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Sinlahekin Natural Area

Eastern Washington


Eastern Washington -- Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
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8.0 miles of trails


Gain: 0 ft.
Highest Point: 2700 ft.


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Tucked in a lush river valley in the Okanogan region, the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area provides the opportunity to wander at will, through a rich ecosystem harboring hundreds of species of big game, waterfowl, and native plants.

The Sinlahekin Valley parallels Highway 97, about 10 miles to its west, leading north up to the Canadian border. The 14,000 acre WDFW Sinlahekin Wildlife Area is maintained to provide winter grounds to support deer and ground bird populations for the eastern Cascades and other nearby areas.

It is a beautiful preserve, inviting walking as well as the opportunity to see game and waterfowl as well as native flora.

Just 2.5 miles south of Loomis, the preserve straddles the Sinlahekin Creek and the Coulee Creek watersheds. Sinlahekin Creek is the more evidently flowing body of wate; Coulee Creek is frequently underground and is invisible to visitors for most of the year.

Visitors here will find eight miles of trail to explore, wending around ponds boasting habitats including shrub steppe, wetland, and the high dry forest of the east side of the Cascades. These habitats support their requisite species. Look for sage and serviceberry in the shrub steppe, waterfowl, alder, and a myriad of grasses in the wetlands, and the fragrant Ponderosa pines, mule deer and wild turkey in the dry forest. Interpretive signs and kiosks provide supplemental information, and the viewing blinds offer an up-close look at resident wildlife.

Those with young children in strollers or hikers in wheelchairs can take advantage of the ADA trail leading to an ADA view blind and and ADA fishing pier at Conner Lake.

Additionally, an ADA trail can be found to the northwest of Blue Lake. This leads to a viewing blind on the west side of Blue Lake.

The valley is also popular with hunters and anglers, due to the proliferation of grouse and rainbow trout. Big game lives here, too, but be sure to check the Big Game hunting rules, and know what you can hunt and when.


Sinlahekin Natural Area

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.7909, -119.6463 Open map in new window


Eastern Washington -- Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sinlahekin Wildlife Area

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Getting There

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.

Drive through Loomis, continuing straight into a sweeping left turn onto Broadway Street. This heads south, turning which turns into Sinlahekin Road. Stay on Sinlahekin Road about three miles to where where the road enters SWA.

The road cuts through the Natural Area, and there are a variety of places to pull over and walk, including Blue Lake, Fish Lake, even the banks of Sinlahekin Creek.

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Sinlahekin Natural Area

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