Methow Rapids Natural Area Preserve

native shrub-grassland
This 85-acre preserve protects examples of two rare types of native shrub-grassland that were once found over much of the valley floors and foothills of the Okanogan River and northern Columbia River. The site, located on gently sloping ground next to the Columbia River, is strewn with large granite boulders left behind by melting glaciers 12,000 years ago. A number of shrub steppe or steppe-dependent birds, including the sage thrasher, Brewer’s sparrow, grasshopper sparrow, and loggerhead shrike, are known to use the site. The Carlton Complex wildfire burned through virtually all of the preserve in 2014, removing most of the shrub cover but leaving an intact native grassland.
Features Protected: Antelope bitterbrush/bluebunch wheatgrass plant community and smooth sumac/bunchgrass plant community
Ecoregion: Okanogan (Okanogan County) 

native shrub-grasslandScience, Research and Monitoring

Public and private universities, other research institutions and individual researchers may contact DNR to propose a research project at the site. If you are interested in pursuing research at Methow Rapids NAP, please contact David Wilderman, natural areas ecologist, at

Environmental Education and Public Access

Currently, no formal educational programs are available at Methow Rapids NAP. The site is not ADA accessible and facilities are not available. For more information, contact the DNR Northeast Region natural areas manager.