A high, undulating trail with changing views of surrounding hills whose south sides are carpeted by grasses and wildflowers and whose north sides are heavily wooded with Douglas firs, ponderosas, and Western larches (tamaracks). The trail is named after Virginia Lilly, a regional resident who loved the beauty of the high Okanogan landscape and who believed that the “discovery of landscape and the discovery of self are inseparably linked.” We believe in that concept – while exploring and learning about place, or about nature, you can’t help but to explore and learn about yourself, your mettle, what makes you tick….
Activities. Hiking, trail running, practicing GPS use.
Fitness: 1+ (advanced beginner)
Skill: 2 (intermediate). The trail is rather indistinct in places and some combination of signs, cairns, trampled grass, diamonds nailed to trees, blazes, and sawed logs and instinct will help you figure out where to go. It’s fun as the trail seemingly goes cold to try to figure out where to pick it up again.
Maps. See our topo map. Note: Use ‘Print Preview’ to orient/scale the map before printing.
GPS File: For the waypoints noted on our map, go here. Download the file ‘ VirginiaLilly-Loop.gpx‘
Length: 3.5 mile loop. Signage at trailhead and Forest Service literature says the trail is 2 miles long but our GPS track begs to differ and puts the mileage at 3.54 miles.
Elevation Gain: The trail has no single long climb but it undulates continually and, in total gains, 850 vertical feet.
Access. At the south end of Tonasket, turn east on Highway 20 and drive 20.3 miles from Tonasket to Milepost 282.2. Turn left (north) on Bonaparte Lake Road (aka Road 32). Drive 7.2 miles on Road 32 (about 1.5 miles past the Bonaparte campground) and turn right on gravel Road 3240. Follow this good gravel road (fine for passenger vehicles), spurs for 6.7 miles; then turn left onto Spur 177 (signage marks this spot). Park immediately in the grassy lot. No permit required.
-Follow the doubletrack road uphill for 0.25 miles. At the trailhead sign, follow the trail as it makes a long traverse to the south. Once the trail hits the ridge it doubles back and heads north, generally following the spine of the hills. After about 1.5 miles the trail loops back and heads south for about a mile and half maintaining a slightly lower elevation. This part of the loop returns you to the lower parking area where the car is parked.
Land Ownership. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Allowed. Hiking, trail running. Not allowed. Motorized use.
Fees/Permits. None needed as of August 2013.
Reporter: Andy Dappen, 8/25/2013
Leave It Better than You Found It. This should be every user’s goal. Do no damage and pick up trash left by others.
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.
This post was originally published on 8/1/14.