Set between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Cascade Mountains to the west the Okanogan Highlands is not only a geographic area but a geologic region of the inland Pacific Northwest. This area encompasses portions of southern
British Columbia, Canada, and northeastern in the Washington
State U.S.A. The expanse of the area lay east of the (a spur of the Okanogan Mountains North
Cascade Range) and stretches west just beyond the boundary of . This mountainous terrain takes in portions of the Idaho State line into the western edge of the Rocky Mountains , and the Canadian
Monashee Range to the north. The stateside mountains include the Beaverdell
Range , the Selkirk, the Chewelah, the San Poil, and Kettle River Range .
The Okanogan Highlands north / south boundary definitions extend from the north in the
, east of Coldstream
Valley to the southern reaches of Vernon, British Columbia on the Lake Roosevelt Columbia
River upstream of Grand Coulee
Dam in . Moving east the southern boundary follows the Spokane River to the foothills of the Rockies. Rivers within the Okanogan Highlands include the Washington State , the Columbia
Okanogan River Kettle
River and West Kettle River, the the Grandby River and the San Poil River. Similkameen River
TheThe Encompassing Area
Columbia River divides the
Okanogan Highlands into two geographic regions - east and west. My primary focus is within the western region south of the Canada / U.S. border.
|Generalized map of the Okanogan Highland area created with datum from WA DNR geological services|
An inter-net search will note differing boundaries of the Okanogan Highlands. These variations are cultural, not geologic. Cultural interpretations may change over time based on linguistic norms, and specific populations, which explains in part the misunderstandings of this geographic area. Current local norm (stateside) has the Okanogan Highlands extending from the foothills of the Cascades in the west to the Columbia River in the east. There is also a cultural area locally known as the Columbia Highlands, which essentially is the eastern portion of the geological Okanogan Highlands region, east of the Columbia River.
|Washington State regions WA DNR Geologic Services|
In this blog I'll show portions of the Okanogan Highlands area touching on the landscape, wildlife, ecology, history, geology and archaeology. I hope you enjoy and learn a little something about this unique and beautiful area. Please use the PAGES to the right of the screen for more info and to tour the Highlands...
|Mount Bonaparte, Okanogan Highlands, photo J. Foster Fanning|