Parks and Recreation Properties in Pend Oreille County

Pend Oreille County Park

The park has a front area with a parking lot and restroom. Beyond the gate is an overnight campground, a day-use picnic area, and an extensive trail system:

The front is open year-round and will accommodate around 8 cars. There is an ADA accessible vault toilet, two interpretive signs, and a large park sign.

The gate is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. May 1st to November 1st (depending on the weather), and from dawn to dusk November to April 30th.

The campground includes one single vault ADA accessible toilet, freeze proof water hydrant, 26 campsites (most with fire rings and picnic tables), and a self-service pay station which costs $10.00/night. Camping is allowed from May 1st to November 1, depending on the weather. Click on this link for more details on the camping rules-

Also behind the gate is the day-use picnic area that includes an open picnic shelter, picnic tables, fire rings and BBQ grills, one drinking fountain, a freeze proof water hydrant, one single vault ADA compatible toilet, and a large parking lot that will easily accommodate 20-25 vehicles. The parking lot is large enough to also accommodate school busses and large RVs. The day use area is free.

The trail system includes over 7 miles of hiking trails. This includes one main loop trail (Big Sky Loop) and a variety of adjoining trials and loops. The trail system may be accessed year-round for hiking, snow-shoeing, and cross country skiing from the park entrance parking lot or from the day use parking lot during times gate is open.



Rustler’s Gulch

The Rustler’s Gulch area was donated to Pend Oreille County by the Washington Department of Natural Resources in May of 2009 with the stipulation that the 560 acre parcel be used exclusively for the purpose of providing fish and wildlife habitat, open space or recreation. It is located in the south end of Pend Oreille County approximately 1 ½ miles northwest of Pend Oreille County Park and adjacent to the West Branch Little Spokane Wildlife Refuge managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The area is currently open to Off Road Vehicles (ORV) and is used mostly by surrounding landowners and some regional recreationists for hunting. The proceeds from logging on this parcel provide funding for the Parks and Recreation Board.

In 2011, a portion of this area was logged and produced an income of $340, 659.00.

Yocum Lake Wildlife Recreation Area

The 80 acres surrounding and including the south half of Yocum Lake was acquired by Pend Oreille County through a land trade with Stimson Lumber Company in 2005. In 2008 it was designated The Yocum Lake Wildlife Recreation Area by the County Commissioners. The adjacent US Forest Service’s Yocum Lake Campground, which is accessed from the west by a Forest Service road, is a primitive campground that is walk-in only.

No motors are allowed on the lake.

There is a separate, county maintained primitive access road that comes in from the south. This road, leading directly to the County maintained boat launch, is open as soon as crews are able in the spring until snow forces its closure in the fall. There is a loop that goes down to the gravel boat launch that allows easy access for vehicles and boat trailers.

Yocum Lake, in the past, has provided good habitat for nesting loons.

The Yocum Lake Wildlife Recreation Area does not have the capacity to serve large amounts of visitors especially since it is important that the pristine and primitive aesthetics of the area be protected. The road is primitive and access by 4 wheel drive vehicles is recommended. Once at the lake, there is no parking lot so vehicles and boat trailers must park along the road adjacent to the boat launch. There are no restroom facilities. Dispersed camping areas on county property can probably accommodate only 2-3 small groups of over-night campers.

Rules and regulations:

  • No wake zone on lake
  • No combustible motors on lake (electric okay)
  • Pack out your garbage
  • Leave No Trace camping acceptable
  • Follow all WA State fishing regulations
  • No Discovery Pass required

Sweet Creek Rest Area

The Sweet Creek Rest Area is a natural and scenic 38 acre parcel situated on the North Pend Oreille Scenic Byway and the Selkirk Loop (State Route 31) about 1 ½ miles south of Metaline. It was developed in 3 different phases with the help of the Department of Transportation grants as an enhancement project of the International Selkirk Loop plan. Sweet Creek bisects the site. The highlights of the area are three waterfalls; the lowest waterfall is located a short walk from the parking area.

This rest area offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, picnicking and recreating in a quiet, natural setting. There is a large parking lot for 13 cars and 5 larger RVs or trucks, a two toilet vault restroom, trash receptacles, and two short trails. The north trail is the shortest and leads to the lower falls. The first part of the trail is paved and provides access to 2 different private areas with picnic tables. The second trail takes off from the south side of the rest area and leads to a viewpoint at the top of the falls. There are six picnic tables along this trail. There is also an interpretive sign near the restroom explaining the history of Sweet Creek and the former logging operations in that area.