Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands

Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands

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Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands

The diversity of the Okanogan Highlands, an international area between southern British Columbia, Canada and Northeastern Washington State, U.S.A. is vast. Spanning an area of over three million acres, with multiple mountain ranges including the Monashee, the Beaverdel Range, the Kettle River range, the Okanogan Range and the northeastern foothills of the North Cascades this area encompasses a layering of complex eco-systems. Rivers in the area include the Similkameen, the Okanogan, the Kettle, the San Poil and the Columbia. This album will focus on the winter season of the Okanogan Highlands, which lasts from late October through April (elevation specific).
Wildfire Scars of Copper Butte
Okanogan Highlands monadnock

Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands Forests

The forests of the Okanogan Highlands vary by elevation, aspect and geographic location within the Highlands themselves. Mid, southern slopes can be a mixture of open spaced, towering Ponderosa Pines and encroaching Douglas Fir with the higher regions giving way to Lodge pole Pine and Alpine Fir. Mountainous wetlands are usually cottonwoods with large, branchy Spruce. Quaking Aspen groves are found on moist but open slopes. The hot, dry summers and heavy fuel loading on many of the mountain slopes equate to a fire prone ecology in these highlands. Many of the panaramic photographs I post of this area show the scars where large scale forest fires have traversed the landscape.
Aspen Grove, Kettle River Valley, March
Quaking Aspen ~ Winter, Okanogan Highlands

Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands Summits

Ferry County, Washington, contributes to a total of 120 named mountain summits and peaks in the Okanogan Highlands. Okanogan County adds another approximate 80 named mountains. While I oft ski, and trek in neighboring British Columbia, my personal expertise is skewed toward the United States side of the highlands and I do not have an accurate account of the number of named summits and peaks in the Canadian portion of the Okanogan Highlands.
Big White Mountain Summit
Copper Butte

Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands, Recreation

With multiple mountain ranges and numerous peaks at this 49 degree latitude there is abundant opportunities for winter recreation in the Okanogan Highlands. Colville National Forest maintains groomed cross country ski trails on Boulder / Deer Creek Pass in the Kettle River Range. In the same mountain range the trail from Sherman Pass to Sherman Peak and Snow Peak hut is very active in the winter season. Highlands Ski Park on the north slope of Bonaparte Mountain is a well established cross country ski venture. There are four ski areas in the Okanogan Highlands including the large Big White Ski area in the northern reaches of the highlands, Mount Baldy near Rock Creek B.C. is another moderate sized ski slope. Phoenix out of Grand Forks B.C. and Sitzmark in the Havillha area are the two smaller ski areas. Of course, with these open mountains one can venture out on skis or snowshoes without engaging an established recreation site.
Mount Baldy, Summit Sunset

Winter ~ Okanogan Highlands, Wildlife

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep
Curious Raccoon


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