NCW Communities

North Central Washington is a three county region, spanning more than 10,000 square miles of mountains, high desert, dramatic river valleys, dynamic communities, stellar research and education opportunities, emerging technologies, agricultural bounty, small towns and growing cities.

Chelan County

Chelan County is on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain range in central Washington. Lake Chelan is the third deepest lake in the country. With its nearly year-round sunshine, it has developed into an all-season outdoor recreational destination.

Agriculture is still the dominant industry in Chelan County (with 21.4 percent of total covered employment in 2019). The industry which provided the second highest number of jobs in Chelan County in 2019 was private health services with 14.6 percent of total covered employment.

Tourism related industries (especially hotels, eating and drinking places, and amusement and recreation services) also contribute to the local labor market with two very popular areas for the state: Lake Chelan and Leavenworth. Lake Chelan is a great tourist area in the summer. Leavenworth provides year-round tourism with a Bavarian-themed village that hosts an Oktoberfest festival and has multiple ski resorts very close to town.

Douglas County

Douglas County is located near the geographic center of Washington. The Columbia River binds it on the north, the west and the south. Grant County, formerly a part of Douglas County, is on the east. Douglas County is geographically diverse with elevations ranging from 600 feet above sea level near the Columbia River to more than 4,000 feet on Badger Mountain. Basalt rock outcrops and glacial erratics can be found in close proximity to fertile farmland. Irrigated orchard lands are located primarily in the lower elevations while dryland farming dominates the upland areas. Forested areas and areas with steppe shrub vegetation provide diverse wildlife habitat in the county.

With an area of 1,820 square miles, Douglas County ranks 17 in size of Washington’s 39 counties. The estimated 2014 population is 39,700 providing a population density of 21.8 persons per square mile.

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Okanogan County

Okanogan County is located in North Central Washington, bordered on the north by British Columbia, Canada, the Columbia River to the south, the Cascade Mountains to the west, and Ferry County to the east. The County covers 5,281 square miles, making it the largest county in Washington. Only 30% of the land within the county is in private ownership due to the amount of state and federal land. The Colville Indian Reservation, located in the southeast corner of the county, occupies approximately 700.000 acres of Okanogan County and is an integral part of the heritage of the county.

The county has a population of 38,400 people. Okanogan, with a population of 2,415, is the second largest city in the county, and the county seat. Omak, the largest city in the county has a population of 4,495. (Additional city populations)

Agriculture and forestry are the major economic generators for the county and are the foundation for the region. Government, retail trade, services, and manufacturing are a few of the major employers within the county.

Omak, the regional center for services and trade, is experiencing a great deal of growth. There is also increasing commercial development pressure in the area between the Canadian border and Oroville.

The City of Coulee Dam is the location of Grand Coulee Dam, one of the largest concrete structures in the world, and largest electricity producer in the United States. The Dam also has a visitors center with guided tours, background movies, and extensive information of the region.

The Methow Valley, located in the western portion of the county, is quickly becoming a destination for outdoor lovers and enthusiasts and includes hundreds of square miles of cross-country ski trails, snowmobile parks, mountain biking, fishing, camping, hiking, and offers many tourist accommodations and weekend get-a-ways, and a possible four seasons destination resort.

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Confederated Tribes of Colville

The Twelve Bands compose the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation:
Chelan, Chief Joseph Band of Nez Perce, Colville, Entiat, Lakes, Methow, Moses-Columbia, Nespelem, Okanogan, Palus, San Poil, Wenatchi

Total Size: 1.4 Million Acres (2,100 Square Miles), Tribal Enrollment Total: 9,520

Promoting tourism through out NCW in a joint partnership between the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway and the North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD).

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