All About the Colville National Forest

Colville National Forest Website

Today’s 1.1 million acre Forest, is located in northeastern Washington, and was first carved out over 10,000 years ago by Ice Age glaciers. Three waves of mountains run from north to south, separated by the troughs of valleys. These ranges – the Okanogan, Kettle River, and Selkirk – once considered foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The Forest has a great variety of ecotypes, from open ponderosa pine with moist sites containing western red-cedar and hemlock, to sub-alpine fir just below the open peaks.

With a great variety in natural resources, the Colville serves as an excellent proving ground for many national and region initiatives such as travel management and recreation facility analysis. 
The Colville also hosts the Region’s healthiest populations of grizzly bear, caribou, and wolf, while also sustaining healthy and productive fuels and vegetation management programs. 
The Forest has a number of units in northeast Washington: a Job Corps facility in Curlew, Three Rivers Ranger Station in Kettle Falls, Republic Ranger Station in Republic, Newport-Sullivan Lake Ranger Station in Newport, and the Forest Supervisor’s office in Colville.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCCs) changed the face of the Colville National Forest during the 1930’s. CCC workers built roads, trails, camps, and buildings, many of which are still in use today. Camp Growden was known as “Little America” because it housed CCC enrollers from around the country, was built west of Kettle Falls. It was one of the largest CCC camps in the area. An octagonal concrete fountain and a restored changing house still stand at the site. The Sullivan Lake and Newport Ranger Stations are also CCC buildings, as are many of the fire lookouts in the National Forest.

The greater populated areas close to the Colville National Forest and within the US perimeter are Ferry, Stevens, Okanogan and Pend Oreille Counties, the Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, and the Spokane Tribe of the Spokane Reservation.

Residents and visitors enjoy the Colville National Forest's wild huckleberries, camping, hiking trails (486 miles), OHV trails, mountain biking, horse trails, lakes, rivers, and streams. The forest also boasts exciting wildlife such as the grizzly and black bears, cougars, bald eagles and the last remaining herd of caribou in the U.S.

1.1 million acres
30,613 cres of wilderness
918,000 acres for sustainable timber production
45 developed recreation sites
764 miles of fish-bearing streams
Provides water for 2 municipalities
  • Your Fees At Work

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    See what was accomplished this last year on the Colville National Forest thanks to recreation fees.