Okanogan County (pop. 41,120) is Washington’s largest county, in square miles. It is pronounced “oak-a-NOG-in.”
The 115-mile Okanogan River flows from north to south through the county. The river begins in British Columbia.
In Canada, the river and the region are spelled “Okanagan,” not “Okanogan.”
The county seat of Okanogan County is the city of Okanogan (pop. 2,552).
The county’s largest city is Omak (pop. 4,845), located nine miles northeast of Okanogan.
Just east of Omak, above Omak Lake on the Colville Indian Reservation, is the Omak Rock. This balanced rock was carried from its original location by Ice Age glaciers.
For more than 70 years, Omak has had an annual Suicide Race – a horse race that goes 225 feet down Suicide Hill, a 62-degree slope, to the Okanogan River.
On the Colville Reservation, Chief Joseph (1840-1904), leader of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce, is buried in the town of Nespelem (pop. 236).
South of Nespelem, the Grand Coulee Dam (1942) crosses the Columbia River between Okanogan and Grant counties.
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