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Bonaparte Trail

Eastern Washington > Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
48.8129, -119.1236 Map & Directions
Length
11.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2700 feet
Highest Point
7250 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
The original 1914 lookout on Bonaparte Mountain. Photo by austineats. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Summits
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

This trail welcomes hikers, equestrians, and ORVs alike an a trail that climbs from Bonaparte Lake to the still actively staffed Bonaparte Lookout. Two lookout, the historic and the more modern one, perch and squat respectively atop the summit of Bonaparte. Continue reading

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Hiking Bonaparte Trail

This 5.5 mile trail welcomes hikers, equestrians, and ORVs alike an a trail that climbs from Bonaparte Lake to the still actively staffed Bonaparte Lookout. Two lookouts perch and squat respectively atop the summit of Bonaparte.

The more modern, taller tower is a huge, stout affair bedecked with solar panels and all manner of communication equipment. Nestled at its foot is the original 1914 fire lookout. This fantastic bit of history is now ignominiously being used as a tool shed.

There are several options to approach this peak. The southern approach, which utilizes a network of Forest Service Roads. The first couple of miles climb steadily through ponderosa forest. Soon, the trail levels out, contouring around to the north side of the mountain. At two miles, the trail comes to a junction with the Antoine Trail 304.

As you hike, notice that the trail keeps reinventing itself. As the aspect and elevation changes it switches between ponderosa pines to lodgepole pines, then to whitebark pines. In several spots there are colorful larches interspersed in the canopy.

After three miles, the trail joins an ATV track towards the summit. The track may be rutted from motorized use, but it also provides a no-nonsense, efficient way for the Forest Service to supply the lookout.

This last stretch along the road lasts for about 2.5 miles, leading to a large summit that is fun to explore. A picnic table exists, a hitching post for horses, the aforementioned 1914 fire lookout, and a very creative snow melting operation to supply water to lookout personnel. The views are expansive and many rock benches are exposed inviting one to lounge and linger in the warm autumn sun.

WTA Pro Tip: Consult your map before heading out -- it is possible to construct a few loops in this area using other trails that interweave with the Bonaparte Trail.

Hike Description Written by
Austin Smith, WTA Correspondent

Bonaparte Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.8129, -119.1236 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From the small town of Tonasket, drive 16 miles on Havillah Road (County Road 9467), then turn right on Forest Service Road 33 (Meyers Creek Road.). Continue for four miles to Forest Service Road 3300-300, and take Forest Service Road 3300-300 for 2 miles to Bonaparte Mountain Trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Eastern Washington > Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range

Bonaparte Trail (#306)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

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Bonaparte Trail

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