North Central Washington: What to See & Do

From wildlife watching and ghost-town exploring to cheering competitors at events like outhouse races and rodeos, there's no shortage of things to see and do in Washington's North Central region. Consider these activities in Oroville, Conconully, Chelan, Orondo and Wenatchee.
Washington State Vacation
Washington State Vacation

Stroll through a ghost town.
Once a boom town, Molson, just 30 minutes east of Oroville, went bust with the gold mines, grew with the emergence of the Great Northern Railway, then went bust again with the Great Depression. Today it’s a deserted ghost town that you can explore, with pioneer-era buildings and historic mining equipment still intact.

Spot Washington wildlife.
Wade across the Okanogan River during low-flow summer and fall to reach the Driscoll Islands in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area. See spawning steelhead, chinook salmon, Osoyoos sockeye, bighorn sheep and birds of prey making the most of the river feast.

Attend quirky events.
Conconully (population 210) knows how to have fun, with wacky annual events like the Outhouse Race—each competing privy must be equipped with a toilet seat—in January. And at the Cowboy Caviar Fete every summer, local restaurants serve up their unique take on Rocky Mountain oysters.

Go to the rodeo.
Every August the Omak Stampede invades with competitive rodeo events and the Colville Confederated Tribes’ Indian Encampment and Pow Wow, featuring a tepee village, dancing, drumming and stick games.

Try birding.
Chelan’s Riverwalk Park is a prime place for bird-watching. Warblers, thrushes, goldfinches and even majestic eagles can be spotted here along the Chelan River.

Taste super-fresh Washington cherries.
Taste a new cherry variety in Orondo. The first Orondo Ruby cherry tree was discovered in a Rainier cherry orchard in 2001 and produces extra-sweet, red-flushed fruit that ripens in late June and early July.

Take a selfie.
Herman and Ruth Ohme purchased 40 acres of desolate, dry land—just north of what is modern-day Wenatchee—in 1929 and spent decades creating a natural oasis in the heart of the state. Today Ohme Gardens is a photographer’s paradise with waterfalls, pools, and breathtaking views of the Cascades.

Watch 'em play ball.
Root, root, root for the home team in Wenatchee, where the AppleSox take on other West Coast League contenders, such as the Walla Walla Sweets, Bellingham Bells and Corvallis Knights, in summer. Bring your own lawn chair and snag an up-close seat in the grass along the foul lines.

Learn more about Washington's North Central region.

—Angela Cabotaje