Hike the Similkameen Trail

Rate this Adventure 9.7 miles 35 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by John Sunich

Hike an easy section of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, while enjoying spectacular views high above the Similkmeen River Gorge.

The Similkameen Trail is a short section of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail(PNT) as it heads west from the the town of Oroville, WA following an old railroad grade in the heart of the Okanagan.

From the trailhead in town you'll head west for 1.5 miles before coming to an alternate trail head along Loomis-Oroville Highway.   Shortly after that intersection you will come to the 375 foot long girder bridge crossing which towers 90 feet over the Similkameen River below.  The river at this location is confined to a narrow steep sided gorge which makes for some great opportunities for photography.  In the fall you may be able to see some spawning salmon down below.  

Once across the the bridge you may fairly regularly encounter deer, coyote, ground squirrels, marmot, rabbits, and many types of birds, On a less frequent basis you may also encounter a bear or cougar. In the warmer months be on the look out for rattlesnakes as they are very common in this area.  

For the flower lover, plan your visit for early to mid spring when there can be some beautiful wildflower scenes to photograph along this section of trail.   However, the area is also a free range grazing area so you will likely see some cattle or at least signs of them.

After traveling another 2 miles past the bridge you will come to Enloe Dam.  The dam is no longer used for generating hydroelectric power, however much of the structures and equipment are still there.  There are also some more great opportunities to photograph the dam spill way and Coyote Falls from a short below the dam itself.  

For now the official trail ends at Enloe Dam, but there are plans to continue it further to the ghostown of Nighthawk, which would include an .6 mile long train tunnel a couple miles past where the trail currently ends.

If you want to explore further up the SImilkameen Valley you may alternately drive along the Loomis-Oroville Highway where there are views of where the trail will go when its completed as well as some beautiful photo ops around the Enloe Dam Rd.

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Running
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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