significantly uphill to the west, and tall trees surround the airport. There are tall trees at the east threshold of the runway, and are very close to the west end, also. The terrain rises rapidly and the valley narrows quickly to the west. Strong gusty winds are common. Though the field elevation is only 1,230 feet, density altitude problems are guaranteed in the summer. Lightweight aircraft with good short field characteristics can usually use the field any time of the day; others usually have to depart in the early morning. Animals are frequently present, with people and vehicles somewhat less common. It is essential to overfly the field to check conditions, and plan an approach strategy.

The most common approach method is to ignore wind direction, unless winds are strong, and land uphill to the west. With a good tailwind, this results in difficulty getting down to the runway after passing over the trees on the east threshold, and a guaranteed long landing. Departures are usually to the east to take advantage of descending terrain, with aircraft gently moving towards the center of the valley after passing treetop height. We strongly recommend early morning arrivals and departures when the wind is calm and the temperatures are cool. The airport is usually open from June 1st to October 1st.

Available Information for Stehekin State Airport

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