Take the breathtaking drive over the North Cascades Highway 20 before winter snows close the road.
Fall is the ideal time to visit Okanogan Country and the Methow Valley to enjoy the bright, lingering sun and deep blue skies. Bonus at this time of year: fewer fellow travelers. Take the breathtaking drive over the North Cascades Highway 20 before winter snows close the road. If you’re lucky, a light dusting of snow will grace the outlines of famous Liberty Bell at the top of Washington Pass. Then continue on into the beautiful Methow Valley and explore Okanogan Country for a series of unforgettable fall experiences.
Fall hiking throughout Okanogan Country is phenomenal. A brand-new free Hiking Guide will help you find new places to explore, from the Methow Valley to the North Okanogan to the Grand Coulee area. The guide includes gentle walking trails like the Twisp Ponds Discovery walk or the Bridgeport State Park paths, to steep and challenging hikes, such as Whistler Canyon or the Lookout Mountain trail. But whatever path you pick, you’ll be rewarded with epic views, few people and plenty of wildlife.
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, Washington state’s best-kept secret is ready to become your weekend adventure.
Most Read Stories
- 'Sitting on a gold mine': As change comes to Lynnwood, urban growth spurs debate
- Washington softball stays alive with win over Lehigh, but loss to Texas means they have to beat Longhorns twice Sunday
- How to grill the perfect steak
- UW coaching legend Jim Lambright’s brain donation pays dividends years after his death
- A perfect Seattle summer is no longer a given
Cycling and mountain biking
Fall is the best time of year to take advantage of Okanogan’s miles of multisport 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 U.S. 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 was named 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.
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.
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 No. 1 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 farther 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.
Our famous mule deer population brings a large draw of hunters when the season opens. Stay at Spectacle Lake Resort near Tonasket where they have a screened hanging room. There are also plenty of bird species for hunting, including grouse, geese and duck. Please respect private property and know your backdrop before you shoot. Get full rules and regulations from WDFW and USFS before you set out.
ORVs, ATVs and dual-sport bikes
Okanogan Country has over 300 miles of ATV trails and dual-use roads. Towns of Okanogan, Omak, Loomis, Conconully and Tonasket – in fact the entirety of the North and Central County – have ATV access into towns so you can grab a burger and head back to camp if you’d like.
Whether your preferred mode of travel is an ORV, ATV or dual-sport motorcycle you’ll find reliable conditions and new country to explore on this side of the Cascades.
Riders of both ORVs, ATVs and dual-sport motorbikes will find a supportive local motorsport community in Okanogan County, as well as a range of services to accommodate their needs no matter what time of year they arrive. Not to mention scenery that varies from winding roads along shimmering lakes to a variety of technical passages through narrow coulees and across broad plateaus with sweeping views of the distant mountains.
The choice of exactly which roads or trails to ride depends on current conditions, and also Seasonal and legal restrictions affect some access as do fallen trees, erosion, and game closures. Local maps are extremely helpful.
Fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, horseback riding – we could go on all day. You will find wide-open spaces teeming with wildlife, spectacular scenery and family fun. Let us help you plan your best family vacation ever with our Online Travel Planner.