Okanogan National Forest
There is a variety of country from craggy peaks to rolling meadows, to rich old growth forest, and classic groves of ponderosa pine, all with plenty of sun and snow, on the Okanogan National Forest.
The Okanogan National Forest offers a variety of recreational opportunities for the adventurer. With more than 800 miles of wilderness trails to explore by foot or horse in one of the region's nine wilderness areas. You could spend weeks just enjoying the back country of the Okanogan National Forest. There are also barrier free trails for individuals with disabilities to experience the great outdoors of the national forest. Motorbike, mountain bike, snowmobile, and other recreational vehicles also have opportunities to join the fun.
Camping - You can visit any of the 24 campgrounds west of the Okanogan River and in the 5 Lakes Area. If you're interested in a more remote experience, you can camp at any number of undeveloped sites, for which there is no fee for use. Check out these great camping tips before you hit the road.
The story behind the forest
The Okanogan National Forest owes its origin to the "Washington's Birthday Reserves" proclamation signed on February 22, 1897, by President Grover Cleveland. This proclamation created 13 forest reserves covering 21 million acres in the western states. In 1905, the forest reserves were transferred from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture, and the Forest Service was created.
Watch raptors migrate through a unique program. Through the Chelan Ridge Raptor Migration Project, Hawk Watch International has teamed up with Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests to monitor and learn more about raptors migrating through the eastern Cascade Mountains of Washington within the Pacific Coast Flyway.
Counts typically range between 2,000-3,000 migrants of up to 17 species per season. The most commonly seen species are the Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Golden Eagle, and American Kestrel. The project runs from 27 August through 31 October (or whenever the snow forces the crew off the ridge).