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McLaughlin Canyon Trail

Eastern Washington

Location

Eastern Washington -- Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
View map below

Length

3.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 200 ft.

Rating

4.00 out of 5

 
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

The McLaughlin Canyon Trail is a part of the Brigade Trail used by the Hudson's Bay Company in the early 1800's and became known as the Caribou Trail during the Gold Rush in the 1850's. Today it is an easy 3 mile round trip. There was a wildfire here in 2007, but wildflowers are just starting to take hold in this area, which makes it worth the trip in spring and summer.

Back in the 1850s, these trails diverged from the Okanogan River as the shoreline was impassable and climbed into the confined canyon. This became the perfect ambush site. On July 29, 1858, Native Americans from the Chelan, Okanogan, and Columbia tribes ambushed a group of approximately 160 prospectors in McLoughlin Canyon. Six of the travelers are killed, about nine others are wounded, and several Indians may have been killed. The miners withdrew crossed the river and continued their journey amid sniping and theft of stock, but no one else will be killed.

Today, the trail descends the canyon and overlooks the Okanogan River. Even with a wildfire so recent, it is interesting and beautiful to see life returning to the canyon. One note: watch for blowdowns.

 

McLaughlin Canyon Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.6513, -119.4383 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Eastern Washington -- Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range

Bureau of Land Management

See weather forecast

Getting There

Four miles south of Tonasket WA, take McLaughlin Canyon Rd for three miles to trailhead on north side of road. Trail is on the south side of road.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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McLaughlin Canyon Trail

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