Winthrop Washington has the largest groomed cross country ski trail system in North America with 120 miles (200km) of groomed trails.
With over 120 miles of groomed, interconnected cross country ski trails, surrounded by more than a million acres of wilderness and forest lands, the Methow Valley is a winter wonderland like no other.
Methow Trails operates the nation’s largest cross-country ski area of 120 miles of trails where Kids 17 and under ski free everyday on the cross-country ski trail system. The Loup Loup Ski Bowl operates another 23 kilometers of Nordic trails located across the parking lot from the alpine ski area.
A weekend trip to the Methow will create a convert for the first time cross-country skier, and seriously whet the appetite for avid Nordic skiers who has never had a chance to ski the Methow before – one could spend an entire winter exploring the endless trail system.
Dog lovers will find themselves right at home in the Methow thanks to the over 35 miles of trails that allow dog access, not to mention three of the Rendezvous Huts that allow for canine overnight guests.
The Methow Valley ski trails are divided into three distinct areas listed below, all linked by the Community Trail. See maps, grooming and trail recommendations at www.methowtrails.org
Novices or mixed ability groups will enjoy spending their time on the Mazama Trails, a great area for learning to cross-country ski. Machine groomed tracks over flat and rolling farmland, along the Methow River and through aspen and pine woodlands, offer scenic day tours. Some visitors plan their entire trip around lodge-to-lodge skiing. Mazama trails are all valley-bottom and are beautiful. Ski as long as you want and then treat yourself to the bakery for a well-deserved reward.
Sun Mountain Trails
The Sun Mountain Trails offer scenic views, mixed terrain and the first morning sun on your day of exploring. An ideal destination for families or groups with mixed abilities, that want to see the Methow from a different perspective. Youngsters will enjoy short rolling loops, while more ambitious skiers go for longer expedition – and there’s a warming hut at the base to reconvene at, not to mention the spectacular Sun Mountain Lodge.
For the seasoned skier, you can’t beat the snow, sun and scenery of the Rendezvous trails. Enjoy views of the North Cascades and the Methow Valley from 4000 foot high trailside overlooks. The most ambitious skiers can ski up and over the mountains from Cub Creek to Mazama. A great reconnaissance trip so that on your next three-day trip to the Methow you can experience an overnight expedition using the Rendezvous Hut system. Five huts are dispersed along the Rendezvous Trails and are available for nighty rental all winter long.
Skiers looking for a journey might try the Community Trail. The Community Trail runs 30km from Mazama down to the town of Winthrop. The gentle trail is rated “easy” most of the way, with a 5km stretch in the middle that includes some short climbs and rolling terrain over ancient glacial moraines. Plan your rest stop at the incredible Tawlks Foster Suspension Bridge along the way.