Methow Valley

For the President’s Day Weekend Mia and I both took Friday and Tuesday off from work and made the looooonnnnggg trip up to the Methow Valley in Washington.  We stayed in Mazama just 12 miles outside of Winthrop.

It’s a 7-ish hour drive from the PDX area up to Winthrop.  This was one of the major reasons for making it a 5 day weekend.  When you spend 14-15 hours total drive time, it is nice to have several days in between the two trips.

The drive is actually pretty nice.  The Columbia River Gorge never gets old, and everything on the Washington side was all new to both of us.  We crossed into Goldendale, WA and more or less followed route 97 for most of the way.  We traveled through the Yakima Nation Reservation, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and into the Methow Valley.

We brought our mobile security system/garbage disposal/alarm clock

The Methow Valley itself is pretty spectacular.  It boasts the most USA Olympic athletes per capita.  In the Sochi Olympics, the valley have 3 XC skiers representing the USA.  It’s the XC ski tie-in that was one of the biggest reasons for this mini vacation weekend.  You see, the valley has over 200KM of XC ski trails, add to that fat biking trails, snowshoe trails and even some dog friendly trails, and it was a no brainer.

We took full advantage of all those options with a snowshoe trip on Saturday, XC Skiing on Sunday, hiking on Monday and fat biking on Tuesday morning before heading back home.

My snowshoe partners
Group “selfie”
Trails were beautiful!

The weather was perfect the whole time we were there.  Highs in the upper 30’s and lows in the mid 20’s.  The trails setup nicely overnight after refreezing.

We skied the “River Run” Loop which was super beginner friendly (been about 4-5 years since we last did some XC skiing) but also had some stunning views of the Methow River and Goat Wall.

Our rental house looks up at that wall.
Me and Mia
Awesome views!
More awesome views (and my beautiful wife)
Bridge over the river that you can ski right over
More awesome views

For me the highlight was fat biking.  We only got in 1.5 hours due to the long drive home facing us, but it was a total blast.  We rented from Methow Ski and Sport.  The one thing I recommend…reserve your fat bike about a month in advance.  This was one of the reasons we ended up riding on Tuesday instead of Saturday or Sunday.  I waited until the week before to call.

Mia rippin’ it up
Sun, clear sky, bikes = Awesome!
Did I say how great the views are?

The town of Winthrop looks like something straight out of an old western.  They even have a wooden boardwalk for more of downtown.

Downtown Winthrop, WA

There are a fair amount of dining options.  We hit up the Old School House Brewery on Friday night.  It was pretty good, worth the 45 minute wait.  Got to share our table with a retired couple from DC, Dick and Carol, very cool couple.  I hope Mia and I are that spry and vigorous when we get into our late 60’s.

Old School House Brewery

We also did the 3 Fingered Jacks Saloon, mediocre,  I recommend skipping it and breakfast at 3 Bears Cafe and Quilt Shop.  Little pricey, but excellent food and coffee.

All the rest of our meals were at our rental house, The Goat Wall View.  We rented the “Not-so-big House”, which was perfect for just the two of us and Codi.

Big House and Not-so-big House, basically a converted garage

Two things really stood out about this rental.  The first was the views from the back yard up at Goat Wall.

our backyard for the weekend

The second part was the Methow Trails literally crossed right over the driveway.  So you could honestly walk out your front door and being skiing in just seconds.

Even Codi felt right at home.

A sure sign you’ve had a good day….a pooped out pup.

We will definitely be making a trip back up here.  It may become our west coast Bar Harbor.  It’s about the same travel time, and offers similar options for outdoor fun.  I do think the next trip will be in the summer for some mountain biking and hiking though.

Thanks for reading


5 Comments Add yours

  1. adventurepdx says:

    Did you manage to do anything in Twisp? That’s my favorite of the towns in the valley. Spent a day there on tour in 2011.

    1. onrhodes says:

      Twisp is where we got our groceries for the weekend and also hit up Blue Star Coffee on the way out. I wished we had hit up Cinnamon Twisp Bakery too, but ran out of time.

      1. adventurepdx says:

        Blue Star was good. I remember getting the Route 20 blend since we were touring 20!

  2. Gosh, you are right, the views couldn’t be any more scenic than those are. Everything about it looked like so much fun & you were lucky to have 4 beautiful days. I like your, not so big, rental house & It seems Codi did too. Glad it was a good time for both of you & Codi…

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