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Okanogan County Snowmobiling Guide 2012

A supplement to The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle Winter 2012-13


Enjoy our mountains and meadows Volunteers are key to keeping the area’s groomed snowmobile trails open By Dick Coppock Special to The Chronicle CONCONULLY — Riding the mountains and meadows of the Okanogan Country will be the snowmobile experience that will set the standards for your snowmobile trips. The national magazines may have us listed at the bottom of their most desirable areas to snowmobile, but I can assure you, it is only because we lack the large resorts and destination air service. It is in no way a reflection of the joyous experience you will have on the Okanogan Country snow. Omak, Okanogan, Twisp, Winthrop, Pateros, Tonasket, Republic and Conconully lie at the gateway to some of the best snowmobile riding in the Pacific Northwest. Go into the websites of these communities and check out their winter recreation and lodging information. This incredible snowmobile area didn’t just happen. It was the result of many thousands of hours of donated time by many dedicated volunteers who have put in tireless hours since 1970 to build the family sport of snowmobiling in the Okanogan Country. They are volunteers with vision, who worked with the U.S. Forest Service and state Department of Natural Resources to obtain memoranda of understanding to allow trail grooming on hundreds of miles of roads and trails in the mountains and meadows of Okanogan Country. These volunteers brush out the roads and trails before and during the December-to-April grooming season, along with old roads, livestock, fire and communications trails to provide hundreds of miles of boondock riding trails for the more adventure-minded snowmobilers. For your safety, they have bought and installed informational “You Are Here” signs at road intersections and orange diamond confidence markers along the trails. These volunteers meet monthly on county and private grooming councils to keep the trail groomers operating and monitor the results and frequencies of the grooming program.

They serve on the Washington State Parks winter recreation, groomer and finance boards. Warming huts have been built, repaired and maintained – by volunteers – at Thirtymile Meadows, Black Pine, Black Canyon Yukon and Hunter Meadows, to name a few. The Hunter Meadows shelter was remodeled this summer with permission and guidance from the state Department of Natural Resources, a grant from the Washington State Snowmobile Association, donations from clubs and private sources, and more than 8,500 hours of donated volunteer time. These tireless, unpaid Mark Worth volunteers, with support from local clubs and the A snowmobiler soars through the air in the snow-covered mountains of Okanogan Country. association, have made the mountains and meadows of Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Washington State Parks, with last year’s funds Okanogan Country a fantastic place to Program and local groomer advisory providing dollars for this season’s grooming, snowmobile. committees. snowplowing, law enforcement, administration Snowmobile programs are self-supporting The license fee for snowmobiles goes to and sanitation. in Washington and are managed by the

See Trails Page 5

Okanogan Country 2012-2013 Snowmobile Guide

Mark Worth

Snow-dusted trees and sunny skies abound.

©2012 The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle Owned and operated by Eagle Newspapers, Inc. Roger Harnack, editor and publisher Cary Rosenbaum, project editor • Dee Camp, layout Lynn Hoover, advertising manager Katie Montanez, project designer P.O. Box 553 • 618 Okoma Drive, Omak, WA 98841 509-826-1110 • 800-572-3446 • fax 509-826-5819 www.omakchronicle.com Photos courtesy of Mark Worth Cover photo: Mark Worth Special thanks to Washington State Parks and Gary Allard for providing beautiful maps and helpful input for this project.


Bonaparte Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 52 miles of groomed trails.

Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.

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Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.

Highlands Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 18 miles of groomed trails.

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Mark Worth

Powdery snow billows out behind a snowmobile.

Trails from Page 2 The program also is supported by nonhighway gas taxes collected under a formula set by the state Legislature. At this time it is not the total amount of the tax collected by the state for snowmobilers’ fuel usage. The Washington State Snowmobile Association, www.wssa.us, was founded in 1972 and is staffed by volunteer officers, 10 district board members and various committee chairpersons. It is now trying to secure the full amount of non-highway snowmobile gas taxes being returned to the program. SnoPark permits provide for plowing roads to “winter permit use only” parking areas. The snowmobilers of Washington have been providing free use to others (besides wheeled vehicles) of its groomed trails for more than 40 years. In my opinion, it has been underappreciated due to the increasing snowshoe/cross country skier conflicts encountered in the last five years. If it is your first time to Okanogan Country, I would suggest visiting the town of Conconully. It is a small town of about 200 very friendly people, founded in the late 1800s during the silver mining boom days and is nestled in the eastern foothills of Washington’s Cascades Mountains. The town is about 20 miles northwest of Omak at about the 2,300-foot elevation, and lodging and restaurants are open in winter. You wouldn’t want to miss Conconully’s famous Outhouse Race the second weekend in January. More information is available about Conconully and services at www.conconully.com. See you on the snow! Dick Coppock is the District 2 North board member for the Washington State Snowmobile Association and the group’s land use chairman.

Mark Worth

Dramatic scenery awaits snowmobilers in the mountains of Okanogan Country.

A snowmobile becomes a flying machine. Okanogan Country offers more than 380 miles of groomed snowmobile routes, some on highmountain roads and trails, and others on county roads.

Mark Worth


Kerr Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 128 miles of groomed trails.

Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.


North Summit Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 34 miles of groomed trails.

Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.


County designates snowmobile routes Riders share some roads with wheeled vehicles The Chronicle OKANOGAN - Snowmobilers can ride alongside wheeled vehicles on portions of more than three dozen Okanogan County roads. Included on the list are roads connecting Chesaw and Molson. Most of the nearly 133 miles of roads are open to snowmobile and vehicle use through April 1. The only exceptions are during log hauling as posted by state or federal agencies, and a limited period of weekends and only from midDecember to Jan. 1 for some roads. In addition, Conconully allows snowmobile use on town streets. Designations of county roads open to snowmobiles on limited weekends and holidays are made each November. The 201112 list, which is expected to remain the same for 2012-13, includes:

Gold Creek Loop, milepost 0.58-0.83; Gold Creek, milepost zero to 1.03; West Chewuch, milepost 5.74-6.74; Texas Creek, milepost zero to 4.77; Campbell Lake, milepost zero to 1.03; Twisp River, milepost 6.87-10.75; Eastside Chewuch, milepost 5.79-7.25; and Lost River, milepost zero to 0.5 and milepost 6.2-6.98. Roads open from early November to April 1 are: West Buttermilk, milepost zero to 1.04; East Buttermilk, milepost zero to 0.54; Cub Creek, milepost zero to 2.5; Lester, milepost 3.3-5.68; Bill Shaw, milepost 0.61-9.3; Watson Draw, milepost 3.28-8.2; North Star, milepost 14.45-15.51; Chiliwist, milepost 4-8.74; Olema, milepost zero to 1.88; West Fork Salmon Creek, milepost zero to 3.1; Loup Loup Canyon, milepost 3.8-12.79; Peacock Mountain, milepost zero to 2.45; Buzzard Lake, milepost 0.08-13.78; Windy Hill, milepost zero to 4; Mineral Hill, milepost 0.054.03; North Fork Salmon Creek, milepost 0.45-1.92; JH Green, milepost zero to 6.98; Sinlahekin, milepost 0.17-5.44; South Fish

Rider’s-eye view: Untouched snow offers an inviting route up a steep mountainside.

Mark Worth

Lake, milepost zero to 1.6; Stalder, milepost zero to 2.84; Myers Creek, milepost 1.73-3.12; Bonaparte Lake, milepost 1.5-6.11; Summer, milepost zero to 2.47; Paradise Hill, milepost 7.2-12.65; Tunk Creek, milepost 17.71-19.98;

Mary Ann Creek, milepost 0.5-7.86; Nealey, milepost 5.7-9.32; Bartroff, milepost zero to 1.95; Myers, milepost zero to 1.68; Bolster, milepost zero to 3.53; Chesaw, milepost 18.4519.29 and milepost 20.1-20.53.

The Winthrop Inn 110 N. Main Street, Conconully • 509-826-1272

“Kitchenettes, TV, Wireless Internet”

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www.comstockmotel.com • comstockmotel@gmail.com

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cjcycle@communitynet.org 16-A Hwy. 7 (5 miles S. on SR 97) Tonasket, WA 98855

509-923-2571 www.pateros.com

Bus: 509.486.2720 Fax: 509.486.2595

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*APR- Annual Percentage rate. *OAC – On approved credit. Up to 90% financing available on approved credit. Rate shown is with premier member discount. Rates displayed are the lowest available to qualified borrowers. Terms and rates may vary depending on borrowers credit history. Rates do not apply to internal refinances. Rates shown are effective 10/1/2012 and are subject to change without notice.

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OMAK MARINE ! !

OMAK 826-0057

BREWSTER 689-3215

OROVILLE 476-3902

TWISP 997-2026

REPUBLIC 775-3355

Conconully: Your Trailhead to Adventure & -++

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Arctic Cat Snowmobile & ATVs 128 Columbia Street, Omak www.omakmarine.com 509-826-4711

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OWN THE MOUNTAIN WITH A SKI-DOO.

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1930 N. 2nd Ave., Okanogan 509-826-5771 www.shopxtremepowersports.net ©2012 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, ™ and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. *Result based on independent third-party dyno test. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US, Inc. Always ride responsibly and safely. Always observe applicable local laws and regulations. Always wear appropriate clothing, including a helmet. Don’t drink and drive. 1107459

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Crawfish Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 33 miles of groomed trails.

Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.

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Yellowjacket Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 100 miles of groomed trails.

Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.

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Area offers hundreds of miles of trails Loop rides abound in Okanogan and Ferry counties’ mountains, forests The Chronicle OKANOGAN — More than 380 miles of groomed snowmobile trails exist in Okanogan County alone, with many running out of statemaintained Sno-Parks sprinkled throughout the county. In the greater Okanogan Country area lie hundreds more miles of trails in both flat and mountainous countryside. Sno-Park permits, which allow parking at the plowed-out areas, are available at various retail stores. Information on permits and vendors is at www.parks.wa.gov/ winter/permits/. Sno-Parks require day use or season permits. Okanogan County There are cabins at Thirtymile Meadows, Black Pine, Black Canyon Yukon and Hunter Meadows. Trails on roads cross over the mountains between the Okanogan and Methow valleys, with one running over Baldy Pass from Conconully to Boulder Creek Sno-Park. The 55-mile trail makes for a roughly three-hour round trip. Another popular run from Conconully leads to the Loup Loup Ski Bowl. Running about 40 minutes one way, it makes a nice trip when the ski area is open and riders can stop at the lodge for refreshments before riding back. Snowmobiling is popular throughout the area, with groomed trails also available in the Highlands and Methow Valley. Popular trails include Black Canyon in the southern Methow Valley; Bonaparte, north of Wauconda; Boulder Creek and Eightmile, both north of Winthrop, and Kerr, northwest of Conconully. Okanogan County annually designates county roads on which snowmobiling is allowed. Ferry County Ferry County also offers snowmobile opportunities. The Boulder Pass area between Curlew and Orient features snowmobiling areas, and can be accessed from the Boulder Pass Interpretive Center and information site.

Mark Worth

Sometimes the snowmobile route takes daring riders straight up a mountainside. Hall Creek offers 27 miles of groomed trails and some ungroomed Forest Service roads. From Republic, take Highway 20 east for 6.8 miles. Turn right on Hall Creek and drive 3.2 miles to the unplowed road. Swan Lake offers 71 miles of groomed trails. From Republic, take Highway 21S for 6.5 miles and turn right on Scatter Creek Road. Follow Scatter Creek to the bottom and unload. Another way to access the trails is to travel west on Highway 20 for 8.2 miles and unload at Sweat Creek. Trails run to Swan, Ferry, Long and Fish lakes. Empire Lake to Kelly Mountain is another favorite trail. The trail offers 65 miles of groomed trails covering Empire and Ward lakes as well the Horseshoe and the Kelly Mountain Loop.

Mark Worth

Deep snow falls in Okanogan Country, to the delight of snowmobile riders.


Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.

TWISP CHEVRON SUB SHOP • Recreation Supplies • Pay at pump or inside • Coldest beer in town • Lottery

Sub Shop 509-997-3181

Twisp River Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 58 miles of groomed trails.

Featuring Paoli’s Pizzas and Daily Lunch Specials. 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call ahead and have your lunch ready when you get here!

24 HOUR FUELING


Black Canyon Sno-Park Groomed Trail System Area has 100 miles of groomed trails.

Road number and mileage labeled between junctions.

Tamarack Saloon

Come warm yourself by the fire!

CONCONULLY LAKE RESORT Cabin Rentals 509-826-0813 102 Sinlehekin Rd., Conconully


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Snowmobile Guide 2012  

Your guide to snowmobile routes in Okanogan County for the 2012-13 winter season.

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