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Your Guide to Exploring the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

beautiful natural landcape

Located across the Washington counties of Chelan, Kittitas, and Yakima, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is a vast area that encompasses over four million acres of forest. Home to diverse wildlife species, this National Forest offers endless sightseeing opportunities and fun activities – making it a must for all the explorers out there.

Trails and Scenery

Known for landscapes that will take your breath away, a profusion of wildlife, and countless recreational possibilities, the east slopes of the Cascade Range are a dream for anyone who wants a bit of excitement and adventure.

The forest boasts hundreds of trails that people can hike, run, or bike on. The Boulder Cave Trail, for one, is a popular 1.5-mile out-and-back trail known to be a quick and easy climb. The trail brings you up a gradual slope right to the cave entrance before looping back.

The cave itself is home to the Pacific western big-eared bat. Expect to meander through the dark some 400 feet deep (so it’s best you wear a headlamp or bring a flashlight) and pop out at the back where you can meet up with the trail again.

Another must-see is the Echo Ridge Trail System, which encompasses over 26 miles. It’s used for Nordic skiing and some snowshoeing in the winter; and hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding in the summer. This trail offers views of Lake Chelan, Pyramid Peak, the Okanogan Highlands, and the Enchantments.

Other noteworthy trails that give you the opportunity to marvel at the wonders of nature include the Icicle Gorge Loop Trail, Rainy Lake Trail and the Washington Pass Observation Site.


Given its popularity, the area has a sizable number of visitors annually. Those who’re inclined to spend a few days communing with nature will find that there are over 150 campsite options available in the Okanogan-Wenatchee, albeit you’re only afforded a limited stay of 14 days.

One highly favored campsite is Klipchuck Campground, which is open from May to October. Since it is near Early Winters Creek, campers often get to enjoy a spot of fishing at this campground.

There are also RV sites,several cabins, and a lodge available, perfect for whatever your needs and preferences may be.

Abundant Recreational Activities

There’s certainly a lot to do at the Okanogan-Wenatchee all throughout the year. Hikers typically come to challenge themselves on one or several of its many, many trails. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced hiker, Okanogan-Wenatchee is perfect for anyone who wants to do some exploring.

Rafting, kayaking, or canoeing will suit you beautifully if you just want to enjoy the quiet and take in the most amazing views from the water.

Perhaps, spend some time bonding with friends and family on a picnic? The campgrounds are equipped with picnic tables and fire pits so you can better enjoy being in the great outdoors.

Opt to take out a boat and go fishing along the Columbia River or on Lake Wenatchee. Spot some wildlife while you’re at it – after all, this area is home to deer, bears, wolverines, eagles, mountain goats, and elk.

There’s also horseback riding, hunting, rock and mountain climbing, OHV riding, and many more activities for you to try your hand at.

Looking to relocate and want to learn all about the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and nearby spots? Find your ideal home in Wenatchee, WA. Get in touch with our agents at Coldwell Banker Cascade Real Estate. We are the number one team when it comes to properties in Wenatchee and nearby communities. Call our team today at 509.888.8887 or send us a message at info(at)cbcascade(dotted)com.