The Methow Valley is defined by its natural beauty, and students of nature will not be able to resist visiting the Valley's quiet corners and diverse habitats.
Winter offers a special opportunity for naturalists, young and old, to learn about the fascinating adaptations that winter creatures make to survive the challenges of harsh conditions, or to follow an animal track, revealing the story of its travels and patterns on snow. The Big Valley Trail (multi-use and free) can take you on a self-guided tour of the Valley's natural wonders with the help of its 7 interpretive signs. If you prefer to sign up for a class to get a jump-start on your knowledge of place, there are plenty of options:
Nature of Winter Tours
The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA) hosts snowshoe tours throughout the winter. Local naturalists lead the tours which are about winter ecology, wildlife and tracks, snow and more. These family-friendly tours leave from the North Cascades Basecamp and Sun Mountain Lodge at 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays and holidays. Visit the MVSTA website for exact dates. Tours last 90 to 120 minutes. $5 snowshoe pass required. Rentals, passes and maps available at Sun Mountain Lodge, Mazama Ski Shop, Methow Cycle and Sport, or Winthrop Mountain Sports.
North Cascades Basecamp
We are hosting weekly natural history lectures (campfire series during summer, soup night series during the winter), retreats and workshops take place throughout the summer and winter seasons. Our mission is to "to inspire and cultivate connections to the natural world through art, education, and field study programs". See our website at for more information on our myriad of upcoming programs.
Keep an eye on the Methow Conservancy website. On the 1st Tuesday of each month, the local land trust offers an evening program, more often than not related to nature studies. Always high quality, always free and open to the public.