Washington: Okanogan County

Okanogan County (pop. 41,120) is Washington’s largest county, in square miles. It is pronounced “oak-a-NOG-in.”

The Columbia River is the county’s southern border.

The 115-mile Okanogan River flows from north to south through the county. The river begins in British Columbia.

Okanogan River Valley, near Riverside

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).

Okanogan County Courthouse (1914)

The county’s largest city is Omak (pop. 4,845), located nine miles northeast of Okanogan.

Omak Theater (1939)

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.

Such rocks are known as “glacial erratics.”

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.

Part of the Omak Stampede rodeo

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).

Chief Joseph Memorial

South of Nespelem, the Grand Coulee Dam (1942) crosses the Columbia River between Okanogan and Grant counties.

American’s largest producer of electricity

NEXT: DOUGLAS COUNTY

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