Birdwatching & Wildlife Viewing

Bird Watching

Okanogan Country is part of the North American Pacific Flyway for migrating birds making bird watching opportunities for song birds, game birds, water birds and raptors legion.

Birders of all levels from novices to the professional can find a truly delightful experience in Okanogan Country. We have a wide diversity in landscape and climate that attracts birds to our area. Our numerous lakes and rivers attract waterfowl and shorebirds. The high deserts and alpine meadows attract a variety of songbirds and upland birds. So whatever type of birding you like, Okanogan Country has it for you. With hundreds of species of indigenous and migratory birds, bird watching can be very rewarding.

Methow Valley Region

The upper Methow is the winter home of a large population of bald eagles that can be seen in the trees and soaring overhead. Visit the wetlands in Elbow Coulee for a variety of waterfowl, take part in the annual Methow Valley Christmas Bird Count (509-996-3872 for information and dates) or Chelan Ridge Raptor Migration Project (509-996-4000 for details).

Chelan Ridge
Raptors, migratory birds. Copper Mountain (take Black Canyon Rd off Hwy 153 north of Pateros.)

Methow Trails Suspension Bridge

From Hwy 20 at milepost 184.9, turn north onto Goat Creek Dr. 3.7 miles l www.MethowTrails.org

Sun Mountain Lodge

Winthrop l 996-2211 l (800) 572-0493 | www.sunmountainlodge.com

Heart of the Okanogan

Quail, water fowl, osprey, turkey buzzards, wild turkey, and bald eagles in winter can all be found in the Heart of the Okanogan.

North Okanogan Region

Wild turkey and quail are often seen. Usually there are eagles and hawks overhead. The Scotch Creek and Sinlahekin Wildlife Refuges offer bountiful bird watching opportunities. Some rare species of migratory birds have been seen passing through.

Osprey nests are found at Curlew Lake State Park and Driscoll Island Bird sanctuary near Oroville is popular birding site. Many area outfitters offer bird watching tours.

Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has a great online Wildlife Viewing Guide to look at before heading out.

Columbia River Region

You can see many eagles fishing along the Methow and Columbia Waterways. This area is also part of the North American Flyway for migrating birds. Bird watching opportunities here for song birds, game birds, water birds and raptors are legion!

Audubon Washington

Great Washington State Birding Trail


Wildlife Viewing

Okanogan Country is a wildlife-watcher's paradise! We are home to Washington's largest mule deer population along with a mind boggling variety of critters from butterflies to bears.

North Central Washington’s glacier carved slopes, river valleys, and thousands of acres of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests is a wildlife watchers paradise. Natural habitats such as boreal forests, alpine grasslands, and shrub-steppes create an eco-region favored by a diverse wildlife population in Okanogan Country

Methow Valley Region

You can get up-close and personal with some of the wildlife. Mule deer abound in the Methow Valley – in fact some residents consider them a pest! They can be found walking right through town, especially in the winter. You may see a bear ambling through the trees in late summer berry season, or catch a glimpse of the wild turkeys, whistling marmots, bobcats, squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons that inhabit the area. There is a healthy cougar population, but these shy, elusive cats are rarely seen. Boreal species like snowshoe hares and northern flying squirrels share the eco-region with Great Basin species like pallid bats and burrowing owls. The Pasayten Wilderness is home to several species of large herbivores, such as moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. Migratory carnivores roam the Pasayten Wilderness, although small populations and a dwindling gene pool raise conservation concerns for the grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, lynx, and cougar populations. Be sure to pack binoculars to view animals from a safe distance and a field guide to identify animal tracks.

Heart of the Okanogan

Deer, quail, water fowl, coyotes, snakes, osprey, turkey buzzards, wild turkey, bear, and bald eagles in winter can all be found in the Heart of the Okanogan. You may get lucky and see the occasional moose or elk in higher elevations. Rattlesnakes do live here, but they are not a problem if you watch where you step while hiking.

Scotch Creek Wildlife Area
10 miles west of Omak and Okanogan on Conconully Highway, 9,067 acres. Sharptailed grouse, mule and white-tailed deer, ruffed and blue grouse, pheasants, quail, chukar, and Hungarian partridge, along with a full complement of non-game species.

Sinlahekin Wildlife Area
5 miles S of Loomis or 4.5 miles NE of Conconully, 14,000 acres l wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_ areas/sinlahekin

Tunk Creek Wildlife Area
12 NE of Omak. This 1,080 acre area with sharp-tailed grouse, mule deer, ruffed grouse, quail, and gray partridge as well as many non-game species. Deer hunting is very popular in the area, and wildlife viewing opportunities also exist.

North Okanogan Region

Many Lakes abounds with deer, coyotes, yellowbellied and whistling marmots, wild turkey and quail . Elk can be found along the Sinlahekin and the occasional moose in the Palmer Lake and Conconully areas. The Loomis Natural Resources Conservation Area has over 24,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat. There are rare sightings of bear, cougar, and bobcat and if you’re truly lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a lynx. The Scotch Creek and Sinlahekin Wildlife Refuges offer bountiful wildlife.

Columbia River Region

The Columbia River Region is home to a wide assortment of amphibians and reptiles such as western rattlesnakes, painted turtles, and Great Basin spade foot toads. Elk, deer, bear, moose, badgers and whistling marmots can all be found in the Columbia River Region. You can watch beaver swim in the river at Pateros as well as see many eagles fishing along the Methow and Columbia Waterways.

Elk, deer, bear, moose, badgers and whistling marmots can all be found in the Columbia River Region. You can watch beaver swim in the river at Pateros as well as see many eagles fishing along the Methow and Columbia Waterways.

Alta Lake State Park
From Hwy 153 at milepost 1.5, turn west onto Alta Lake Rd; drive 2.2 miles to parking.

Grand Coulee Bald eagle viewing & festivals

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Bald eagle, bear, elk, bobcat, raptors, waterfowl.

Rufus Woods Lake

51 miles long above Chief Joseph Dam; wildlife viewing and birdwatching.


Other Attractions:

Curlew Lake State Park

Osprey nests & wildlife

Driscoll Island Bird sanctuary
Beaver, muskrats, near Oroville.

Sidley Lake near Molson
Large public access.


Alta Lake State Park

Description: A 181 acre camping park where the mountainous pine forests meet the desert. Alta Lake is about 2 miles long and offers good trout fishing during summer months. State park, public access, fishing, swimming, boating, water recreation.

Address: Alta Lake Rd, Pateros, WA 98846
Phone: 509 923-2473
Website: http://parks.state.wa.us/239/Alta-Lake

Bridgeport State Park

Description: A 748 acre camping park with 7,500 ft of freshwater shoreline on Rufus Woods Lake. Set directly behind Chief Joseph Dam, this lake is a segment of the Columbia River. The park provides 18 acres of lawn and some shade in the midst of a desert terrain. "Haystacks", volcanic formations resembling their name, are the park's most striking feature. Boat launch, fishing, camping, golf course nearby, swimming.

Address: 235A Half Sun Way, Bridgeport, WA 98813
Phone: 888-226-7688
Website: http://parks.state.wa.us/480/Bridgeport

Canaan Guest Ranch

Description: Canaan Guest Ranch is located between the towns of Tonasket and Republic. In an area called Aeneas Valley. Canaan Ranch sits at an elevation of 3500 ft., covers 500 acres. Come and visit, enjoy the beauty of the mountains and share our life style. Wildlife viewing and birding is at its best at Canaan Ranch deer, eagles, wild turkeys, coyotes, and bobcats are frequent visitors. Enjoy the many activities on the ranch including horseback riding, hay-rides, barn dances, hiking back-packing, snowmobile access to snow park and 1000s of acres to ride in the adjoining Okanogan National Forest, 500 separate acres for cross country skiing. A perfect place to get away from it all, Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall!

Address: 474 Cape Labelle Rd, Tonasket, WA 98855
Phone: 866-295-4217
Website: http://canaanguestranch.com

Columbia River Guest Ranch

Description: A calm & relaxing retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The surrounding beaut, and laid back atmosphere is a winning combination for people looking for a break from their ordinary lives. Features fantastic package deal and all rooms come with meals. Whether you are planning a hunting trip, a family reunion, or just need a week of peace and quiet to enjoy nature's beauty. Has Hot Tube, Internet access, air conditioning, handicap access, and welcomes your pet or even horse.

Address: 2500 Columbia River Road, Okanogan, WA 98840
Phone: 425 652-6172
Email: columbiariverranch11@gmail.com
Website: http://www.columbiariverranch.net

Conconully State Park

Description: Conconully State Park is an 81-acre camping park with 5,400 feet of freshwater shoreline in north central Washington. Established as the oldest Bureau of Reclamation irrigation project in this part of the country, the park dates back to 1910. State Parks assumed administration in 1945. Boat ramps, fishing, horseshoe pits, mountain biking, wildlife viewing.

Phone: 888-226-7688
Website: http://parks.state.wa.us/491/Conconully

Curlew State Park

Description: 123-acre camping park, 8 miles from the Stone Rose public fossil dig and the charming goldrush town of Republic. “The Lew” is one of the most relaxing campgrounds in Washington, a great destination for a quiet day-trip or overnight adventure.

Phone: 888-226-7688
Website: http://parks.state.wa.us/493/Curlew-Lake

Diamond Belle Ranch

Description: Lake-front lodge exudes a welcoming atmosphere with its enormous rustic stone fireplace, quintessential timber beams and knotty pine interior. The large great room with its cozy fire brings out the romance of the day, whether it's tall fish tales or recounting adventures of discovery. Hone your camp cooking over the BBQ or enjoy preparation in the large, fully equipped kitchen. Ten bedrooms have individual heaters and easy accessibility to three full bathrooms. Great for family reunions, weddings, or retreats or just a day of fly fishing.

Address: PO Box 104, Wauconda, WA 98859
Phone: 509 486-1270
Email: diamondbelleranch@gmail.com
Website: http://www.diamondbelleranch.com

Eden Valley Guest Ranch

Description: Lodging in 10 fully furnished 1-bedroom cabins with great views and high speed wireless Internet. One is wheel chair accessible. Catered events in the beautiful Eden Valley Lodge. Special menus include: vegan, vegetarian and historic Highland cuisine. Trail Rides on the mountain for beginners to expert. A variety of horses fit a variety of riders. Horse Hotel – 10 well-spaced corrals, large trailer parking area, water, compost area and more. Amenities: Picnic area with campfire, tables, seating and two large BBQs. Child play area features a enormous sand pile and out door toys in addition to a basket ball hoop area on concrete pad. Child & Dog Friendly, Car Accessible year round and motorcycle and bicycle accessible spring/summer/fall. Wildflower tours * History Tours * Concierge for the Okanogan Highlands. Our Trail System welcomes hikers, mountain bikers, horses, dogs and has limited ATV access for ingress/egress to US Forest Service. In winter the trails are for snowshoers, cross country skiers and snowmobilers. We also have Tube Hill.

Address: 31 Eden Valley Lane, Oroville, WA 98844
Phone: 509-485-4002
Email: info@edenvalleyranch.net
Website: http://www.edenvalleyranch.net

Hidden Hills Country Inn

Description: A true "country inn"! Overnight lodging includes a complimentary complete breakfast. The dining room, open to the public by reservation, offers dinners that satisfy the heartiest appetite. Home Sites: with water, power and septic, ready to build. 1 1/2 acres to 20 acres. The property abuts the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area of the Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife.

Address: 104 Hidden Hills Lane, Tonasket, WA 98855
Phone: 509 486-1895
Email: info@hiddenhillsresort.com
Website: http://www.hiddenhillscountryinn.com

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Description: 27 public campgrounds and boat-in-only campgrounds. Facilities vary in each. Some campgrounds have individual sites, as well as large groupsites that can be reserved. Individual sites have a fire ring, picnic table and paved parking pads that are either pull-through or back-in pads. Campgrounds have sites that will fit most large RVs. There are no hook-ups in any of the campgrounds

Address: 1008 Crest Drive, Coulee Dam, WA 99116
Phone: 509-633-9441 x.130
Website: http://www.nps.gov/laro/index.htm

Okanogan National Forests

Description: The Okanogan National Forest offers a variety of recreational opportunities for the adventurer. With over 800 miles of wilderness trails to explore by foot or horse you could spend weeks just enjoying the back country. There are also barrier free trails for individuals with disabilites. Motorbike, mt. bike, snowmobile, and other recreational vehicles also have opportunities tojoin the fun.

Address: 1 W Winesap, Tonasket, WA 98855
Phone: 509-486-2186
Website: http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/okanogan

Spectacle Lake Resort

Description: Amenities for all our guests include heated pool, docks, horseshoe pits, volleyball, play area, swings, sandbox, boat launch, boat & motor rentals, recreation room, exercise room and cookout shelters.

Address: 10 McCammon Road, Tonasket, WA 98855
Phone: 509-223-3433
Email: spectaclelake@okcom.org
Website: http://www.spectaclelakeresort.com

Steamboat Rock State Park

Description: Steamboat Rock State Park is a 3,522-acre camping park with 50,000 feet of freshwater shoreline at the north end of Banks Lake. Dominating the landscape is basaltic rock with a surface area of 600 acres. 2 campground areas and a large day-use area are on sweeping green lawns, protected from winds by tall dramatic poplars. The surrounding areas are carpeted with wildflowers, adding to the gray-green brush of the Scablands. A sandy swimming area and boat launches make the area a favorite for visitors who enjoy water-play and want respite from the hot, summer sun.

Address: 51052 Highway 155, Electric City, WA 99123
Phone: 888-226-7688
Website: http://parks.state.wa.us/590/Steamboat-Rock

Sun Cove Resort

Description: This is a great place for a stay. Family friendly and very helpful owners. You can fish from their boats or right from the bank. The resort features RV parking sites (with our without hookups), campsites, one-bedroom cabins, and family cabins rented by the week. The back deck of the resort features a recognized bird sanctuary filled with birdhouses and wildlife and there are many hiking trails that allow the guests to experience additional wildlife surrounding the resort.

Address: 93 E Wannacut Lane, Oroville, WA 98844
Phone: 509-476-2223
Email: suncove@nvinet.com
Website: http://thesuncoveresort.com

Sun Mountain Lodge

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

Address: PO Box 1000, Winthrop, WA 98862
Phone: 509-996-2211
Phone Alt.: 800-572-0493
Email: smtnsale@sunmountainlodge.com
Website: http://www.sunmountainlodge.com

Bird Watching  |  Wildlife Viewing

Did you know that Okanogan Country hosts 123 recorded butterfly species? Download the LaBar Quick Guide to Okanogan County Butterflies HERE!


Ruffed GrouseSpruce GrouseWhite Tailed Ptarmigan

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