Like the Spokane Centennial and other urban trails, the Similkameen Trail is a jewel. A rail-to-trail conversion, this paved and graveled route offers visitors opportunities for biking, hiking, birding, wildlife sighting and wildflower-spotting. Photographers will love the river views, biologists the salmon viewing, and history buffs the story of the trail.
The trail follows the Similkameen River into the river gorge for incredible views. A 375-foot bridge -- the impressive Girder Bridge, completed in 2010 for pedestrian use, is 86 feet above the Similkameen River and provides excellent viewing for salmon and steelhead runs. This trail is a section of the much larger Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT) which ultimately will span from Glacier National Park to the Olympics.
The wide and flat trail offers great views of a treacherous-at-times river and the hilly, shrub steppe climate of the northern Okanogan. Kruger Mountain looms over the scene, defining the boundary between the US and Canada.
The 1919 Enloe Dam offers an impressive sight in a narrow portion of the gorge. Further on is an abandoned railway tunnel where it cuts off a bend in the river known as “Shankers Bend”. The huge timbers supporting the entrances of the tunnel speak of another era. This entire rail system was created to haul ore to market. Dredgers can still be seen in the shallows of the river looking for the elusive flecks of gold.
The history of the Okanogan and Similkameen Valleys is told through interpretive signs along the trail and the local high school has placed benches at viewpoints throughout. The most popular part, and the destination (if you can have on on a thru-hike) is Similkameen Falls, a real treat for hikers.
WTA Pro Tip: For a seven mile hike, there is another trailhead. In Oroville, follow the signs to The Old Depot Museum and Visitors Center. The trailhead is just up the street from the museum. Follow signs for the Oroville Trailhead.
- 4.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 40 feet
- Highest Point
- 940 feet
Hiking Similkameen Trail
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.9475, -119.4593 Open in Google Maps