IRIS

Explore Sinlahekin Valley (BLM lands)

  1. Select a Monitoring Location
  2. Learn about Location
  3. Explore Photo Points

About Sinlahekin Valley (BLM lands)

Sinlahekin Valley (BLM lands)
is a coniferous forest and shrub-steppe habitat just south of Loomis, managed by Bureau of Land Management, with 6 photo points monitored year round for land health trends.

About the Land Manager

Karen Kelleher, Field Manager, BLM's Wenatchee Field Office for Bureau of Land Management. Karen may be reached at 509-665-2100 or by email.

At the Trailhead

Travel North from trailhead on Sinlahekin Rd approx. 3.5 miles to Cecile Ck Rd. Turn left (west). Go approx. 2 miles to photo point #6 above road at intersection with Douglas Mtn Rd. Go left to photo points #3, #4, & #5. Go right to photo points #2 & #1.

Located 2.5 miles south of Loomis, the BLM lands in the Sinlahekin Valley consist of approximately 2,834 acres. The BLM lands are adjacent to the 14,314 acre Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

The Sinlahekin Valley, is a deep, glaciated valley with sheer rock sidewalls rising from the valley floor at about 1,100’ elevation to over 4,000’ elevation. The valley ranges from about one-half to one mile wide and is oriented north-south.

The BLM lands are within both the Sinlahekin Creek and the Coulee Creek watersheds. Sinlahekin Creek is the major flowing water body, while Coulee Creek goes underground most of the year. Dominant habitat types are shrub steppe (bluebunch wheatgrass, big sage, bitterbrush, serviceberry), wetland (hawthorn, water birch, mountain alder, grass/sedges), and dry forest (ponderosa pine, Douglas fir).

The Sinlahekin area has more than 510 vascular plant species (including nine rare species), more than 215 species of birds, 60 species of mammals, approximately 20 species of reptiles and amphibians, more than 25 species of fish, and more than 90 species of butterflies. Mule deer, bighorn sheep, moose, black bear, cougar, waterfowl, wild turkey, forest grouse and rainbow trout and many neo-tropical birds contribute to the popularity of hunting, fishing, camping, and wildlife viewing.

Nearly 100 years of fire exclusion have brought change to the landscape and it is not necessarily beneficial to wildlife. Plans for the drysite forests of the Sinlahekin area include fuels reduction activities such as thinning and logging followed by prescribed burning to try to restore fire and its very important effects that create and maintain wildlife habitat. Photo points have been set up to monitor the changes in the drysite forest structure and response of plants and plant communities to the prescribed burning.

Explore the photos taken over time at Sinlahekin Valley (BLM lands)
to see how citizens are helping to generate scientific data.

We're working to restore a healthy, fire-dependent ecosystem dominated by a combination of ponderosa pines and shrub steppe vegetation.

SPONSORS

This project was made possible through support provided by the United States Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior and The Nature Conservancy, under the terms of Cooperative Agreement #07-CA-11132543-049. The content and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the USFS, DOI or The Nature Conservancy, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Preparing for Your Trip

  • Road-side access
  • Year-round

Driving Directions

From Tonasket west on 4th Ave across Okanogan River to the Hwy 7 Junction. Turn right (north) on Hwy 7 and proceed north to the Loomis Hwy Junction continuing on (west) to Loomis. Drive through Loomis and proceed straight (west) into a sweeping left turn onto Broadway Street which turns into Sinlahekin Road. Proceed south on Sinlahekin Road about 3 miles where the road enters Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

From Riverside north on SR 97 to about Mile Post 304.6. Turn left (west) on the South Pine Creek Road. Proceed west about 7 miles where road enters Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.

From Oroville south on SR 97 to Ellisforde, turn right (west) on Ellisforde Bridge Road. Proceed west about 0.75 miles then turn left (south) on Hwy 7. Proceed south to the Loomis Hwy Junction and Hwy 7. Turn right (west) onto Loomis Hwy and proceed west to Loomis. Drive through Loomis and proceed straight (west) into a sweeping left turn onto Broadway Street which turns into Sinlahekin Road. Proceed south on Sinlahekin Road about 3 miles where the road enters Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.