Tempted by the Okanogan

Succumb to the Pleasure of Riding North central Washington

Published in the September 2008 Issue White Out & Wide Open—The Blog LANE LINDSTROM
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"Our group takes a rest from hillclimbing near what the locals call the Pothole. It's just north a bit from Little Tiffany Lake, another great hillclimbing spot in Methow Valley.
" This sign describes a different forest fire that went through practically the same area as a fire just a few years ago.
"Looking across Rainy Lake to the north. Rainy Lake (elevation 4,793 feet) is south of Highway 20 and south of Rainy Pass.
"This is near Rainy Pass, off Highway 20 west of Winthrop. Lots of wide open boondocking and hillclimbing are the specialties here.

Sometimes we don't know how good we have it, especially when it's close to home.

That's about the only way to describe what we experienced during a three-day snowmobile trip in Washington's Okanogan County.

We enjoyed some of the state's best snowmobiling all by ourselves. Don't get us wrong, we like to ride where and when the crowds are thin but we were a bit surprised at how we had the place pretty much all to ourselves.

Of course, who can blame Washington sledders for bypassing the great riding in Okanogan County, which is about as remote as you can get in Washington state. After all, the county is surrounded by famous riding areas. First, there's all the excellent riding north of the border in Canada, as well as good riding in northern Idaho to the east and to the west on the other side of the Cascade Range near Mt. Baker. Then there's the very popular Lake Chelan just down the road to the south. With all that in the neighborhood, it's tempting to overlook a place like Okanogan County.



There's more than plenty enough of everything snowmobilers like to satisfy your sledding indulgence in the Okanogan. Plenty enough of everything except the crowds. In our three days in the Okanogan we saw just a handful of other snowmobilers and that was mostly in the sno parks.

Of course we rode during the week (hint, hint) and had to battle some cloudy skies, but hey, that works for us. We still enjoyed some sun and lots of untouched snow.

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