Near the mid-point of the ride and its high point (4,480 feet) you’ll reach Crawfish Lake, a forested mountain lake where the National Forest Campground makes a good place to rest and, on a hot day, take a cooling swim. From the lake, the elevation you gained is given back in a forever descent down through the Colville Reservation and through the scenic French Valley.
Activity. Cross biking, mountain biking, road riding. Twenty miles of this loop are on gravel and dirt roads that will be most efficiently navigated on a cross-bike (aka cyclo-cross bike). Lightweight cross-country mountain bikes can be used on the loop as well. Road riders won’t want to take on the entire loop but can enjoy a very scenic 48-mile out-and-back ride leaving Omak for Riverside and then cycling up the Tunk Creek Road until it turns to gravel.
Distance and Elevation. The complete Crawfish Lake Loop as described is 59 miles long and climbs from Omak 850 feet to Crawfish Lake at 4,480 feet. With rolls in the terrain the loop gains a total of 6,500 vertical feet.
Skill: 2 (intermediate)
Fitness: 3 (advanced)
Recommended Season: Spring, summer, fall
Trip directions. We recommend doing the loop in a clockwise direction. This has you climbing on the most scenic, best graded, and least traveled roads. It also has you returning to Omak along Highway 155, a highway with only a so-so shoulder, going downhill . This minimizes your exposure time to high-speed traffic.
*Leave Omak and ride 8.4 miles into downtown Riverside using Robinson Canyon Road, Bide A Wee Road, Greenacres Road, and the Riverside Cutoff Road.
*At Riverside, cross the river on the bridge and ride about a 0.3 miles to a T intersection.
* Take a left on Tunk Creek Road (TCR), noting the sign for Crawfish Lake. Parallel the Okanogan River for about 2 miles before starting the hard work of climbing up, up, and up some more. After 15.2 very scenic miles on the TCR, the road turns to gravel. Worry not, this won’t relieve you of more climbing.
* 4.3 miles from where the road turned to gravel you’ll reach a prominent intersection where you’ll veer right on Forest Road 30-100. A half mile from this turn, reach the entrance to the Crawfish Lake Campground (run by the Forest Service). This is a good place to relax and/or swim before starting the much easier return trip which is primarily downhill.
* Upon leaving the campground turn right and ride east on Road 300-100 for 2.4 miles to another prominent intersection. Go right here following signage noting Haden Creek. Now just stay on the largest arterial as you head mainly downhill for 5.5 miles where you’ll hit an intersection with the Lyman Lake-Moses Meadows Road (LLMMR)
*Turn right and follow the LLMMR, a much larger gravel road, for 7.4 miles until you intersect Highway 155, which is paved.
* Turn right and follow Highway 155 for 15 miles into downtown Omak. The highway rolls some but is still mainly downhill.
Map: See our topo map.
More Rides: Maps and details of other regional rides can be found in our road riding guidebook.
Fees/Permits: None needed.
Reporter: Andy Dappen 08/22/14
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Leave no trash and pick up some 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 may not know all the issues affecting a route.You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.