Fifty-six runners age 4 and up gathered at Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands on Sunday, June 30, to participate in OHA’s 2nd annual Get Lost! Trail Race event. This year, the fundraiser for OHA offered a 3-mile race in addition to the half-marathon, 7-miler, and free 1k kid’s race.

“A highlight of the day for me was the amazing people,” said AJ Baker, half-marathon winner for the men’s division, “especially considering I was an unfamiliar face to most, I felt so welcomed by everyone involved with the event.” He added, “the course and surrounding area were incredible. I’m glad there are opportunities like this to experience the beauty of the Okanogan!”

“It was a beautiful day,” said Erin VanderStoep, who ran the 7-mile distance. She added: “The sun was shining, the loons were laughing, and the wildflowers were in full bloom on top of Strawberry Mountain; it couldn’t have been a more beautiful course on a more beautiful day.”

A huge thank you to…

  • Our volunteers who helped facilitate the event
  • This year’s sponsors: Tonasket Natural Foods Co-Op, Lee Frank’s Mercantile, North 40 Outfitters, Big 5 Sporting Goods, and REI Co-Op
  • The runners for supporting OHA!

Click here for full results!

Get Lost! 2019 Trail Race results
Saturday, July 13th, 2019
Students use iPads for field monitoring at the Triple Creek restoration site with George Thornton (2016)

Many of us carry smartphones as cameras and for a few of our favorite apps, but are you curious about other apps that might help you explore the natural world?

Learn how to make your phone or tablet into a suite of resources for identifying a wide variety of natural elements, from wildflowers and wildlife to trees and mountain peaks. Participants can choose from our list of apps prior to the event, depending on what aspects of the natural world community members most want to explore. If you have a favorite app you think we should include on our list, email julie@okanoganhighlands.org with your suggestion. See for a full list of

The group will visit a site with a panoramic view of the Pasayten Wilderness, and practice identifying peak names. We will then explore the Lost Lake Wetland and Wildlife Preserve, using apps appropriate for the species we encounter. After the event, participants are encouraged to enjoy Lost Lake with swimming, canoeing, or kayaking, and continued observations of the beautiful and diverse plant and animal species that make the lake and forest their home.

The group will explore plants and animals at Lost Lake using a variety of apps

Due to the nature of the outdoor event, participation is limited, and priority registration is currently being offered for OHA members. A waiting list will be generated on a first-come, first-serve basis. To begin or renew OHA membership and be first in line to register for the summertime events, community members can donate online, or contact OHA for more information. Further details will be provided to those who register for the field trip. To sign up for this event, please email julie@okanoganhighlands.org or call 509-476-2432.

One indicator OHA uses to measure change over time at our restoration sites is the migratory songbird population, using a timed point-count method.

We conduct a point-count bird survey at our Myers Creek mitigation site near Chesaw for one morning in late May or early June. We visit several stations and record which bird species we observe at each — near and far, during two different timeframes. Some interesting species we have seen in past years include the Black-headed Grosbeak, Gray Catbird, Eastern Kingbird, and Clay-colored Sparrow, among many others.

Pre-registration is required, and event details are provided to those who sign up. The survey route covers just under two miles of very uneven terrain with some sidehill hiking and no established trail; please ensure that this kind of activity suits your fitness level and stamina if you wish to participate. There are no restroom facilities onsite, but there is an outdoor toilet available in the town of Chesaw (bring your own TP).

If you bird by ear and/or sight and would like to share your skills, please contact madeline@okanoganhighlands.org. Let us know if you’d like to be invited to other bird surveys in the future, and we’ll be sure you are on our email list!

See below for photos from the annual event at Myers Creek over the years. Thank you to all the volunteers who have contributed to this important effort since 2011! We hope that as the habitat improves, it will be capable of supporting an increasing diversity of bird species! In our 2019 survey, we observed 30 different species!

Runners gathered at Lost Lake in the Okanogan Highlands on Sunday, July 15, 2018, to participate in the first annual Get Lost! Trail Race event. The event was a fundraiser for OHA, and offered half-marathon and 7-mile distances, in addition to a free 1k kid’s race. Twenty-six runners participated in the adult distances, which included varied terrain and ascended Strawberry Mountain for a panoramic view of the highlands.

The women’s 7-mile winner, Stella Crutcher of Tonasket, stated, “This was my first trail race, and the course was mentally and physically challenging to say the least. Whether it be the course’s 850-foot climb within the first 1.5 miles, or the mental challenge of completing the race.” The morning mountain run treated runners to cooler temperatures and wildflowers provided a serene backdrop to the challenging course. “The landscape was very beautiful and it encouraged me to keep on running.” Crutcher explained. The men’s half-marathon winner, Jason Llewellyn of Chesaw, spoke highly of the race, stating, “Running the 1st annual Get Lost trail race was an awesome experience,” later adding, “The volunteers from OHA did an amazing job putting this all together. What an awesome organization to be a part of!”

On Friday, March 24th 2017, OHA celebrated 25 years by hosting a fundraising concert, variety show, and dinner at the Community Cultural Center of Tonasket for the release of OHA’s Highland Voices CD. We enjoyed an evening of delicious locally-sourced food, original music, and appreciation for the people who have been a part of OHA over the years.

Continue reading

OHA hosted Tonasket’s first ever “Trashion Show” at the Community Cultural Center as a fundraiser in 2013. Today, the annual April event is coordinated by the Green Okanogan recycling center.

© Okanogan Highlands Alliance 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Go Back