Cities, Towns and Chambers
Brewster on the Columbia River. The Okanogan Indians lived here long before Brewster became a bustling settlement and apple industry town, and many still live here today. They fished the Columbia River using fish traps and then dried the fish on fish drying racks. American Indians made seasonal excursions throughout the region to take advantage of fishing, hunting, and food gathering opportunities. Attend the Budweiser-Lowrance King Salmon derby on the first full weekend in August. Brewster is known as the “apple capitol” of the byway and home to some of the largest apple processing facility along the byway. Visit Brewster Chamber.
Conconully’s nselxcin name, from the Okanogan Indian language, is “sk’wnk’wanlq”, which means “garden; place of abundance.” Conconully is where an Okanogan Indian Chief, Conconulux, lived. Conconully’s mining past was mired by natural and economic disasters, but the town survives today as a peaceful rural community. A plethora of recreational opportunities await enthusiasts in every season,including water activities on the clear blue Conconully Lake and Reservoir, surrounded by mountains and amazing scenery. Visit Conconully Chamber.
The county seat of the early 1900s in Okanogan is still visible today with the firehouse (today’s historical museum), the courthouse, old flour mill, and the Cariboo Hotel. Historic architectural styles from the early 1900s through the 1950s are visible throughout Okanogan. Murals of Frank Matsura’s photographs (1903-1913) capture the culture and spirit of early 1900s town and countryside life. Visit the Okanogan City website.
Omak is filled with a variety of cultural opportunities: residents and visitors can attend the annual Stampede and Suicide Race, view an event at the state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, or kick back in a lawn chair at the annual Art in the Park festival. The annual Omak Stampede Suicide Race and Indian Encampment have been a community tradition for nearly 80 years. Viewing the annual rodeo and Suicide Race from the seats in the new Stampede Arena is an astounding spectacle that shouldn’t be missed as part of a visit to the byway. Visit the Omak City website.
Historic Oroville Train Depot Museum and once the home of a large tomato cannery, remnants of Oroville’s frontier and agricultural roots are a treat for visitors. Oroville is the gateway to the Upper Highlands Recreation Area and the Highland Historic Loop Drive. The original nselxcin name of the lake, “Osoyoos:su?iw’s” means “dry in the middle.” The traditional use of the lake area was a campsite and for horse races by Okanogan Indian. The Oroville May Festival, founded in 1934, is held the 2nd Saturday in May. Visit the Oroville Chamber of Commerce.
Pateros and the Methow-Columbia Confluence. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Methow Rivers, Pateros was an important meeting place for the region’s tribes during salmon runs. Today fishermen still flock to the river to enjoy the age-old sport on Lake Pateros. Visitors can take part in the Apple Pie Jamboree, enjoy water sports, fish, golf, hike, snowmobile, hunt or attend the Pateros Hydro Races. Take a stroll along the river and go back in time on the historical walking tour and learn about Pateros’ colorful past. Visit the Pateros Chamber of Commerce.
The town of Tonasket was named in honor of Chief Tonasket of the Okanogan Indians, who historically used the present town site as an encampment. It now serves as a hub for agriculture, ranching and logging and is the gateway community to the Many Lakes Recreation Area to the west. Visit the Tonasket City website.