Many Lakes Loop — Okanogan County
193 km (120 mi)
History buffs and outdoor enthusiasts will love Many Lakes short loop. There are gravel roads and paved roads with information on historical sites, hikes, wildlife areas, lakes, campgrounds, and even a cemetery tour. You can enter this loop near the Nighthawk or Oroville border crossings.
Your first stop on the Many Lakes Loop is Oroville, WA. The first railroad in Okanogan County was in Oroville. Displays can be seen at the Old Depot Museum. Over at the Nighthawk Historic Townsite is the Nighthawk Hotel, an original school house, a mining office and an old mill to give you a taste of early pioneer life. At the Conconully Museum you can get a peek inside how people lived during the early 1900s.
There are dozens of lakes in the area including the larger Palmer Lake, near Loomis and Osoyoos Lake near Oroville. At Loomis, you can follow the road east to connect back with Route 97, or go south down the gravel road less travelled to Forde Lake, Blue Lake and Fish Lake to Conconully, which can also be reached via paved road from Omak and Okanogan.
Explore the several wildlife viewing areas along this route including the Sinlahekin Wildlife area south of Loomis. This area is open to the public for wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, hiking, and boating. There are five lakes in this area, all undeveloped. The Tuna Creek Wildlife area 19 km (12 mi) north-east of Omak and the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area 16 km (10 mi) west of Omak. At Scotch Creek, you’ll find grouse, deer, and Hungarian partridge. Another wildlife area is Tunk Creek, created to protect critical sharp-tailed grouse.
Cemetery aficionados will love exploring the 16 cemeteries along this route. Some headstones are barely visible, covered in tall grasses and sage, while others are easier to find. The dates on the headstones date back to the mid-1800s.
Need to Know:
|Loop Distance:||193 km (120 mi)|
|Duration to drive:||Two to three hours. Plan extra time for exploration|
|Best time to drive:||Year round – paved, gravel and dirt roads |
Snow tires recommended in the winter months
|Watch for:||Wildlife on main and side roads|
Omak Visitor Center
401 Omak Avenue
Toll Free: 1-800-225-6625
Oroville Borderlands Historical Museum VIC
1210 Ironwood Street
Local (summer only) 509-476-2739
Email Contact: send message