Okanogan County is located in North Central
Washington, bordered on the north by British Columbia, Canada, the Columbia River to the
south, the Cascade Mountains to the west, and Ferry County to the east. The County covers
5,281 square miles, making it the largest county in
Only 30% of the land within the county is in private ownership due to the amount of state
and federal land. The Colville Indian Reservation, located in the southeast corner of the
county, occupies approximately 700.000 acres of Okanogan County and is an integral part of
the heritage of the county.
The county has a
population of 38,400 people. Okanogan, with a population of 2,415, is the second largest
city in the county, and the county seat. Omak, the largest city in the county has a
population of 4,495. Other cities within the county are: Brewster (2,055), Conconully
(177), Coulee Dam (890), Elmer City (310), Nespelem (235), Oroville (1,615), Pateros
(595), Riverside (305), Tonasket (1,025), Twisp (1,000), and Winthrop (375). The county
has an unincorporated population of 21, 764, while the incorporated population is 15,136,
with a density of 7 persons per square mile.
Agriculture and forestry
are the major economic generators for the county and are the foundation for the region,
which employs approximately 5,756 people. Government, retail trade, services, and
manufacturing are a few of the major employers within the county. Omak, the regional
center for services and trade, is experiencing a great deal of growth. There is also
increasing commercial development pressure in the area between the Canadian border and
Oroville. The City of Coulee Dam is the location of Grand Coulee Dam, one of the largest
concrete structures in the world, and largest electricity producer in the United States.
The Dam also has a visitors center with guided tours, background movies, and extensive
information of the region. The Methow Valley, located in the western portion of the
county, is quickly becoming a destination for outdoor lovers and enthusiasts and includes
hundreds of square miles of cross-country ski trails, snowmobile parks, mountain biking,
fishing, camping, hiking, and offers many tourist accommodations and weekend get-a-ways,
and a possible four seasons destination resort.