Discover north central washington
Wilderness embraces much of north central Washington. To the north in Okanogan Country, you’ll find sparkling lakes, soaring mountains, high plateaus, and winding river valleys. To the south in the Coulee Corridor you’ll discover a much different landscape of desert lakes, deep canyons, coulees, and fields of sunflowers in full bloom. Find fishing lakes, desert hikes, dusty museums, and the fields that grow your food. This region’s natural beauty and agricultural bounty create a feeling of journeying to an out-of-the-way, undiscovered natural oasis.
Spanning 80 miles from Oroville south to Pateros, the byway follows the Okanogan River with stunning valleys and rugged hillsides until it flows into the Columbia River. Historical markers tell the story of a rich history of natives and early homesteaders along the route.
The byway accesses the Audubon Society’s Great Washington Birding Trail; Osoyoos Lake Memorial Park along with Alta Lake and Conconully State Parks as well as the Highland Historic Loop and the Many Lakes Historic Loop.
Along the way, stop for locally grown produce and fruit. Thirsty? Check out the local wineries, breweries, cideries or coffee roasters. In summer, the cool mornings and warm sunny afternoons are perfect for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The fun doesn’t stop when the snow hits! Enjoy miles of groomed Nordic ski trails, downhill skiing and snowmobiling.
One of the greatest ice age floods on earth left in its wake a fusion of geological, historical and cultural awe, which we now call the Coulee Corridor. This 150-mile scenic byway, connecting Othello and the Grand Coulee, is famous for its beautiful and uncommon landscape of coulees, basalt cliffs and canyons.
Visit the Dry Falls Visitor Center and learn about the world's largest prehistoric waterfall - four times the size of Niagara Falls - that used to flow over the surrounding cliffs. Another compelling attraction that staggers the imagination is the Grand Coulee Dam. Take the free tour and stand on the might dam itself!
Columbia Wildlife Refuge
Grab your binoculars and Audubon Coulee Corridor Trail Map for some exciting birdwatching here. You can expect to find black-crowned night herons and great egrets (both of which nest here in the summer), bald eagles (in the winter) and 35,000 sandhill cranes (during spring and fall migration) to name a few striking species. Explore the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, which protects more than 230 species of birds. Enjoy the birdsong by day and coyote chorus at night.
With more than 140 lakes and reservoirs, Grant County offers world-class fishing, hunting, bird watching, hiking trails and camping. In the summer lakefront resorts, state parks and recreational areas are packed with people fishing, waterskiing and soaking up sun. Steamboat Rock State Park, with 50,000 feet of shoreline, is popular for swimming, boating and waterfront camping. Whether you come with a fishing pole, a wakeboard or a pair of binoculars, you’ll find paradise here.