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"A True Jewel": Hiking in Oroville

The Seattle Times recently called Oroville's hiking trails "a true jewel" and one of the "gems in the high desert beauty of Okanogan Country". Oroville is the midway point of the Pacific Northwest Scenic Trail, the 1,200 mile trail from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, through Montana, Idaho and Washington. For those curious for a taste of the renowned trail, the trailhead is within walking distance from downtown Oroville.

Whistler Canyon Trailhead, just south of town, offers scenic views of the Okanogan River, Valley and Pasayten Wildreness. The trail is a completed portion of the Pacific Northwest Trail and sightings of bighorn sheep sightings are common.

The Similkameen Trail, a rail to trail conversion, offers hiking, biking and wildlife viewing. The trail follows the Similkameen River into the river gorge for incredible views and crosses the impressive 375-foot Girder Bridge, completed in 2010 for pedestrian use. The bridge is high above the river and provides excellent viewing for salmon and steelhead runs and leads you along the river for a view of the 1919 Enole Dam.

For a true "local" experience, visitors can try the Cactus Mountain Trail, aka "The Oroville Grind", located off of Eastlake Road at the entrance to Veranda Beach. The Trail is 1.3 miles with an elevation of 699 ft and offers stunning views of Osoyoos Lake. Once at the top, hikers can either enjoy the scenic views of the valley stretching from Tonasket all the way into Oliver, BC, Canada or try to beat the record for fastest time.


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