Hiking Northrup Canyon

Start a New Family Tradition

Hiking Northrup Canyon

Photos by Jerry Kayser

discover Northrup Canyon

A beautiful Mountain Lake with scenic views

Photo by Jerry Kayser Photo Curtesy Tom Reichner 

Located in Steamboat Rock State Park, Northrup Canyon is a 6.1-mile round trip trail with 3, 6, and 8-mile variations. The trail is known for its abundant Bald Eagles, with over 200 roosting in trees along the way.

The hike begins in a sheltered canyon and extends into the breathtaking expanse of the only forest in Grant County. As you climb towards the summit of the Gorge, anticipation builds until finally, you're greeted with a view of Banks Lake, shimmering in the sunlight and stocked with Trout.

In addition to beautiful Bald Eagles, you'll encounter a diverse array of creatures including graceful Mule Deer, wise Burrowing Owls, over 30 unique species of mammals, countless slithering reptiles, hopping amphibians, and buzzing insects that will undoubtedly capture your attention.

Prepare to be awe-struck by the natural beauty of Northrup Canyon, a geological wonder sculpted by the powerful forces of ice age floods. The entire basin was once a glacial lake, and as you explore further, you'll encounter smaller hills of granite bedrock, known as Roches Moutonnées. Research conducted by Andrea Balbas, a professor at California State University, shows that the granite bedrock was exposed by ice age floods approximately 15,600 years ago. The rounded uphill sides and steep downhill cliffs of these unique formations are a testament to the colossal power of glaciers that plucked away massive blocks of rock, leaving behind these impressive features that tell a story of the Earth's tumultuous past.

About 1.5 miles in, you will discover the abandoned farmhouse of the Northrup family, built in the 1890s. The family lived in the canyon for about 36 years. Further up the trail, past the farmhouse, you will find Northrup Lake, where you can see plenty of Rainbow Trout and beautiful photo-worthy views.

Springtime is the best time to hike this trail, but always check the weather forecast and print out directions before you head out. Service can be spotty, and it is best not to rely on directions on your phone.

To access Washington state parks for day use, a Discover Pass is required for vehicle access. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass page.

Free summer rec map!

Okanogan Country has an incredible number of summer recreation opportunities. Order a FREE Summer Recreation map and find your summer adventure in Okanogan Country today!