Hike, Ski & Play in the Methow Valley

The Methow Valley in northern Washington lurks between the Okanogan National Forest and Lake Chelan National Recreational Area as stealthily as a native mountain lion.

Hiking trails traverse the entire 70-mile valley, from a moderate climb toward the Goat Peak Lookout to the challenging Maple Pass Loop. The Twisp River Trail is a great introduction to mountain biking, while serious cyclists should take on the arduous Buck Mountain Loop.

In winter, many of these same trails transform into 120 miles of groomed Nordic ski trails, considered the finest integrated system in the Pacific Northwest. Ice skaters spin onto Winthrop’s outdoor ice surface or glide on Patterson Lake. Snowshoe routes and the throwback Loup Loup Ski Bowl round out a winter’s worth of recreation.

Culture also thrives here year-round. There are annual wine and chamber music festivals and an impressive array of entertainment options, including rhythm and blues, a raft of speakers, theater and performances.

Nobody “just happens” upon the Methow, but once you arrive, you’ll never want to leave one of Washington’s finest four-season destinations.

Learn more about Washington's North Central region.

—Crai Bower

Photo credit: Ed Stockard

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