Okanogan Travel Guide

Discover Okanogan, Washington's top attractions, hiking and biking routes, food and drink scene, local culture, safety tips, and getting there and around. Plan your trip now!

Introduction to Okanogan

Located in North Cascades, in Washington state’s Pacific Northwest region, Okanogan is a charming destination with a rich history and stunning natural beauty. The town is named after the Okanogan River, which runs through the valley, and its various attractions cater to outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and culture seekers alike.

List of Places to Visit in Okanogan

Whether you’re a lover of the great outdoors or a history buff, Okanogan has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the destinations worth exploring in the area:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Okanogan County Historical Museum
  • Methow Valley Interpretive Center
  • North Cascade Smokejumper Base Museum
  • Omak Stampede and Suicide Race Museum
  • Okanogan Valley Farmers Market
  • The Okanogan Family Faire

Natural Attractions of Okanogan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • North Cascades National Park
  • Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
  • Conconully State Park
  • Loup Loup Ski Bowl
  • Methow Valley
  • Tonasket Ranger District

Hiking/Biking Routes of Okanogan

Hiking and biking enthusiasts will find plenty of options in Okanogan. Here are some of the best routes to explore:

  • Sun Mountain Trails: a network of trails in the Methow Valley, offering stunning views of the North Cascades.
  • Pacific Crest Trail: a 2,650-mile trail that passes through Okanogan, offering both day hikes and longer backpacking trips.
  • Abercrombie Mountain: a challenging hike that rewards adventurers with a stunning view of the surrounding peaks.

Best Things to Do in Okanogan: Activities and Tours

If you’re looking for adventure beyond hiking and biking, here are some top things to do:

  • Horseback riding tours through the Methow Valley
  • Whitewater rafting on the Okanogan River
  • Fishing in nearby lakes and rivers
  • Golfing at the Okanogan Valley Golf Club
  • Hot air balloon rides over the valley

Week-Long Itinerary for Okanogan

Here’s an optimal itinerary for a week-long trip to Okanogan:

Day Activity
1 Explore North Cascades National Park
2 Take a horseback riding tour in the Methow Valley
3 Whitewater rafting trip on the Okanogan River
4 Visit the Okanogan County Historical Museum and the Methow Valley Interpretative Center
5 Golfing at the Okanogan Valley Golf Club
6 Visit the Loup Loup Ski Bowl
7 Take a hot air balloon ride over the valley before departure

Food and Drink Scene of Okanogan

In addition to its outdoor activities, Okanogan also offers plenty of dining options for foodies to enjoy. Here are some must-try dishes in the area:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Freshly caught trout, served with a side of seasonal vegetables.
  • Fry bread, a Native American staple, often served with local berry jam.
  • Pacific Northwest salmon, prepared in various ways, such as grilled with a delicious glaze or smoked for an intense flavor.
  • A hearty bowl of chili, often with a unique twist using locally-grown produce and spices.
  • Fresh fruit pies, made with the freshest local berries and fruits.

Local Beverages

  • Methow Valley Ciderhouse offers artisanal cider, using 100% Washington-grown apples and pears.
  • Lookout Mountain Winery is a local winery that offers tastings of reds, whites and rosés.
  • Various microbreweries offer unique craft beers, brewed with local hops.

Where to Stay in Okanogan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or budget-friendly accommodations, Okanogan has something to offer:

  • Omak Inn offers comfortable rooms and an indoor pool.
  • Okanogan River Inn and Suites is a pet-friendly property that offers spacious rooms and suites.
  • North Cascade Mountain Hostel offers cozy accommodations for backpackers on a budget.
  • Various bed and breakfasts offer charming and intimate stays.
  • A handful of private rentals are also available on Airbnb.

What to Buy in Okanogan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Here are some of the best souvenirs and local products to bring home from Okanogan:

  • Handmade pottery, jewelry, and textiles from Native American artisans in the area.
  • Locally-grown organic produce, such as apples, peaches, and cherries.
  • Freshly-made artisanal cheeses, made from locally-sourced milk.
  • Unique outdoor gear and clothing from local stores.
  • Various locally-made preserves, jams, and sauces, ideal for gifting.

Local Culture and Customs of Okanogan

The Okanogan Valley area has a rich cultural history, where the Native American Salishan tribe lived for centuries. The area is still home to many Salishan tribal members today, and visitors to the region should respect the area’s cultural significance.

Best Time to Visit Okanogan

The best time to visit Okanogan is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is warm and ideal for outdoor activities. However, the region offers something for any season, including skiing in the winter and autumn festivals in the fall.

Do’s and Don’ts of Okanogan

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts to follow while in Okanogan:


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Take care and follow safety protocols while enjoying outdoor activities.
  • Support the local businesses by buying local products.


  • Litter or disturb natural habitats while enjoying outdoor activities and visiting parks.
  • Disrespect the local cultural customs, such as photographing gravesites or sacred locations.

Safety and Health

Okanogan is a relatively safe area, but it’s still important to take the necessary precautions while exploring the outdoors.

Safety in Okanogan

  • Bring plenty of water and snacks while taking part in outdoor activities.
  • Wear proper gear and clothing for each activity, and always wear a helmet while biking.
  • Follow the safety guidelines for each activity, and go with a group if possible.

Health in Okanogan

  • Always pack sunscreen and insect repellent while outdoors.
  • Watch out for ticks, which are common in the region.
  • When hiking, take care not to encounter poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

Getting to Okanogan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Okanogan

  • Wenatchee Valley Regional Airport (EAT): About 100 miles away from Okanogan.
  • Grant County International Airport (MWH): About 100 miles away from Okanogan.
  • Spokane International Airport (GEG): About 150 miles away from Okanogan.

Bus Stations Near Okanogan

  • Greyhound Bus Station: Located in Omak, about six miles from the center of Okanogan.

Other Options

  • Private car/taxi rentals are available for transportation to and around Okanogan.

How to Get Around in Okanogan

To get around Okanogan, you can rent a car or use ride-sharing services. If you’re exploring natural sites, hiking and biking tours are also available.

Where to Go Next from Okanogan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re planning on extending your trip from Okanogan, here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Seattle, Washington: A perfect city stopover, with its excellent culinary scene and iconic sights, such as the Space Needle.
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: A cosmopolitan, multicultural city offering world-class cuisine and breathtaking natural scenery.
  • Wenatchee, Washington: A small city with many cultural attractions and outdoor activities nearby, including water sports and hiking in the nearby plains.


This comprehensive guide should help you plan your trip to Okanogan, Washington, and make the most of your stay in this charming destination. From outdoor activities to cultural attractions and culinary experiences, there’s something for every traveler to experience in Okanogan.