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Naches Ranger District
Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forests
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Naches Ranger District
Located on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains at
the southern end of the Wenatchee National Forest, the Naches
Ranger District encompasses 518,982.61 acres. The District
is west of Yakima with two major mountain passes intersecting
it, Chinook Pass to the north and White Pass to the south.
Our neighbors to the west and at the crest of the Cascades
are Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Rainier National
Park and Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest. To the north
is the Cle Elum Ranger District, the Yakama Indian Nation
to the south, and a mixture of private lands and Washington
State Dept. of Wildlife lands to the east. There are checkerboard
land ownerships on the fringes of the District to the north,
east and south.
November 2015 Recreation Report
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The Naches Ranger District is part of the Snoqualmie National
Forest, but is administered by the Wenatchee National Forest.
You will see this on maps and perhaps some signing..
After the formation of the Cascade range, repeated lava flows
and glaciations over the last few million years produced many
lakes, deep canyons and unusual rock contours such as Kloochman
Rock east of Rimrock Lake and Boulder Cave on the Naches River
near Cliffdell. This variety of geology and a wide difference
in precipitation across the forest has lead to diversity in
vegetation which changes with elevation and moisture from
grass and sage in the lowlands, through stands of heavy timber,
to alpine meadows at the highest reaches. Areas of the Cascade
crest can receive over 100 inches of rain and as much as 20
feet of snow each year. To the east an average of 10 inches
annually results in near-desert conditions
From many vistas there are spectacular views of Mt. Rainier, Mt.
Adams, and other mountain peaks. Within our boundaries are 224,503
acres of Wilderness, established by Congress to preserve the wild
character of the land. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail winds
in and out of the District on its way from Mexico to Canada. Wildlife
is abundant and you might see elk, deer, black bear and mountain
goats, as well as other species. Flower-filled meadows follow the
receding snow, extending the season into late summer.
Our Ranger District has hosted many uses over the years. Historically
Indians hunted and fished while miners filed their claims searching
for elusive minerals and trappers took their bounty to market. Huge
bands of sheep roamed the hillsides tended by solitary herders.
Today, a few cattle and sheep use the Ranger District for summer
grazing, but the wealth of water, wildlife and scenery attract mostly
the recreation-minded travelers.
The District offers some unique opportunities for recreation and
a variety of natural resources. The historic Naches Pass Trail,
for both motorized users and hikers, traces the path that early
settlers used to reach Seattle, the last stretch of their journey
from back east. Boulder Cave National Recreation Trail is one of
the most popular places on the District. Visitors enjoy the accessible
trail along the river or hiking to the very unique Boulder Cave.
In the fall thousands of people come to experience white water rafting
on the Tieton River. Both of the major highways that transverse
the District are noted for their scenic quality. In 1931 the U.S.
Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Interior established the Mather
Memorial Parkway (a 50 mile stretch of State Route 410) for its
outstanding scenic and recreational values. In 1998 the Federal
Highway Administration dedicated State Route 410 as an All-American
Road. U.S. Highway 12 has received the designation of Scenic Byway.
Interpretation and environmental education take place in the forest
and in the local community. An interpretive display trailer is used
at the Central Washington State Fair, sportsmen shows, and community
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests
The 2.2 million acre Wenatchee National Forest stretches over
135 miles from upper Lake Chelan on the north to the Yakama Indian
Reservation on the south, 25 to 50 miles wide, and extends from
the Columbia “breaks” to the Cascade Crest. Elevations
vary from approximately 800 feet along the eastern border to nearly
9,500 feet along the western crest.
Vegetation varies from the grass-shrubs along the lower east edge
of the Forest through the ponderosa pine zone, Douglas-fir and true
fir zones to the sparsely forested alpine zone at higher elevations.
Precipitation, which comes mainly in the form of snow, varies
from approximately 140 inches along the Cascade Crest to a low of
10 inches along the eastern fringes. Although scattered lightning
storms frequently pass over the Forest throughout the summer, the
Wenatchee enjoys many days of clear, sunny weather and summer daytime
temperatures in the 80’s with nighttime temperatures in the
40’s to 50’s.
The Wenatchee’s clear eastside weather accounts for its recreation
popularity. Each year it ranks in the top 10 of 155 Forests in the
Nation in visitor use. The 125 developed campgrounds provide a camping
capacity of nearly 12,000. For more information: www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee
The Okanogan is a stunning and unique National Forest. It is one
of the nicest surprises in the Pacific Northwest. There are a variety
of country sites from craggy peaks to rolling meadows, to rich old
growth forest, and classic groves of ponderosa pine. It is called
the Sunny Okanogan and for good reason. Summers are hot and dry
and winters are famous for brilliant clear skies and plenty of snow.
The forest has two distinct sides, east and west, referred to
as the Okanogan (o-ka-na’gun) and Methow (met’-how)
valleys. Each area is a unique experience in itself and together
they offer a variety of things to see and do.
Okanogan’s specialty is providing outdoor recreation, particularly
trails and backcountry. Two congressionally designated Wilderness
areas provide thousands of pristine acres where you can travel on
your own or with one of several outfitter guides operating within
the forest. There are lakes to swim in, routes and roads to explore
by mountain bike and scenic drives including the North Cascades
Scenic Highway, the first national scenic highway in the nation.
For more information: www.fs.usda.gov/okawen.
Welcome to Discover Your Northwest
Sales outlet located in Naches Ranger Station,
10237 U.S. Highway 12, Naches, WA 98937, Phone: 509-653-1401, Office Hours are Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 8:00am-12:00pm and 12:30pm-4:30pm. No permits (including woodcutting permits) or passes will be sold after 4:00pm.
We're a nonprofit cooperating association dedicated to deepening
public appreciation of the rich cultural history and spectacular
natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We do this by helping public
land agencies provide quality interpretive materials to the visiting
public. We also help them publish interpretive books, maps, trail
guides, and other media. You can help support our local interpretive
programs by shopping at the NWIA sales outlet in the Naches Ranger
Your Purchases Make A Difference
Your purchases help provide direct support for really worthwhile
things like purchasing materials and equipment for special displays,
completing interpretive projects when Forest Service funding isn’t
available, publishing trail guides and other interpretive materials
that help the visiting public better understand and appreciate the
The NIWA Sales office in Naches carries a large variety of items
such as books about everything you
can imagine relative to the local area, field guides, history and
more, maps, Smokey Bear memorabilia, stuffed animals, nature games,
puzzles, postcards, key chains, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and much
Educating for the Future: Linking People, Nature, and History
What we are
We're a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation based in Seattle, Washington
and licensed to operate in Oregon, Idaho, California, and Montana.
We belong to a special category of nonprofits called "cooperating
associations," which was established by Congress in 1936 to
operate in national parks for the purpose of assisting with the
parks' official interpretive and educational efforts. We were founded
in 1974 and have steadily grown ever since. Today, cooperating associations
work with all of America's national public land agencies as well
as many state and local agencies.
We are partnered with several organizations, as listed below.
We help our partners operate their interpretive bookstores and work
to enhance visitor appreciation by supporting a wide variety of
on-site educational projects. Our partners are:
Where you can reach us:
Discover Your Northwest
164 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98104
Customer Service: (877) 874-6775
Business Office: (206) 220-4140
Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8 to 5 pm.
For more information on services provided by the
Naches Ranger Station, please contact:
Naches Ranger District
Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forests
10237 U.S. Highway 12
Naches, Washington 98937
Tel. (509) 653-1401
Fax (509) 653-2638
TTY (ASCII & Baudot) 1-800-833-6388
Dial 7-1-1 for a free connection
to the state transfer relay service for TTY and voice calls.
Caring for the Land and Serving People