Road Construction May Cause Delays - Be Prepared!
Free Travel Guide
Sign Up for
Our Newsletter

Okanogan Country

Winter Winthrop
Winter Winthrop

Endless open spaces and unique opportunities for adventure can be found in rugged Okanogan County, the largest county in Washington State (and also the one with the fewest people per square mile). Wildlife outnumbers humans here by a dramatic margin. Grab your gear and head towards the jaw-dropping landscapes that Okanogan Country has to show you.

Hiking throughout Okanogan Country is phenomenal - and with the brand-new, 50+ page Free Hiking Guide, you’ll be able to get out there and find new places to explore, from the Methow Valley to the North Okanogan to the Grand Coulee area. Call or go online to order your free guide.

Horseback Riding
Whether you’re new to horseback riding or an old pro, there are great opportunities for you in the Methow Valley, Winthrop and the North Okanogan. Try Early Winters in Mazama, Winthrop’s Sun Mountain Lodge, Pateros’ Whistlin’ Pine Ranch, and Eden Valley Guest Ranch near Oroville.

Cycling & Mountain biking
Take advantage of Okanogan Country’s miles of multi-sport trails, including double/single tracks and some technical obstacles. The Methow Valley trail systems are excellent and well-known, but if you head further afield, Whistler Canyon near Oroville has dozens of interconnected trails to explore.  On the road, you’ll find hundreds of miles of bike routes that are part of the US Bicycle Route System. 

The new, award-winning Gamble Sands Golf Course & Inn near Brewster has one of the most dramatic settings for true links golf in the world and Winner of Golf Digest's Best New Golf Course of 2014. According to world renowned course designer David McLay Kidd, the location is a “once in a lifetime site.” The Sands course is set in the high desert of Eastern Washington overlooking the mighty Columbia River, with sandy soil, traditional fine fescue grasses, firm playing surfaces, wide fairways, and massive greens. The Sands course offers a very playable experience that weighs in at 7,169 yards from the back tees and plays to a par 72.

And if you want to keep exploring, you’ll find six more golf courses across the county, each one a gem to be discovered. 

The waterways in Okanogan Country are teeming with fish and wildlife. The Upper Columbia region is a nationally renowned fishing spot, playing host to species of bass, salmon and trout. Okanogan Country is the number one recreational fishing region statewide—that includes warm water fisheries and cold water trout and steelhead fisheries. Don’t miss fly fishing the in the Methow Valley, then head further south and east to experience some of the most popular bass fishing sites in the state. Consider staying at Howard’s on the River on Lake Pateros and check out the fishing near Brewster, Bridgeport and the Grand Coulee Area.

Winter Adventures

A winter wonderland, Okanogan Country has over 3,000 miles of trails and the largest Nordic ski trail system in North America. Known for its rugged beauty, snowy winters and big blue skies, the Pacific Northwest’s best-kept secret is ready to become your weekend adventure.


Sun Mountain Lodge 

A year-round destination resort, Sun Mountain Lodge in the beautiful Methow Valley offers the outdoor enthusiast a unique playground and luxurious lodging.

Inspired by the enduring beauty of nature, Sun Mountain Lodge reflects harmony with its surroundings down to the last detail. Whether you’re looking for refined elegance or a rugged wilderness experience, a place to come together with the family or a romantic getaway, thrill-of-a-lifetime recreation or quiet reflection, or perhaps that rarified place where business and pleasure do mix, Sun Mountain Lodge is poised to exceed your expectations.

Click to View Map
Address: PO Box 626, Omak, WA 98841
Phone: (888) 431-3080
Related Resources
2018 Fishing Guide
Okanogan Country Map
Columbia River Region Map
Highland Historic Loop Drive
Many Lakes Historic Map
OCTC Travel Guide
Okanogan Trails Scenic Byway
Summer Rec Map
Winter Rec Map
Bird of the Week: Gray Partridge
The Gray Partridge (Perdix perdix) is also known as the Hungarian Partridge, or around these parts, especially for game bird hunters, simply "Huns." Like many of our other "game birds," they were introduced from Europe around 1900 or so. I've never seen one in a pear tree, in fact I don't see them much in the mid to upper Methow Valley where I live, but they can be locally common in various spots throughout Okanogan County. They don't migrate and are active year-round, generally sticking to cultivated or old agriculture… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Spotted Towhee
It's that time of year when we are starting to see fewer birds. The long-distance migratory birds like our warblers are long gone, and many species who just head a little bit south or simply fly over the Cascades to the west side of the state have been on the move in the last recent weeks. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Varied Thrush
"The Varied Thrush is a gorgeous bird with a simple single note for a song. It is closely related to the American Robin and other thrushes who are considered amazing songsters. Bird sightings and behaviors are often major seasonal cues for me, and I tend to think of the Varied Thrush as a "winter" bird in our neck of the woods because they move up in elevation to the mountains during the summer and back down to our yards and feeders from now through early spring. Winter must be nearly… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: White Headed Woodpecker
These woodpeckers are not especially abundant - in fact they are currently candidates for listing on the WA state endangered species list and they are a species-of-concern for Audubon Washington - but they can be locally common in Okanogan and surrounding NCW counties. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Sandhill Crane
Okanogan County is fortunate to be one of the few places in Washington where one can regularly see - and hear- Sandhill Cranes each spring and fall as they migrate. This past weekend a large group was seen flying south above Winthrop and Twisp. It was spectacular! Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Dusky Grouse
"Grouse hunting season opened Sept 1 in Washington, and while I'm not a hunter I do think about Dusky Grouse a fair bit this time of year as the weather changes and these birds prepare for winter by fattening up on seeds and fruit, and by moving up out of the shrub-steppe and more into the conifer forests where they will sustain themselves through the winter on buds and needles (or burrowed into temporary snow caves when the weather is really rough). You might know this bird as the Blue… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Evening Grosbeak
Many of us see these big, colorful, and raucous finches in winter at our seed feeders, but because the Methow and Okanogan valleys and the surrounding mountains have high elevation mature conifers like Ponderosa Pine and Engelmann spruce, we are lucky to be able to see these birds year-round though we are at the southern end of their breeding range. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpipers are "shorebirds" that are common just about all over Washington. Here in Okanogan County, we see (and hear!) them along rivers and streams though they could also be found in gravel pits, farm ponds and other wetlands. These birds are still active in July - listen for their piercing high-pitched alarm call along rivers warning you to stay back. They do this because they make nests directly on the ground, in the river cobbles, typically within 100 yards of the water's edge. The nest is just a little… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: The Ruddy Duck
With a cinnamon body and bright blue bill, the male Ruddy Duck is one of our most noticeable and memorable ducks. But look closer and longer and you'll notice that their mannerisms and behavior are just as fascinating. Unlike many of our migratory duck species who might only be in Okanogan County 2-3 months, the Ruddys are generally here from early April through October. Look for these small, compact diving ducks on just about any pond or small lake. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: House Wren
The House Wren, a common, native bird all over the United States, is a small bird with a big voice that readily inhabits natural tree cavities and anything it can turn into a cavity (nest boxes, planters, shoes, yard art). Some people love this sweet little bird, and some people love to hate it. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Red Naped Sapsuckers
Sapsuckers are woodpeckers but instead of pecking into and excavating wood in search of insects, they drill small holes in trees in order to make the tree's sap run. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Rufous Hummingbird
The Rufous Hummingbird is one of three hummingbirds that breed in Okanogan County. The other two are the Calliope and the Black-Chinned (occasional reports of Anna's come up but they are primarily a west-side breeder). Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Western Tanager
The Western Tanager is one of our most common forest birds in Eastern Washington, and with a yellow body and red head (on the male) you'd think they'd be easy to see! Surprisingly, they can be hard to find, blending into the high treetops and dappled sunlight, but we do hear it's "pit-r-ick" call all day. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Tree Swallow
There are six swallow species in our area, and they are all incredible multi-tasking flyers who can communicate, catch insects and deftly swerve around each other all while flying. Read More >>>>
Featured Wildlife Area: Sinlahekin Wildlife Area
The Sinlahekin Wildlife Area is located within the Sinlahekin Valley. It offers a variety of fishing and recreational opportunities thanks to natural lakes, ponds, and man-made impoundments. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Ring-Necked Duck
"While the Ring-Necked Duck can be found fairly easily year-round in Okanogan County, I love watching them in the spring when they begin to congregate in large groups and pair up for mating season. I see them on just about every pond and lake. The trick is to be able to distinguish them from Scaups, which look very similar until you look for a couple of clear field marks. Ring-Necks have black backs while Scaups are white or light gray. And though Ring-Necks technically have a dark burgundy "ring" or… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Western Meadowlark
Western Meadowlarks are some of the first birds to come back to the Methow in early spring, and they aren't shy about announcing their arrival. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Say's Phoebe
The arrival of the Say's Phoebe is one of our first signs of spring here in Okanogan County, and they have been spotted daily for about a week now. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Red Winged Blackbird
According to the Seattle Audubon Society, Red-winged Blackbirds are widespread and abundant breeders throughout Washington's lowlands. In winter they are often less widespread, but can be abundant along the Columbia River. Many birds in Washington are migratory, and others move to lowlands forming large winter flocks.Red-winged Blackbirds display marked sexual dimorphism. Males in breeding plumage are very familiar birds to many people. They are solid black, with red wing patches. Each patch has a light yellow stripe below, and can be displayed in varying amounts. Female Red winged Blackbirds are… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Northern Flicker
Northern Flickers are large woodpeckers, mostly brown, with black-scalloped plumage and a flicker of crimson color on the top of their heads. According to the WDFW these woodpeckers were previously known as the red-shafted flicker, the Northern Flicker has a conspicuous white rump patch and salmon-colored wing undersides that are distinctly visible during its slow, bouncy flight. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: American Goldfinch
These little finches are known as Willow Finches and are also the Washington State Bird. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Dark-Eyed Junco
These little sparrows can be spotted fluttering around the forest floor in search of seeds. During the warmer season, juncos are commonly found in the western mountains and the tips of Canada. As the weather cools and winter approaches, they expand their territory further in to the states and throughout North America. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Valley Quail
Both valley (California) quail and mountain quail are found in Washington. Valley quail are by far the more abundant of the two and are found in vast numbers on both sides of the Cascades. Last year was a banner year for Quail in Okanogan Country, so you can spot quite a few this winter. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Rough Legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawks are just 1 of 3 hawk species in the U.S. with feathers reaching all the way to their toes, an adaptation for life in cold climates.The Rough-legged hawk is a large, long-winged, long-tailed hawk; with the females being larger than males. The Latin name Buteo lagopus means "rabbit-footed," as the legs are feathered completely down to the small yellow feet. These birds feature lots of dark coloring throughout their feathers with a white underside. The pattern and amount of dark coloring is extremely variable in this species. Flight… Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Western Bluebird
These blue feathered birdies have deep blue coloring on the top of their heads, wings, and tail with bold rufous coloring on their breast. Females have slightly less coloring than males, and have a white ring around the eyes. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Trumpeter Swan
Over the years Trumpeter Swans have battled extinction due to hunters and feather collectors decimating the population. In the early 20th century swan feathers were often converted into writing quills, and women used swan skin as powder puffs. As recently as the mid-1900's these birds began to make their recovery, thanks to the help of aggressive conservation. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Chukar Partridge
The chukar is slightly larger than a valley quail and a little smaller than a ruffed grouse. Also known as red-legged partridge and rock partridge. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Bohemian Wax Wing
These full-bellied birdies feature a thick neck and a bushy crest atop their heads. Read More >>>>
Bird of the Week: Wild Turkeys Everywhere!
Merriam turkeys are native to the coniferous mountains and canyons of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. They live in the canyons and forests of northeast and central Washington. These turkeys prefer forests that contain ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, western white pine, Engelman spruce, Douglas maple, willows, cottonwoods, and aspens. In Washington, they eat grass leaves and seeds, ponderosa pine seeds, acorns, grasshoppers, forbs, and fruits like wild strawberries. Also, they prefer to roost in Douglas fir and grand fir trees. Read More >>>>
Bird of The Week: The Northern Pygmy Owl
The Northern Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium gnoma) is our smallest owl, at 7 inches tall, including its long tail. Because of its size, long tail, proportionally small head, and daytime hunting behavior, the Pygmy-owl is often misidentified or overlooked as just another brown bird in the brush. Watch for it near your winter feeder, where this fearless hunter may attempt to take small birds or mammals. It has sharply streaked undersides, but the most telling marks are the black patches on the back of its head that mimic eyes to deceive predator.… Read More >>>>
Read All Our Blogs