SINLAHEKIN & BLUE LAKE NATURAL AREA
Follow the established trails or wander at will through this rich ecosystem of shrub steppe, wetlands, and dry forest. The paved ADA trails at the northwest end of Blue Lake and along Connor Lake also provide a great path for children in strollers.
The paved ADA trails at the northwest end of Blue Lake and along Connor Lake also provide a great path for children in strollers.
Over 215 species of birds and waterfowl frequent the area’s streams and ponds along with the state’s most diverse butterfly population. Expect to see rattle snakes from April to October. During the colder months, there is still abundant winter birdwatching opportunities.
Tucked in a lush, remote valley 15 miles west of Tonasket, this beautiful preserve is the oldest wildlife area in Washington. Created in 1939 with the goal of preserving critical winter range for mule deer and other rare animals, the area was expanded to include 8 miles of easy-to-follow hiking trails plus 2 ADA trails and a waterfowl viewing blind all within the boundary of a 14,000 acre DNR Wildlife Preserve. It is noteworthy that bighorn sheep, which had disappeared from the area in 1939, were reintroduced in the late-1950’s and the area now boasts a large and stable population.
From Oroville: Drive south on US Route 97 to Ellisforde, then head west (right) on Ellisforde Bridge Road to its intersection with Highway 7. Turn left (south) and drive a short distance to the intersection with Loomis Highway where a right turn (west) will take you through rolling farmland to the tiny town of Loomis. At the west end of town a sweeping left turn onto Broadway will take you to Sinlahekin Road, and a 3 mile drive to the Preserve. From Tonasket: In Tonasket, drive west on 4th Ave and cross the Okanogan River to a junction with Highway 7. Turn right, and proceed north to the Loomis Highway Junction, continuing onto Loomis. At the west end of town a sweeping left turn onto Broadway will take you to Sinlahekin Road, and a 3 mile drive to the Preserve
PARKING PASS: Northwest Forest Pass
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