With over 200 kilometers of groomed, interconnected trails, surrounded by more than a million acres of wilderness and forest lands, the Methow Valley is a winter wonderland like no other. A weekend trip to the Methow will create a convert for the first time xc skier, and seriously wet 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 50+km 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, all linked by the Community Trail (see maps, grooming and trail recommendations at www.mvsta.com:
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 via the Mazama Country Inn, Mazama Ranch House, North Cascade Basecamp and the Freestone Inn. Mazama trails are all valley-bottom, so hit the Mazama Store for a bakery treat while you wait for the snow to soften after a cold night.
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 30km 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. The European tradition of mountain hut skiing is affordable, simple and safe. Perfect for a groups of friends and families. Five huts are dispersed along the Rendezvous Trails and are available for nightly rental all winter long. Freight hauls are optional.
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 Supsension Bridge along the way.