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Methow Valley

Winter

2020-21

Trail M aps Visitor

Information

Activities

FREE

A supplement to the Methow Valley News


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We’re ready for you C

Photo by Ashley Lodato

OVID-related shutdowns in Washington state began just as the winter of 2019-20 was fading away in the Methow Valley. So 2020-21 will be the first full winter that the state’s recovery plan restrictions are in place. The good news is that the Methow has adapted and is ready to welcome all the usual wintertime adventurers. Our traditional seasonal venues – Methow Trails; the Winthrop Rink; Loup Loup Ski Bowl; and the fat bike, snowmobiling and snowshoeing trails – will be open, albeit with some guidelines or restrictions. You can still ice fish on the frozen lakes, or tilt your head to the heavens for unparalleled stargazing. In Methow Valley Winter 2020-21, you’ll find detailed information and guidance about how to take part in anything the Methow offers, including things you can find when you’re not recreating outdoors. When it’s time to locate indoor comforts, the Methow Valley hospitality industry will be ready with a range of lodging, dining, imbibing and entertainment options. Our dining and lodging guides will help you figure out where to stay and eat. You can come fully equipped for all our

activities, or find what you need to buy or rent at our helpful local retailers. Please take note of our advertisers – all are ready to take care of your needs. However long you stay, they will make winter welcoming. Most years, the valley also offers a variety of celebratory gatherings, shopping opportunities and recreational competitive events. Most of them have been canceled, postponed or altered this year, so we are not including our usual calendar of events in Methow Valley Winter 2020-21. Because the status of those offerings may change as winter progresses, be sure to check with local organizations and businesses for the most up-to-date information. You can show your respect and appreciation for our community by wearing protective face masks wherever they are required – and even where they are not – as well as observing other COVID protocols. We are working hard to keep the valley safe for our visitors, and ourselves. Don Nelson Publisher/Editor

FEWER PEOPLE. MORE FUN.

SKITHELOUP.COM

FULL SERVICE SKI & RENTAL SHOP • SKI & BOARD SCHOOL NEW CAFE • TUBING • BEAR MOUNTAIN LUGE O p e ra te d by Lo u p Lo u p S k i Educa tion Founda tion a 501c 3 not-for-p rof it org an iza tion by p ermit from O kan o g an Na tion al Forest. Th is ad fu n d ed in par t by th e O kan o g a n Co un t y Ho te l/ M o te l Lo d gin g Ta x f un d.

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DON NELSON is publisher & editor of the Methow Valley News.

CLIMBING

MARCY STAMPER is a

BACKCOUNTRY SKIING

Methow Valley News reporter.

ANN MCCREARY is a

Methow Valley News contributor.

HIKING & BACKPACKING

CLOTHING & FOOTWEAR

JOANNA BASTIAN

is a Methow Valley News columnist.

ASHLEY LODATO

is a Methow Valley News columnist.

DAVID WARD

is a Methow Valley News columnist.

509.996.2515 • www.goatsbeardmountainsupplies.com Open Daily in Downtown Mazama

SANDRA STRIEBY is a Methow Valley News contributor

Don Nelson |  publisher / editor Ryan Edwards |  design

Tera Evans |  office manager Sheila Ward |  sales associate

A publication of the

Methow Valley News P.O. Box 97, 502 S. Glover St., Twisp, WA 98856 509.997.7011 • fax 509.997.3277 www.methowvalleynews.com editor@methowvalleynews.com

ON THE COVER:

Photo by Donni Reddington

Relief from the chill! Over 175 miles of groomed trails Club rides every weekend Everyone is welcome! Check us out online for updates: mvsnowmobile.blogspot.com facebook.com/methowvalleysnowmobile 4

OPEN EARLY AT 7:00 AM 265 RiveRside Ave. WinthRop

509-996-4241

“where friends and flavors meet” www.rockinghorsebakery.com

passes sold here


A NORDIC PLAYGROUND . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Methow Valley offers the best trail system in North America POWER PEDALING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Enthusiasm for fat biking continues to grow AND THERE’S MORE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Looking for something to do? We’ve got it ICE-BOUND IN THE METHOW . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Experience outdoor skating at the Winthrop Rink AN UP AND DOWN EXPERIENCE . . . . . . . . . 18 Loup Loup Ski Bowl offers alpine skiing and a whole lot more WINTER WALKABOUTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Snowshoeing lets you enjoy the Methow at your own pace GET STARRY EYED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 It’s clear to see why our winter nights are dazzling THE OUTER LIMITS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Snowmobiling takes you far into the backcountry GET YOUR GEAR HERE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Where to rent or buy equipment and clothing ANGLING FOR A WINTER DINNER . . . . . . . . 32 It’s ice fishing season in the Methow VISITOR INFO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 FEATURED LODGINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 FEATURED EATERIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 ADVERTISERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Family owned and operated for over 45 years. We take pride in being your neighbor and offering a great variety:

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Specialty, natural and organic items Full Service Deli Floral Bakery Bulk Foods Produce Smoked Meats Wine and Spirits And an exceptional Meat Department

Come visit us here at Hank’s, where customer service comes first.

hanksharvestfoods.com • 509-997-7711 • 412 E. Methow Valley Hwy, Twisp

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Pipestone Canyon Ranch Event Center (509) 997-9394 facebook.com/Pipestone-Canyon-Ranch pipestonecanyonranch@gmail.com

We are happy to serve you, from one neighbor to another. 5


A Nordic playground The Methow Valley offers the best Nordic trail system in North America B y A shley L odato

F

orty years ago an active and visionary group of valley residents imagined a vast trail system that would provide Methow Valley residents and visitors with unparalleled opportunities for trail-based, year-round recreation. It was a big dream, hinging on open spaces, open minds and a spirit of

cooperation, but it was a popular dream, and one that forward-thinking valley residents could get behind. Thus those of us enjoying that trail system two score years later can only marvel at the complex negotiations with private landowners and state and federal agencies that resulted in the Methow Trails system as we now know it: 200 kilometers of all-season trails smack in the

middle of more than a million acres of undeveloped federal lands. Add state-of-the-art nightly grooming, tasteful and well-placed signage, accessibility, free skiing for kids and those over 75, and you have a giant Nordic playground. Managed and maintained by Methow Trails – www. methowtrails.org – the trails network is the largest, and arguably the finest, Nordic trail system in North America.

Photo by Marcy Stamper

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NORDIC SKIING: the basics COVID PROTOCOL

This is the year to embrace the intimate Nordic experience. Skiing in a large group has its merits – such as camaraderie and friendly competition – but during a pandemic, keeping group size small is prudent. Keep your ski cohort, and definitely your shuttle cohort, to a close circle of people who are already within your bubble, to minimize exposure. Although masks are not required while underway on the trails, skiers are wise to carry masks with them and wear them during shuttles, when taking trailside breaks with other people, and when in the warming huts. It would be highly convenient if traditional buffs were effective COVID face coverings, but they are not, as has been widely publicized. The Buff Company, however, has created the Buff Filter Mask, which does double duty as a face and neck warmer while

also providing bacterial filtration. While using trail amenities such as warming huts, limit your time indoors if others appear to be waiting for their chance to get into the hut, and wear your mask while inside. Keep your breaks at busy junctions short, to avoid having multiple groups congregating in congested areas.

KE Y PL AYER S

Óš Loup Loup Ski Bowl, a community nonprofit ski hill, offers nearly 50 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails near Loup Loup Pass. www. skitheloup.com/nordic-skiing, (509) 557-3401. Óš Methow Trails, a 43-year-old recreation-focused nonprofit organization that establishes and maintains more than 200 kilometers of trail from Mazama to Winthrop. www.methowtrails.org, (509) 996-3287.

FIND TR AIL S

There are five major trailheads

WINTHROP

for access to Nordic skiing in the Methow Valley; three of the main areas are linked. The Methow Trails system comprises three main areas, all connected by the 30-kilometer Methow Community Trail, which stretches from Winthrop to Mazama with spurs up to Sun Mountain and out to Wilson Ranch and Early Winters Creek. The Sun Mountain and Rendezvous areas are the highest and thus tend to be open earliest (often by Thanksgiving) and stay groomed the longest (through April 1 in good snow years).

METHOW COMMUNIT Y TR AIL

The 30K Methow Community Trail (MCT) is the most easily accessed section of trail in the system. Ski moderate terrain through sunny fields or undertake a fun point-topoint ski with some hill climbing in between Mazama and Winthrop. The self-service waxing hut at the

STOP BY FOR ALL YOUR WINTER WEATHER NEEDS! SNOWSHOES SLEDS YAKTRAX™ SHOE/BOOT TRACTION HANDWARMERS SOCKS • GLOVES • HATS FIRE PITS • FIRE STARTERS HEATERS

Winthrop Trailhead is insulated and heated for the coming season.

SUN MOUNTAIN

The Sun Mountain trails offer varied terrain, with everything from sustained hill climbs to some relatively flat loops. A warming hut at the Chickadee Trailhead makes starting in this area quite comfortable and an illustrated “StorySki� makes it an appealing place to take the kids.

RENDEZ VOUS

If you like hills, you’ll want to hit the Rendezvous, accessible from Cub Creek, Mazama and the Gunn Ranch Road. This area has a backcountry feel, even when you’re no more than a few kilometers from a trailhead.

THE LOUP

The Loup Loup Pass area offers a small but worthwhile Nordic option: South Summit. Located 12

METHOW VALLEY SKI SCHOOL & RENTALS SKATE & CLASSIC LESSONS & GEAR

M m Co 509.996.3744 mvskischool.com 950 Highway 20, Winthrop • (509) 996-2150

40 + Y E A R S OF E CELLENT SERVICE

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miles east of Twisp, South Summit features 50K of trails with some dog-friendly options. Trail passes are not required but a Sno-Park permit, available at the Loup Loup ticket office, is. The Bear Mountain Nordic Trails at the Loup are operating when the luge is not, on Wednesdays and Fridays except during holiday weeks.

CHECK IT OUT

ӹ 200-plus kilometers of groomed Nordic ski trails in the Methow Trails system. Methow Trails grooms more than 25,000 kilometers annually. Many welltraveled skiers agree that the grooming on the Methow Trails has no equal. ӹ 50 kilometers of trails groomed weekly in the Loup Loup area. ӹ Daily grooming report and grooming app at www. methowtrails.org. ӹ Peaceful, uncrowded conditions on trails freshly groomed for both skate and classic skiing. ӹ Kids 17 and under ski free every day. ӹ Warming huts at convenient locations along the trail system, including a hut newly placed in the Rendezvous area and a new hut, built by artist Tori Karpenko in the style of a historic mountaintop fire lookout, situated near the base of Powers Plunge. Some of the traditional warming rooms at Mazama establishments are closed this season due to COVID. ӹ Ski rentals and lessons. Learn to ski or improve your technique through private or group instruction. Purchase new equipment or test drive cutting-edge gear. Find information

SPECIAL EVENTS Methow Trails typically hosts numerous competitive events each winter. This year the Ski to the Sun Marathon & Relay has been canceled; look for information about a 10-day virtual race in January and February. Check Methow Trails’ events page for details at www. methowtrails.org/events. Methow Valley Nordic presents several events, including the at www.methownet.com/skischool; cascadesoutdoorstore.com; https:// goatsbeardmountainsupplies.com; www.winthropmountainsports. com; www.methowcyclesport.com; www.louploupskishop.com; www. skitheloup.com. ӹ Almost 30 kilometers of dogfriendly trails. Those passionate about canines and skinny skis will love the opportunity to bring their dogs out on the trails where they’re allowed. ӹ Adaptive skiing options. Adaptive Nordic skiing on a sit ski allows those with long-term physical disabilities as well as those recovering from knee or hip replacements to enjoy the magic of Nordic skiing. Courtesy of the Methow Valley Fund, Methow Trails has three adult sit skis and one child sit ski available for loan in Winthrop and Mazama. With advance notice, they can frequently provide trained volunteer support as well. ӹ Fat bike trails (see fat bike article on page 10).

Methow Valley Ski Camp at Sun Mountain in December and the Lee Adams Tour of the Methow, which gives skiers the choice of 20K, 30K, 50K and 80K stretches of trail in a non-competitive environment. Visit Methow Valley Nordic’s events page for details and updated COVID modifications at www.methowvalleynordic.com/ events. ӹ Snowshoe trails (see snowshoe information on page 24). ӹ Free trails. Methow Trails offers two locations where trail passes are not required: Big Valley and the loop right at the Spring Creek Ranch Trailhead. Please bear in mind that trail pass sales, however, pay for trail grooming. Those Pisten Bullys aren’t cheap and the trails don’t groom themselves. If you’d like to see the highestquality grooming on all of the Methow Trails, purchase a day, multi-day, 10-day punch card, or season trail pass.

WHEN TO GO

From the moment the snow flies until the day it all melts. Methow Trails begins rolling trails with the first snowfall and can groom with heavy equipment as soon as there are 6 inches on the ground. Depending on conditions in the spring, they often groom through April 1. Nordic trails in the Loup Loup area are typically groomed on Thursdays and Fridays.

Some of the best skiing conditions can be found after President’s Day weekend, which is when many visitors stop traveling to the valley. Sunny skies, comfortable temperatures, fast conditions. Methow Trails routes are open from dawn ’til dusk and no one will frown upon an occasional night ski as long as you stay out of the way of the groomers and stay off the freshly groomed trails.

WHO’S WHO

Methow Trails: Executive Director James DeSalvo; Trails Manager Jon Albright; Bookkeeper Becky Studen; Outreach & Access Manager Erika Kercher Halm; Partnerships Manager Adrienne Schaefer; Equipment Manager Brandon Richison; Trails Technician Jay Ellis. Trail groomers are the heartbeat of this organization, but the roster isn’t finalized at press time.

INSIDER INFO

ӹ A new mobile ticketing system is COVID-sensitive and user-friendly. Purchasing a day pass or multi-day pass on your Smart Phone takes less than a minute and saves you a trip into a local retailer to buy a traditional pass. Display your phone to the trailhead ambassador, and you’re off in the tracks. ӹ Back by popular request: 10day punch cards, which offer more flexibility than a 3-day pass (which must be used on consecutive days) and more affordability than a full annual pass. Punch cards must be redeemed from any ticket vendor

snowplowing Take the worry out of winter access!

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and are valid for two years. ӹ The new Try Winter Pass is an excellent way to experience winter from three angles: Nordic, alpine and ice. Purchase a regular season’s pass through Methow Trails, the Winthrop Rink, or Loup Loup Ski Bowl and you’ll receive a threepunch transferable pass worth $76 good for one day at each of those recreation areas. ӹ The Rendezvous Huts (www. rendezvous huts.com) offers a European-style front-country skiing experience, accessed from the Cub Creek, Gunn Ranch and Mazama trailheads. Ski all day, cozy up to the wood stove with a book for the evening. Make your reservations early. ӹ “StorySki” panels illustrated by author/artist Erik Brooks blend literacy with activity and usher young skiers down the trail. Located at Chickadee, Spring Creek Ranch, and Mazama trailheads. ӹ Those tuned in to trail quality probably won’t notice the extensive trimming work that took place along the Community Trail over the summer, but they will notice a marked decrease in the number of areas that were previously shrouded by overhead branches, causing the trails beneath to become icy or bare. And in the drier seasons, these trimmed areas are Firewise compliant. With better tools, increasingly skilled staff, and willing landowners, Methow Trails has been able to hone their tree work skills considerably in recent years.

Ski to the Sun Marathon & Relay Photo by Steve Mitchell

ӹ Methow Trails recently purchased an 18-acre piece of property near Horizon Flats in Winthrop, which will eventually become the headquarters for all of the organization’s operations. Currently, Methow Trails operates out of a small office space in downtown Winthrop and several maintenance and storage facilities throughout the valley, all of which are leased and some of which will be unavailable in future years. Methow Trails will continue to operate out of its current office

until a new facility can be built at the Horizon Flats property. A new trail connects the Susie Stephens Trail to the Horizon Flats property, allowing skiers to ski a loop to see the new property and finish at the Spring Creek Ranch Trailhead. ӹ A brand new Sno-Cat in the Rendezvous area will, under the expert handling of a seasoned groomer, provide skiers with the best possible trail conditions for skate and classic skiing. ӹ Winter recreationists will have

more room to park, a restroom and safety amenities when a new trailhead is completed at the Silver Star gate on the North Cascades Highway. The trailhead will include a parking area that will accommodate 10 to 20 vehicles and trailers, a kiosk with information about the location of avalanche terrain in the highway corridor, a list of recommended safety equipment for winter activities in the mountains, and a station that allows people to check that avalanche beacons are working.

LaFonda Lopez Restaurant

Authentic Mexican Menu

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Lunch • Dinner • Beer • Wine • Cocktails Winter Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday Daily Specials • Dine In or Take Out

997-0247 102 Methow Valley Hwy (Across from

North Cascades Bank)

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Photo by Steve Mitchell

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Power pedaling Enthusiasm for fat biking continues to grow B y A nn M c C reary

Long known for its expansive cross-country ski trail network, the Methow Valley has a growing reputation among fat biking aficionados as a place that has it all. With several different fat bike trail systems, from remote mountaintops to trailheads within minutes of town, the Methow Valley offers an amazing variety of two-wheel terrain for bikers of all skill levels. Sunny days, reliable snow and state-of-the art grooming on 50-plus miles of trails have helped make the Methow Valley a favorite destination for fans of one of the fastest growing winter sports in the nation. The Methow Valley was an early adopter of fat biking in the West, and riding opportunities continue to grow, thanks to a dedicated group fat bike advocates who developed and maintain a network of single track and multi-use trails around Pearrygin Lake and Lloyd Ranch near Winthrop. The trails offer varied terrain from easy to advanced, including challenging climbs with eyepopping views of the North Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness. In the heart of Winthrop, the Town

Trailhead operated by Methow Trails is a hub of multi-use trails for fat bikes, snowshoes and cross country skis, with the Winthrop Rink right next door. That means that family members or friends can choose their own activity in the same vicinity. Additional fat bike trails are available at Gunn Ranch and Mazama. And to get away from it all, the Rendezvous Hut system maintains five high-elevations huts, most with panoramic views, where bikers and skiers can stay overnight. The Methow Valley has several businesses where fat bikes can be rented or purchased, and where knowledgeable folks can guide fat bikers to the best places to enjoy winter on wheels in the Methow.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FAT BIKING ӹ Methow Trails: www. methowtrails.org ӹ Methow Cycle & Sport: www. methowcyclesport.com ӹ Methow Fatbike: www.facebook.com/ methowfatbike ӹ Northwest Fatbike: www.facebook.com/ northwestfatbike ӹ Town of Winthrop: /www. winthropwashington.com

DOWNTOWN WINTHROP 996-2649 Everything you need for Winter Fun!

• Kamik Boots • Wigwam Socks • Snowshoes • Ice Fishing Gear p r ic e s Low e st ! a ro u n d

THE OUTDOORSMAN

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29 Hwy 20 Winthrop 509-996-3645 LoDging • WeDDingS • hAY www.SpringCreekWinthrop.com 11


Weekly Wednesday night ‘Fat & Fire’

Join other fat tire enthusiasts for Fat & Fire, a 60- to 90-minute group ride and campfire every Wednesday night in winter, beginning mid-December (conditions permitting) and continuing through the end of February. The events will follow current health safety guidelines for protection against COVID-19. Meet at 6 p.m. at Pearrygin Lake State Park with your fat bike and a good light for an evening ride. All levels of riders are welcome! Dress warmly and bring layers for the post-ride activities. Participants must provide their own gear. Rentals are available at local outdoor shops. Bring something to throw on the grill for dinner and warm yourself around the campfire. Fat & Fire is free, but a Sno-Park or Discover parking pass is required. For more information call Methow Cycle & Sport, 996-3645.

RENT A FAT BIKE

ӹ Methow Cycle & Sport, 29 State Route 20, Winthrop, (509) 996-3645 ӹ Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies, 50 Lost River Road, Mazama, (509) 996-2515 ӹ North Cascades Cycle Werks, 2 Country Road, Mazama, email

ON AM

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Photo by Steve Mitchell

Pastries & Breads

 Breakfast & Lunch Sandwiches & Bagels  Organic Espresso, Smoothies & Shakes  organic flours & grains

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Sit in or Take out! Open Every Day 7am - 3pm

Downtown Twisp 116 N. Glover Street 509.997.5030 Free Wifi 12

at nccyclewerks@gmail.com or call (509) 996-2225 ӹ Cascades Outdoor Store, 222 Riverside Ave., Winthrop, (509) 996-3480 Note: Reservations for bikes are recommended, especially on weekends and holidays

Backcountry Skiing • Rock Climbing • Alpine Climbing Small Groups • Custom Programs • Personalized Guiding North Cascades • Steven's Pass • Japan • Europe • Canada

O NCM

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ӹ Riders need to confirm trails are open for riding daily on the Methow Trails grooming report (www.methowtrails.org/ winter-trails/grooming/). ӹ Riders must display a trail pass when riding on groomed trails where passes are required. ӹ Purpose-built fat bikes only. All bikes tires must be wider than 3.6 inches and have pressure less than 10 psi. No exceptions. ӹ Riders yield to all other users, stay out of the classic ski tracks, and give skate skiers a wide berth. ӹ Stay on your bike. Footprints damage the trail. Courtesy of Methow Trails

North Valley Lumber 58 Horizon Flats, Winthrop 509-996-2264

Our friendly and professional staff can help you with: -Building Products for Any Project -Windows and Doors -Decking, Siding, and Finish Lumber -Wood and Gas Stoves -Green Egg Grills and Accessories

FAT BIKE TRAILS IN AND AROUND THE METHOW VALLEY

Operated by Methow Trails: ӹ Big Valley Ranch – 4.8 miles of easy riding along rivers and through meadows ӹ Rendezvous – 7.6 miles on Gunn Ranch Road and to Grizzly Hut with panoramic views ӹ Town Trailhead – 6.3 miles of varied terrain, with a gentle trail from the Winthrop Rink or Winthrop Fish Hatchery to more rolling and intermediate riding around Bitterbrush and Barnsley loops ӹ John’s Way – 3.2 flat miles in Mazama Operated in partnership by Methow Fatbike volunteers, Pearrygin Lake State Park and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: ӹ Lloyd Ranch – 7.5 miles of groomed fat bike trails over rolling

hills with great mountain views ӹ Pearrygin State Park – 15 miles of groomed multi-use (ski, snowshoe, fat bike), over rolling hills The scoop on passes … ӹ Lloyd Ranch – Discover Pass required for parking, no trail pass required ӹ Pearrygin Lake State Park/ Lloyd Ranch – Annual Sno-Park permit, or annual Discover Pass plus daily Sno-Park permit for parking, no trail pass required ӹ Methow Trails -- $10 daily/$50 annual trail pass, free parking – www.methowtrails.org Note: Groomed snowmobile routes in the national forests (including the Methow Ranger District) are not open to fat bikes.

northvalleylumber.com Nick Brandenburg, Manager nickatnvl@gmail.com

C E L E B R A T E W I TH B LUE STA R

WINTER FAT BIKE RIDING CONDITIONS OF USE

HANDCRAFTED COFFEE FOR COFFEE LOVERS

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And there’s more…

Photo by Donni Reddington

Looking for something to do? We’ve got it covered B y A shley L odato

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the Methow Valley abounds with things to do. Outdoor winter activities are a fairly reliable bet this year, but many of the treasured indoor experiences the Methow Valley offers may look different this year due to COVID-19 considerations. As of this writing, Okanogan County remains in Phase II of the state’s re-opening plan, and under a new set of statewide restrictions imposed 14

in mid-November. Read the weekly Methow Valley News for updates, and check the individual websites of establishments and organizations before you visit, to determine what options exist on any given date.

FEAST YOUR EYES

Find topnotch art at Confluence Gallery & Art Center on Glover Street in Twisp and at the Winthrop Gallery on Riverside Avenue. Both feature works by Methow Valley artists, and lots of gift-giving possibilities. Some artists and craftspeople have open studio hours on the TwispWorks campus, where you can watch the artists at work. At Glassworks of Winthrop on the boardwalk you can see a glassblower in action. Some valley shops also display local art, notably Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop amd Cinnamon Twisp Bakery in Twisp. Look for unique items at other boutiques and stores including the Fiber yarn store in Twisp, where you

can learn to knit on site.

CREATORS AND MAKERS

Due to COVID restrictions, the Methow Valley’s typical holiday bazaars at the Winthrop Barn and the Methow Valley Community Center have been canceled, as have other events that use local facilities. Look for re-openings when COVID restrictions are eased. On the TwispWorks campus, Valley Goods – featuring a wide range of locally created gift options – opens in November and will be open every day through Christmas Eve. In the new year, Valley Goods will be open permanently in the space previously occupied by the Old Schoolhouse Brewery Taproom – which is moving into its new space on campus.

ART IN THE ELEMENTS

The Methow Valley boasts a range of public art, stretching from the upper reaches of the valley down

into the confluence with the Columbia River at Pateros. Much of it is accessible in winter. Visit www. methowarts.org/public-art-map for a map and brief description of the art and artists.

NOTHING BEATS A BOOK

Browse for leisure-time reading material at Winthrop’s impressively stocked Trail’s End Bookstore on Riverside Avenue. Check out the children’s section at the back of the store, with big picture windows overlooking the river. Our two libraries, in Winthrop and Twisp, are again open and welcome visitors to browse the stacks in limited numbers, and both offer free Wi-Fi: www.ncrl.org/locations. Free books can be found at one of the valley’s free little libraries, located in the Mazama Store courtyard and outside the Twisp Post Office. Take a book or leave a book.


WAY OUT THERE

For an exhilarating back-country skiing adventure via helicopter, contact North Cascades Heli, www. heli-ski.com, to learn more. North Cascades Mountain Guides, www. ncmountainguides.com, also offers snowmobile-accessed skiing and snowboarding at Washington Pass.

TREAT YOURSELF

Get a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure or other personal pampering. Try the Nectar Skin Bar and Boutique in Winthrop, the TwiSpa in Twisp, or head on up to Sun Mountain Lodge for special treament in their hilltop spa.

LOOK TO THE STARS

Winter stargazing is breathtaking. The Methow Valley’s dark skies will show you the constellations like you’ve never seen them before. Check out Dave Ward’s article about winter stargazing on page 26, and read his Naked Eye column in the Methow Valley News for current happenings in galaxies near and far, far away. The Methow Valley Dark Sky Coalition is working to create a dark sky community for the Methow Valley and surrounding areas, which

means better stargazing for all. Email kyrie.jardin@methowdarksky.org for more coalition information.

CAFFEINATE

We may be on a hiatus from multihour coffee dates at any of the valley’s excellent cafes, but there’s no interruption in the quality and quantity of the brew at Blue Star Coffee Roasters, Kind Grinds, Rocking Horse Bakery, 3 Bears Cafe & Quilts, the Mazama Store, Oliver’s Artisan Kitchen, Cinnamon Twisp Bakery, or the deli at Hank’s Harvest Foods. You’ll be served blends from one or the other of the Methow Valley’s specialty coffee companies: Blue Star Coffee Roasters in Twisp and Lariat Coffee Roasters in Winthrop. On the move? Roll through one of our coffee kiosks: Michael’s on Highway 20 in Twisp, or Pony Espresso on Highway 20 in Winthrop.

FILL UP

Visit our dining guide on pages 3637 for information about the valley’s eateries, offering dining from casual to fine. Most restaurants offer take-out, for those who prefer to eat in more distanced social settings.

GET STIMULATED

PUZZLED

This valley is full of interesting people who love to share their knowledge, experiences, poetic talents, and images with others. Although the typically robust schedule of talks, ranging from natural history to travel to poetry, is slimmed down due to COVID, there are still some engaging virtual presentations and classes offered. Visit www. methowconservancy.org/events, www. methowarts.org/community calendar, www.winthroplibraryfriends.org/events, methowcommunity.org/calendar, and https://methowathome.clubexpress.com.

Working on jigsaw puzzles is mental exercise as well as mental relaxation. Jigsaw puzzles develop your spatial awareness, improve your problem-solving ability, and stimulate your powers of recall; plus, they’re a fun challenge with no deadlines. If you don’t have a free table, start the puzzle on a sheet of plywood or a sturdy piece of cardboard, so you can move it when you need to. Trail’s End Bookstore has an inspiring array of puzzles.

SILVER SCREEN

Kids will enjoy the informal sledding hill at the Winthrop Town Trailhead on White Avenue – and it’s free.

Once you see a film at The Barnyard Cinema, you’ll realize what the movie-watching experience was really meant to be. A normal year in The Barnyard’s deluxe viewing room brings an eclectic roster of films ranging from wide-release to independent to arty; this year the focus is on the intimate private rental experience. Contact The Barnyard Cinema, www.thebarnyardcinema.com, (509) 996-3222, info@thebarnyardcinema. com, for latest information on the theater’s availability.

GO DOWNHILL

SUPPORT REAL NEWS

Keep up with local goings-on with a subscription to the Methow Valley News, delivered to you once a week with fresh stories and tons of useful information. Call (509) 997-7011, email frontdesk@ methowvalleynews.com, visit our website, www.methowvalleynews. com, or find us on Facebook for daily news and updates.

LARI AT COf FEE ROASTERS Retail Store Downtown Winthrop

We carry Pendleton! Coffee • Gifts Home Accessories 265 Riverside Ave. 509.996.4240 lariatcoffee.com

Experience Mazama in the Winter. 509.996.2040

Furnished Rooms and Cabins • Ski Rental Next Door • Hot Tub

www.mazamaranchhouse.com 15


Ice-bound in the Methow Experience outdoor skating at the Winthrop Rink

With some adaptations to follow coronavirus precautions, the Winthrop Rink will once again offer an unparalleled opportunity for outdoor activity this winter. On a clear winter day or crisp evening, there’s nothing like the experience of outdoor skating in a world-class facility. From toddlers wobbling along for their first ice skating experience, to casual recreational skaters, to youth hockey competition, the rink accommodates a wide range activities for all levels of skaters. The rink features an NHL regulation-size hockey surface, permanent ice-making system, and a

few new features this year. Because of COVID-related restrictions, the 6,000-square building with changing rooms, rentals, concessions, and an upstairs warming and viewing room will not open. However, equipment rentals will still be available, as will a variety of programs along with open skating sessions. For decades, folks in the Methow Valley went ice skating outside the old-fashioned way – by finding an area big enough to flood and freeze. The dream of a permanent outdoor facility was realized in 2007 when the Winthrop Rink was completed, thanks to a state grant matched by local donations of money, time and materials. But it wasn’t until the winter of 2016-17 that the final phase of the rink plan was finally completed: a permanent ice-making system was installed. Now the outdoor rink is open from early November through March.

Photo by Don Nelson

Accidents happen. We’re here to help with a 24/7 Emergency Room, X-ray, outpatient Physical Therapy, and consultations with our skilled, caring Orthopedics providers.

Stephen White, M.D. Orthopedic Surgeon

16

Greg Fisk, PA-C Orthopedics

Josh Anderson, DPT Physical Therapy


WINTHROP RINK: the basics The rink is located just off of Twins Lakes Road behind the Methow River Lodge and Cabins. Parking is available at the rink, or at the adjacent Winthrop Town Trailhead. It is a short walk from downtown Winthrop via the Spring Creek pedestrian bridge.

CHECK IT OUT

The rink is entirely outdoors, with dasher boards around the entire surface and transparent plastic panels around most of the surface, and has regulation National Hockey League dimensions. It is lighted for late afternoon and evening operation The rink has its own ice-resurfacing machine. Rentals are available for those who don’t have their own skates; helmets are complementary. Concessions are unavailable, as are changing rooms and viewing rooms. The public will enter via the breezeway between the building in the rink, check in at the first slider window, pick up skates and helmets through the second slider window, then proceed to benches in the breezeway and new alpine design tents, where skaters can put on their skates. Hockey players must come ready to play with the exception of skates. Limited restroom options – one person at a time, no lines.

WHEN TO GO

The rink opens in early November and operates through March. Operating hours vary. Visit www. winthropicerink.org, or call (509) 996-4199, for complete information about scheduled sessions and other events, as well as prices for rink time and equipment rentals. Season passes are available and on sale now.

is regarded as a “moderate risk sport,” with some competition allowed. Okanogan County is classified as a moderate risk county. The number of people on the ice at any time will be restricted. Only supervised activities are allowed, health screening will be required, masks must be worn at all times except when skaters are on the ice and

appropriately distanced, and social distancing must be practiced at all times by staff and participants in the building, on the ice, in the parking lot. A big change at the rink this year is the installation of a new vinyl liner, preprinted with all the lines for an ice hockey playing area, that was laid down under the ice surface.

W H AT T O D O

Programs include open skating; pick-up hockey sessions (gear and helmet required) for men and women “rink rats;” youth hockey for boys and girls; Learn to Skate programs for beginners and intermediate skaters; and “cheap skate” sessions with reduced rates.

W H O’S W H O

Rink Manager: Steve Bondi; Assistant Managers Jon Timchalk and Miles Millikin; Program Coordinator Anna Sand; Zamboni drivers Aaron Studen, Jeff Lyman, Katie Leuthauser, Jeff MacDonald, Ryan Bell and Bo Thrasher.

W H AT’S D I F F E R E N T

Because of coronavirus restrictions, the usual full slate of adult and youth hockey tournaments is suspended, pending a change in conditions. Under the state’s most recently issued guidelines for sports activities, ice hockey

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An up and down experience Loup Loup Ski Bowl offers alpine skiing and a whole lot more

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oup Loup Ski Bowl is the Methow Valley’s alpine alternative for skiers who like to point their tips downhill and go for it. Tucked in the mountains high above the valley floor, but close enough to be there in a few minutes, the Loup is a hidden gem that offers a range of activities: alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, tubing and luge sledding; ski and board school with PSIA-certified instructors; and gear rentals. Looking for a family-friend lift? Check out the Loup. Like other local facilities, the Loup will be practicing coronavirus protocols as appropriate. The quad chairlift will operate at one-half capacity. The poma and rope tow will not be affected. The popular luge run will be available to groups of four or more. A new day lodge is under construction, so check with the Loup for information about what food services are available. Many of the Loup’s annual events may be canceled or modified, depending on COVID-19 precautions. Check the website for updates. Photo by Steve Mitchell

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LOUP LOUP SKI BOWL: the basics FIND IT

Between Twisp and Okanogan on Highway 20. From the Methow Valley, turn left just past the Loup summit sign.

CHECK IT OUT

ӹ Alpine and boarding:1,240 vertical feet; 10 cut runs; highest elevation, 5,260 feet. Quad chair lift, platter surface tow, rope tow. ӹ Nordic: 2 kilometers of groomed trails; multiuse trail connects to 46 kilometers of groomed trails at South Summit.

Loup Loup Ski Bowl is located on Highway 20, southeast of Twisp and Winthrop.

ӹ Terrain park and tubing hill. daily during Presidents’ Week. ӹ Luge sledding program on ӹ Ticket Office hours: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Bear Mountain adjacent to ӹ Half-day rates start at noon. the ski hill. Reservations ӹ Last chair: 3:45 p.m. strongly recommended! ӹ Downhill skiing Minimum of four required AND MORE ӹ Snowboarding to book. ӹ General information: (509) 557-3401. ӹ Inner tubing ӹ Ski and snowboard lessons; ӹ Conditions line: (509) 557-3405 . ӹ Nordic skiing Nordic lessons by advance ӹ Visit www.skitheloup.com for all of the ӹ Luge sledding request. above and more. ӹ Ski and board shop offering equipment rentals, tune-ups and repairs, acWHAT’S NE W cessories and gifts. ӹ The Little Buck Café may only offer light foodӹ First aid room and ski patrol. service this year. Check the website for updates. ӹ Season passes available online. ӹ More new rental gear is on the way. With a few exceptions among the smaller kids’ sizes, WHEN TO GO the entire fleet has been replaced over the ӹ Opening is scheduled for Dec. 19, closing last two years. for March 28. Both dates depend on snow conditions, COVID restrictions, etc. DID YOU KNOW? ӹ The Loup operates on Wednesdays, Fridays, ӹ The Loup Loup Boomers Ski Club meets Saturdays and Sundays through the first week in weekly for camaraderie and fun. Visit March; Friday-Sunday until March 22; Saturday https://skitheloup.com/ski-clubs/loup-loupand Sunday only the last weekend in March. boomers-ski-club for more information. Open every day except Christmas during Christ- ӹ Skiers 65 and older enjoy Senior and Supermas week; open on Martin Luther King Day; and Senior rates

AT A GLANCE

Programs, Events, Races and More! Kids

Methow Valley Nordic Team season-long, ages 6-18, beginner to expert

Ski Cubs

all-inclusive, six-week, learn-to-ski program at MV Elementary

Love this Valley Working with people to protect the land of the Methow Valley

Need-based financial assistance available!

Adults Biathlon XC skiing and Rifle Marksmanship

Embrace an Outdoor Lifestyle This Winter! Weekly classes and fitness groups

Register online today!

Camps and Clinics

Visit methowvalleynordic.com for more info

www.methowconservancy.org ~ 996-2870

Inspiring people to care for the land of the Methow Valley

Methow Conservancy

photo by Mary Kiesau

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Map designed by Mountains To Sound GIS, matt@mtsgis.com, on behalf of Methow Trails. Data sources include Methow Trails, OWNF, USGS, WADNR, WDOT, Okanogan County GIS and Methow Cycle & Sport. While great care was taken in the creation of this map, errors in accuracy and completeness do exist. MTS GIS llc shall not be liable for any general, special, indirect, incidental or consequential injury or damages resulting from the use of this map. This project is funded in part by the Okanogan County Hotel/Motel Lodging Tax Fund. Methow Trails operates under a special use permit from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and in partnership with 175 private landowners who graciously allow trail access through their land.


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Watch Winthrop’s very own brother and sister duo Erik and Sadie Bjornsen compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea February 9-25. This is the second Olympics for Erik and Sadie as members of the US Cross-Country Ski Team! Our community could not be prouder of our current, former, and future hometown Olympic Team Members!

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Back by popular demand, Erik Brooks illustrated “StorySki” panels blend literSaturdays, January 6 – February 24 Saturdays, December 30th - February 24 acy with activity, and usher young skiers Methow Trails is offering an easy transportadown the trail.with Each colorful story Snowshoe local guides, and panlearn tion service between Winthrop and Mazama to about winter ecology, tracks, a delightful winterwildlife, tale that can snow support your one-way journey along the iconic el tells more. over a 1K loop. be conditions, read paneland by panel Methow Community Trail. Family-friendly. “Wild Side” panels appeal to older kids, Pick-up times: engaging skiers in activities and skill Town Trailhead 10:00am Location: Sun Mountain Lodge & Jack’s Hut building. Brown’s Farm Trailhead 10:15am Brown’s Farm 11:15am

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January 20 – 21 Methow Trails is a non-profit organizaSponsored by Winthrop Mountain Sports

Cub Creek to Mazama. • 30K Citizen Races , Cub Creek to Mazama

To learn more, visit: Cost: $75 for two-day Pursuit Race, $30 30K Lopmethowtrails.org pet or Citizen Race, Free 10K Mini Loppet

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Register online today at methowtrails.org

Tour Februar

Come to your frie the Meth 20K, 30 lunch pr Center; throp to Winthro wishing Register the shut Register

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Easier Ski Trail More difficult Ski Trail Most difficult Ski Trail Fatbike & Snowshoe Trail easier Fatbike & Snowshoe Trail more difficult

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Mul�-use Trail

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Ski Waxing Hut Parking Trail Junc�on Overnight Hut Dirt or Gravel Road Paved Road Highway Na�onal Forest Boundary Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness Sasquatch

COMMUNIT Y TR AIL R FOLLOW OU G IN GROOM D REPORT AN E TH F O PHOTO January 20 – 21 R DAILY FO Y DAby Winthrop Mountain Sponsored Sports ON SKI UPDATES Loppet • 30K Community on the MCT . NS CONDITIOLoppet, • 10K Community un-timed,

FOLLOW OUR Nature of Winter Methow Valley Nordic STORIES, PHOTOS, Festival & Pursuit Snowshoe Tours 3.1 Distance in

KILOMETERS

between trail junctions

FUN Saturdays, January 6 –AND February 24 AT METHOW Snowshoe with local guides, andTRAILS learn about winter ecology, tracks, snow ONwildlife, FACEBOOK & conditions, and more. INSTAGRAM Family-friendly. 0 0

Map Date: 10/20/2020

1

3 Kilometers 2 Miles

Location: Sun Mountain Lodge & Jack’s Hut at the Freestone Inn, 11:00am

free & open to all. • Day-1 of Methow Pursuit AMS Race, Mazama to Winthrop • Snowshoe Tours

Check out our new website! Sunday, January 21 • Day-2 of Methow Pursuit Race

Tour of the Methow February 17, 2018

Come together and celebrate skiing with your friends on a tour of the best trails of the Methow Valley! Choose your distance: 20K, 30K, 50K or 80K. Yummy snacks and lunch provided at the Mazama Community Center; buses travel from Mazama and Winthrop to the Cub Creek Trailhead, and from Winthrop to the Mazama Trailhead for those

(MCT) is the heart of the Methow Valley ski trail system - the main artery of our 200 kilometers of interconnected trails along a scenic February 18, 2018 river-bottom. When you ski on A the human-canine 6 legged event for peoMCT, you are experiencing a ple that like to laugh and dogs quintessential trail journey, that andlike to wag! Prizesoffor best costumes, small dog a piece Methow Valley history. and large dog categories. Heats start at the Methow Trails partners with 175 Town Trailhead at 10:00am. Registration landowners to provide this unique 9:00-9:45am. A benefit event for the dog 23 trail connection between the towns trails. of Mazama and Winthrop.

Doggie Dash

Register online today at methowtrails.org

Sunfl 1/2 M

May 5, 2

One of t runs in t the town beauty o pate in t a relay t ly-friend tradition


24

Photo by Mary Kiesau


Winter walkabouts Snowshoeing lets you enjoy the Methow at your own pace Snowshoeing is one of the most accessible and affordable options to enjoy a perfect winter day in the Methow Valley. Traversing a snowy terrain on snowshoes is physically invigorating and adaptable to all levels of physical abilities. Snowshoeing is an enjoyable

winter activity for many reasons: ӹ Affordable: The only required gear is snowshoes, walking poles and warm clothes. To explore the miles of snowshoe trails maintained by Methow Trails, a trail pass costs $5 a day. ӹ Family-friendly: This easy-to-learn sport can be as relaxed or strenuous as you want to make it. Snowshoeing is a great activity for families. ӹ Easy to learn: If you can walk, you can snowshoe. Your technique will improve with experience, so strap on the shoes and start exploring. ӹ Fun factor: Snowshoeing opens up a winter world that offers quiet solitude or a social outing. ӹ Healthy exercise: Snowshoeing poses

WHERE TO GO

SUN MOUNTAIN TR AIL S YSTEM

ӹ Black Bear (2.8K) ӹ Click-a-Pic (.6K) ӹ Horse Trail (.5K) ӹ Kraule (1.2K) ӹ Lakeview (.7K) ӹ Magpie (.9K) ӹ Moose (.6K) ӹ Owl (.8K) ӹ Patterson Lake (1.5K) ӹ Ponderosa (1K) ӹ Rader Creek (1.2K) ӹ Red Tail (1.3K) ӹ View Ridge (.8K)

MA Z AMA TR AIL S YSTEM

ӹ Beaver Loop (2.2K)

ӹ Creek Overlook Loop (1.5K) ӹ Forest Edge Loop (1K) ӹ Bush School Loop (4.6K) ӹ Mazama Country Inn Loop (1K) ӹ Freestone Inn View Loop (.8K) ӹ John’s Way (3.2K multi-use: snowshoe, ski, fat bike)

METHOW VALLE Y TR AIL S YSTEM

ӹ Big Valley Trail (8.3K multi-use:

snowshoe, ski, dogs) ӹ Winthrop Fatbike Snowshow (6.4K) ӹ Lunachick (1.6K multi-use: snowshoe, ski, dogs)

RENDEZ VOUS TR AIL S YSTEM

ӹ Cougar Bait (5.5K multi-use: snowshoe, ski, dogs) ӹ Cedar Creek Loop (6.1K multi-use: snowshoe, ski, dogs) ӹ Heifer Hut (1K multi-use: snowshoe, ski, dogs)

little risk of injury and provides a lowimpact, aerobic exercise that helps you stay in shape during the winter. ӹ Versatile destinations: Snowshoeing allows you to travel in terrain and in conditions that don’t work for skiing or walking. You can go hard or easy, flat or steep. The Methow Valley makes it easy to get started. Check out the information on these pages to make snowshoeing your next adventure. For a detailed guide to enjoying snowshoeing, check out this article: www.msrgear.com/blog/ how-to-snowshoe-safely-expert-tips.

RENTAL S, GE AR AND MORE

ӹ Cascades Outdoor Store, Winthrop ӹ Winthrop Mountain Sports, Winthrop ӹ The Outdoorsman, Winthrop ӹ Methow Cycle & Sport, Winthrop ӹ Sun Mountain Lodge, Winthrop ӹ Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies, Mazama

ӹ Methow Valley Ski School & Rentals, Mazama ӹ Loup Loup Ski Rental Shop, Twisp

WHERE TO GO

Methow Trails maps are free and found at all the rental shops. More than 40 miles of groomed snowshoe trails are included in the Methow Trails system – these are wellmarked and traverse across varied terrain, including thick forests, open meadows, along riverbanks, and along ridges with wide vistas. To use the groomed trail system, a day pass is required. A Discover Pass is needed to use the groomed trails at Pearrygin Lake and the neighboring Lloyd Ranch. Discover Passes can be purchased online at www.discoverpass.wa.gov. There are no winter operations at Bear Creek Golf Course for the 2020-21 season. Methow Trails will not be offering its Saturday Shuttle and Snowshoe Tours this year.

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Photo by Steve Mitchell

It’s clear to see why our winter nights are dazzling B y D avid Ward

Winter may bring short, cold days, but on a clear frosty night the 26

brightest stars of the year dazzle us. If you really want to see them in their glory, be sure to get away from distracting lights. The stars, bright though they may be, cannot compete with Rudolph’s blinking red nose and other Christmas decorations if they are shining right in your face. One of my favorite stargazing spots is out on a frozen lake as long as the ice is thick enough to safely support you. The main attraction up there is Orion, the hunter, and all his friends. Orion is one of the few

constellations visible from anywhere on earth, and with all his bright stars it is probably the most familiar constellation in the night sky. Early in winter he will be rising in the east just after it gets dark. Later, the hunter will be higher in the south when twilight ends and the stars come out. Why is there a change in the orientation of the stars? We are flying through space in our orbit around the sun at the dizzying speed of 66,000 miles per hour, and in just a few months our

view of the universe shifts. At the lower right corner of Orion, the blue white bright star Rigel shines with the power of over 60,000 of our suns. It is a long way out there in the cosmos and its light has taken over 800 years to reach us. In the opposite corner, reddish Betelgeuse has one of the strangest names of any star. Derived either from Arabic or possibly ancient Babylonian, the name means “armpit of the giant” or maybe


even the “armpit of the sheep wearing the white girdle.” In any case the “white girdle” refers to the three bright stars all in a row right in the middle of Orion, which we generally call his belt.

GET SIRIUS

Below and to the left of Orion, see if you can spot Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. You will not be able to see it until after Orion is climbing up into the south. Known as the Dog Star, it is one of Orion’s hunting dogs. For all its brightness it is not a particularly bright star, shining at about 25 times the output of our sun. It is quite close to us, the nearest star we can easily see this time of year. How close is it? Hop on a nonstop flight, and you will arrive in about 10 million years! Up above Orion and to his right, look for a little dim “V” of stars. That is the face of Taurus, the bull, with whom Orion is locked in battle. The one brighter star is Aldebaran, the angry red eye of the bull. The name means “the follower” in Arabic. And who is it following? The Pleiades of course, the little star cluster west

of the bull. These were the beautiful Seven Sisters of Ancient Greece who were Orion’s would-be girlfriends of his dreams. For years he chased them across the countryside to no avail. Now the mighty hunter is doomed to pursue them across the sky each winter night but he never ever catches them.

THE PLANETS ALIGN

The planets are in hiding for some of the winter, but you can see Jupiter and Saturn low in the southwest through most of December if you have a clear view down to the horizon in that direction. Notice that they are very close together in the sky. This event, known as a conjunction, happens only every 20 years or so. Mars, which dazzled us in October, will be visible all winter, but it fades to a rather inconspicuous orange-colored object as winter progresses. Venus is still the bright light in the east just before dawn. It will be slipping into the sunrise glow by the end of winter, though. Look for its spectacular return into the evening sky next summer. Want to go deep into the winter

night? Grab a pair of binoculars and head out on a clear, moonless night. Let’s start with something easy. Just below the three bright stars of Orion’s belt, look for three more dimmer stars hanging down at an angle. Known as his sword, the middle one may look a little fuzzy. If so, it’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. You have spotted the Great Nebula in Orion, a place where brand new stars are being born right before your eyes. Your binoculars or a small telescope

will show it even more clearly. For more of a challenge try for the most distant object up there that can be seen with the naked eye, the Andromeda Galaxy. Use the constellation Cassiopeia and a star chart to find it. If you spot a faint smudge up there, congratulations, you have looked into the depths of the universe and seen light that has taken two-and-ahalf million years to get here. Did I tell you to wear warm clothes? Star gazing is not an aerobic activity and it’s cold out there!

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Photo by Donni Reddington

Snowmobiling takes you far into the backcountry Snowmobiling in the Methow Valley is a winter adventure like no other – and it’s particularly appealing as a group activity. Snowmobilers can access 175 miles of groomed snowmobile trails from six Sno-Parks in the Methow Valley – and also connect with routes to Conconully or Chelan from the Loup Loup summit or Gold Creek. There’s enough information available that you can easily explore on 28

your own, or get to know local trails and other sled enthusiasts by joining a weekly ride with the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association. The club’s rides take you to designated backcountry areas to play on the hills. Club rides are open to everyone and are a good way for less-experienced riders to team up with others. Riders typically set out in small groups from a Sno-Park. Visit http://mvsnowmobile.blogspot. com or https://www.facebook.com/ methowvalleysnowmobile for information and schedule. Although most years the weekly rides include a popular chuck-wagon lunch, this year, because of COVID-19, they won’t be offering lunch. The snowmobile association has added a third warming hut

this year. The new hut is on Starvation Mountain, about 1 1/2 miles below the summit, near Shrew Creek. Another hut is in Blackpine Basin, between the Goat Creek and Yellowjacket Sno-parks. The third hut, which is usually on Sweetgrass Butte, is at Banker’s Pass this winter. Huts are equipped with a wood stove and basic emergency supplies. This winter, the club is emphasizing that the huts are for emergencies, not for gathering. The local Mountain Trails Grooming Association grooms three times a week, although the schedule can change if conditions warrant. They groom the most popular routes – from Boulder Creek, Eightmile and Goat Creek – most often. They

also head up the North Cascades Highway to Cutthroat and up Harts Pass Road to Deadhorse Point about every three weeks. While Highway 20 west of the Methow Valley is closed to motorists during the winter, it is open to snowmobilers as far as Cutthroat Lake Road. Skiers and snowshoers are finding that snowmobiling gets them there quickly and safely. Backcountry skiers often head up the North Cascades Highway by sled, and then strap on their skis and climbing skins to get up to powder-filled bowls. Snowshoers also use snow machines to increase their options in the high country. All snowmobiles must be registered through the Washington State Department of Licensing


or a licensing agent, even if a person rides only on his or her own property.

WHERE TO GO

Sno-Parks and groomed trails ӹ Eightmile Sno-Park (Chewuch) ӹ Boulder Creek Sno-Park (Chewuch) ӹ Goat Creek Sno-Park (Mazama) ӹ Yellowjacket Sno-Park (Lost River) ӹ Twisp River Sno-Park (Twisp River/ Buttermilk) ӹ North Summit, Loup Loup ӹ North Cascades Highway to Cutthroat Lake Road

GROOMING INFO

mountaintrailsgrooming.blogspot. com. Maps of groomed trails are available under the Trails tab.

GET INVOLVED

The Methow Valley Snowmobile Association organizes weekly club rides from December through March (see mvsnowmobile.blogspot.com for schedule). Membership: family, $20/year; individual, $15/year.

WHAT TO BRING

ӹ extra water and food in case you end up being out overnight ӹ basic survival gear and first-aid equipment ӹ emergency blanket ӹ a way to build a fire

BE SAFE

Safety guidelines for avalanche country ӹ Carry an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe, and know how to use them. ӹ Get the forecast and consider current avalanche and weather

blue

conditions when planning your ride. ӹ Cross avalanche slopes one at a time, and don’t gather in run-out zones. ӹ Take an avalanche course. ӹ Look for signs of recent avalanche activity, which indicates snow is unstable. ӹ Check the Northwest Avalanche Center for forecasts at www.nwac.us.

GET YOUR SNO-PARK PERMIT

Available online through Washington State Parks at parks.state. wa.us (under Passes & Permits,

sky

real

and then Winter Recreation). Washington residents get a free Sno-Park permit when they register their snowmobile. Call Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Program at (360) 902-8684 for more information. Also available through these local vendors: ӹ Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies, Mazama ӹ Hank’s Harvest Foods, Twisp ӹ Pardners Mini Market, Winthrop ӹ Winthrop Mountain Sports, Winthrop ӹ Loup Loup Ski Bowl

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Where to rent or buy equipment and clothing

W

inter sports require specialized equipment and clothing. If you didn’t bring it, you can probably buy or rent it in the Methow Valley. Here’s where to find the goods, and all the information you require to enjoy our winter wonderland.

WINTHROP METHOW TRAILS www.methowtrails.org, (509) 996-3287 Methow Trails does not rent gear, but it does maintain the valley’s 120 miles (200-plus kilometers) of groomed cross country ski trails. Go to its website or visit the office at 309 Riverside Ave. in Winthrop for information and maps on all winter recreational activities. SUN MOUNTAIN LODGE ACTIVITY SHOP www.sunmountainlodge.com, (509) 996-4735 Besides the Sun Mountain Ski School, the shop offers rental touring, skating or racing equipment including mid-length skis and traditional length skis, plus HOK skis, snowshoes and pulks. Clothing includes pants, vests, jackets, hats and gloves; there is also a full line of ski wax and tools, as well as accessory items. Sleigh rides may be reserved through the shop. 30

METHOW CYCLE & SPORT www.methowcyclesport.com (509) 996-3645 Rents fat bikes in every size made, for adults and kids. Helmets and hand protection for riding on cold days are also provided. Classic and skate ski gear for adults and kids is available, as well as snowshoes and pulks. Nordic ski lessons may also be booked. WINTHROP MOUNTAIN SPORTS www.winthropmountainsports.com, (509) 996-2886 Offers full- or half-day rentals of classic, skate, touring, and alpine touring ski packages for adults as well as classic and skate ski pack, and a full range of seasonal clothing. Racing ski packages are available by reservation. Also rents snowshoes for kids and adults, poles included, as well as pulks – snow sleds for pulling young children behind an adult skier.

Photo by Donni Reddington

on East Chewuch Road. Both single and double sleds are available. Snowsuits and helmets are part of the rental package. Reservations are recommended. Two-hour, four-hour and full-day guided snowmobile tours are also available.

CASCADES OUTDOOR STORE www.cascadesoutdoorstore.com, (509) 996-3480 Rents skate and waxless classic ski packages for adults and kids, fat bikes and snowshoes. Also offers a full range of seasonal clothing.

THE OUTDOORSMAN www.theoutdoorsmanstore.net, 996-2649 Full range of outdoor gear and clothing for every season, including locally made hand-crafted items.

WINTHROP RINK www.winthropicerink.com, 996-4199 Check the website for days and hours of operation. The rink rents ice skates in all sizes and hockey sticks; helmets are provided for free. Skate sharpening is also available. Check the website for information about adult and children’s lessons.

LOUP LOUP RENTAL EQUIPMENT SHOP www.skitheloup.com, (509) 557-3406 Located near the day lodge at Loup Loup Ski Bowl. The shop rents full- or half-day alpine ski and snowboard packages, helmets, rentals and Nordic ski gear. Also rents inner tubes for use on its tubing hill near the lodge. Private or group downhill ski and snowboard lessons with certified instructors are available for adults and kids by the hour. “First-timer” specials include lift ticket, rental equipment and a one-hour lesson. Also try the Bear Mountain luge sledding run – take a Snowcat ride to the top and sled down on 12 kilometers of groomed trails. Luge rentals are available, call (509) 557-3401 for a reservation.

NORDIC ULTRA-TUNE www.nordicultratune.com, 996-4145 Precision stone grinding or waxing for your skis. CHEWACK RIVER GUEST RANCH www.chewackranch.com, 996-2497 Offers half- and full-day snowmobile rentals at the ranch located 6 miles north of Winthrop

TWISP

LOUP LOUP SKI & SNOWBOARD SHOP www.louploupskishop.com, (509) 846-5076; call for hours Located at 427 Highway 20 South in Twisp, next to Hank’s Harvest Foods. The shop offers full- or half-day alpine ski and snowboard packages – both of which include helmets – for kids and adults. Snowshoe, Nordic skiing and ice skate rentals are also available, along with a full range of seasonal clothing and custom boot-fitting. METHOW MOTION SHUTTLE SERVICE www.methowmotion20.com, reservations@methowmotion20. com, (509) 996-2894 Provides passenger shuttle service, by appointment only, for people and their skis, snowboards, bikes and fishing gear to trailheads and ski areas throughout the region. Call or check the website for further shuttle information.

MAZAMA GOAT’S BEARD MOUNTAIN SUPPLIES www.goatsbeardmountainsupplies. com, (509) 996-2515 Located across the courtyard from the Mazama Store. Specializes in ski gear for folks who want to get off the trails and into the backcountry. Goat’s Beard rents both alpine touring ski gear – designed for steeper terrain – and metal-edged backcountry


touring ski gear – better for traveling over rolling terrain. The store also rents avalanche airbag packs for safety while skiing the backcountry, fat bikes, burley ski pulks, snowshoes and split snowboards. Also offers a full range of seasonal clothing. NORTH CASCADES CYCLE WERKS nccyclewerks@gmail.com, (509) 996-2225 Rents fat bikes. METHOW VALLEY SKI SCHOOL & RENTALS www.mvskischool.com, (509)996-3744 Located at the three-way intersection of the Mazama Junction just next to the trailhead parking; 42 Lost River Road. Rents full range of skate and classic (both binding types) gear, snowshoes, Hok skis and pulks (child carriers). Certified instructors teach both classic and skate lessons to all abilities. Trail passes, trail advice, ski waxing and all the accessories are offered by the experienced staff.

Dress for winter success They say to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. For our first winter in this pandemic, the key will be dressing for the situation we have, not the situation we want. Unless you plan to hibernate at home (nothing wrong with that, if that’s your strategy!) we’re all going to be outside a lot this winter, and it’s going to be a lot more sustainable if we’re dressed appropriately. ӹ Treat the feet: Think insulated boots with a thick sole. You may be standing in line outside, waiting to get into a restaurant, to get a coffee, to get your turn on the ice; you may be socializing outdoors with others around fires or on sidewalks. This isn’t the winter to skimp on footwear.

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If your boots are on the light side, carry some air-activated heat packs that you can slip under your socks if your tootsies start to freeze. ӹ Hats on: You lose a significant amount of heat out of your head. Capture that heat with a fuzzy wool or fleece hat. Learn to knit your own, and you’ll have a new winter hobby as well as a warm noggin. ӹ Cozy core: Your vital organs are all located in your core, so you’ll be warmer if you insulate this zone well with a puffy jacket with plenty of loft. If your puffer is too tight, you’ll lose the layer of warm air between your body and the jacket; if it’s too big, there will be more air space than your body can heat effectively. For

those who run chilly, a threefourths or full-length puffy jacket will be a game changer. ӹ Hot fingers: Our hands do a terrible job of keeping themselves warm, so thick handwear is essential. Mittens are warmer than gloves, due to the buddy system (fingers can warm themselves on each other), but gloves offer more dexterity. Air-activated heat packs can quickly rewarm frigid fingers or prevent them from getting cold in the first place. ӹ Mask up: You’ll be surprised at how much warmth you’ll get from the covering even a lightweight cotton mask provides. This winter, COVID masks keep you warm as well as safe.

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Angling for a winter dinner It’s ice fishing season in the Methow

Fresh fish in the winter? Well, you’re in the right place. Ice fishing opportunities can be found at lakes in the Methow Valley and around the county. With the right equipment, you can pierce the layer of ice in less than a minute, gaining access to a world of yellow perch, rainbow trout and kokanee. The equipment and technique are straightforward and inexpensive, compared to summer fishing. You don’t need a boat or high-end fly-fishing gear – and you can keep what you catch for dinner. You drill a hole with an auger, scoop out the snow and ice, and drop your line in the hole with live bait or a shiny lure and a jig to sink it. When you get a fish, you pull it straight up through the hole instead of reeling it in. Drilling a hole, even with a handcranked auger, is surprisingly quick – a sharp auger will make a hole through more than a foot of ice in less than a minute. Most ice fishers make a hole that’s 6 to 8 inches in diameter, big enough to see what they’re doing and bring up fish easily without compromising the ice. Many people bring a bucket to use as a seat and then to carry home what they catch. Ice fishing is also fun for kids, since they don’t need to learn to cast.

While it can be chilly, the Methow Valley’s bright, sunny winter makes it comfortable to be out long enough to catch a few fish. And you can bring a wheelbarrow or metal trough to build a fire – or a tent for shelter if it’s really cold.

WHERE TO GO

Best spots in the Methow Valley: ӹ Davis Lake – rainbow trout ӹ Patterson Lake – yellow perch (no limit), rainbow trout, kokanee, bass Best spots in the Okanogan: ӹ Bonaparte Lake – kokanee (10-12 inches), triploid eastern brook trout, tiger trout ӹ Leader Lake (just over the Loup Loup summit) – best for bass, black crappie and bluegill, also some perch and rainbow trout ӹ Palmer Lake – yellow perch (6-10 inches); largemouth and smallmouth bass (1-3 pounds) Limit on most species is five a day.

WHAT YOU NEED

ӹ a short pole (even a stick and some fishing line will work once you make a hole) ӹ an ice auger (to drill a hole) ӹ a scoop (to keep the hole free of snow and slush) ӹ a bucket (to support the rod, to sit on, and to carry your catch; a lawn chair also works) ӹ live bait, a shiny lure or artificial maggots All can be had for less than $100. You’ll also need a fishing license from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – (360) 902-2464 or

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24 HOUR FUEL Open 6 a.m. – Midnight 32

SPECIAL EVENTS Annual Ice Fishing Tournament and Festival on Sidley Lake in Molson (northern Okanogan County) on Saturday, Jan. 16. Fishing starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m., with excellent opportunities for goodsized trout and triploids. Prizes for adults and kids. There will be a food truck with breakfast burritos https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. Optional, but nice to have: ӹ a jig (to sink the lure or bait straight down in the water) ӹ a wheelbarrow or metal trough (for a fire) ӹ a tent or other shelter ӹ Even more luxurious: ӹ an electric sensor or that beeps or lights up, or a device that sends up a flag (to let you know when you have a fish) ӹ an underwater camera or sonar (to help find fish)

WHY YOU SHOULD GO

ӹ cold-water fish are tastier, with a less “fishy” taste ӹ the simplicity of ice fishing – no casting or reeling in – makes it fun for kids ӹ some species, like trout, are easier to catch in the winter

ICE SAFETY

ӹ Make sure the ice is thick enough to support you Drill a hole with an auger a foot

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and Asian cuisine, and tents and a bonfire for warmth. Register at the tournament or in advance online ($25, adults; $10, kids). Info at the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival Facebook page or www.orovillewashignton.com. For more information, call (509) 557-5165. or two from shore and measure the thickness of the ice, then test it again in the middle of the lake – 4 to 6 inches is generally considered safe, but remember that ice is not uniform – it may be a foot thick in one area but only a few inches nearby. Look for new, clear ice Clear ice tends to be more solid; ice that is off-color is usually weaker. New ice is generally stronger than ice that has been around for a while – 4 inches of clear, newly formed ice may support one person, while a foot of older ice that has thawed and refrozen may not. Remember that snow insulates the ice, meaning it will freeze more slowly. Carry ice-rescue claws Claws will enable you to climb out if you fall through the ice. You can make claws from pieces of wood or a broomstick with nails embedded in the ends, or from sharpened screwdrivers.

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Accepting Texaco and Chevron fuel cards.

T

Hwy 20, Winthrop (509) 996-2005 Patrick Hannigan • Winthrop, WA barnfunk.com • @barnfunk


INFORMATION CENTERS T wisp: 997-2926; 201 Methow Valley Highway (Methow Valley Community Center) Winthrop: 996-2125 or (888) 463-8469; 202 Riverside Ave.

NEED A PLACE TO STAY? Methow Reservations: 996-2148 or (800) 422-3048; www. methowreservations.net; info@ methowreservations.net

OPEN LATE Hank’s Mini M arket: 410 E. Methow Valley Highway, Twisp; 997-4332; until 10 p.m. every day; 24-hour fueling M azama Store: 50 Lost River Road, Mazama; 996-2855; 24-hour fueling Pardners Mini M arket: 900 Highway 20, Winthrop; 996-2005; until midnight every day; 24-hour fueling T wisp Chevron: 126 N. Methow Valley Highway; 997-3181; until 10 p.m. weekdays and Sunday, 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 24-hour fueling

AIRPORTS T wisp Municipal Airport: 40 Wagner Road, Twisp; 997-2311. Methow Valley State Airport: Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road; (360) 618-2477

NEED A TOW? Classic Towing , T wisp: 997-2333 Winthrop Motors: 996-2277

POST OFFICES Carlton: 997-6091; 2274 Highway 153 Methow: (509) 923-2759; 34 Main St. T wisp: 997-3777; 205 Glover St. Winthrop: 996-2282; 1110 Highway 20

PET PROBLEMS? Methow Valley Veterinary Hospital: 910 Highway 20, Winthrop: 996-3231 Valley Veterinary Clinic: 20335 Highway 20, Twisp; 997-8452 Winthrop Veterinary Services: 19100 Highway 20; 996-2793

NEED TO CHARGE YOUR ELECTRIC VEHICLE? T wispworks: 502 S. Glover St., Twisp, 997-3300, twispworks.org Pine Near Rv Park: 316 Castle Ave., Winthrop; (509) 341-4062, www. pinenearpark.com M azama Country Inn: 15 Country Road, Mazama; 996-2681; www. mazamacountryinn.com Sun Mountain Lodge, Winthrop: 996-2211; www.sunmountainlodge.com T wisp River Suites: 140 W. Twisp Ave., Twisp, 997-0100, www. twispriversuites.com.

CAB & SHUTTLE Methow Motion Shuttle Services: 996-2894; www.methowmotion20.com; reservations@methowmotion20.com

POLICE/EMERGENCY Emergency: 911 T wisp Police Department: 997-6112; 118 S. Glover St.; townoftwisp. com/index.php/departments/ police-department/ Winthrop M arshal’s Office: 996-2160; 206 Riverside Ave.; www. winthropmarshals.com Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office: (509) 422-7232; www.okanogansheriff. org Washington State Patrol: (509) 422-3800 Okanogan County Fire District 6: 997-2981 Aero Methow Rescue Service: 997-4013; www.aeromethow.org

LIBRARIES T wisp: 997-4681; 201 Methow Valley Highway (Methow Valley Community Center); wireless hot spot Winthrop: 996-2685; 49 Highway 20; wireless hot spot

NEED TO CLEAN UP? Laundromat, Showers And Free Wi-Fi At Washworks: 325 E. Highway 20, Twisp; 997-0336; www. hwy20washworks.com

RECREATION INFORMATION U.s. Forest Service: 996-4000; 24 West Chewuch Rd., Winthrop Methow Trails: 996-2387; 309 Riverside Ave., Winthrop; www.methowtrails.com; info@ methowtrails.com Winthrop Rink: 996-4199, www. winthropicerink.com Wagner Memorial Pool , T wisp: 997-5441 Pearrygin L ake State Park, Winthrop: 996-2370; www.parks. wa.gov/563/Pearrygin-Lake Cascade Loop Scenic Highway: www. cascadeloop.com North Cascades National Park: Newhalem visitor center, (206) 386-4495 ext.11; www.nps.gov/noca/index.htm Washington Dept. Of Fish & Wildlife: (360) 902-2200; www.wdfw.wa.gov

CAR WASH Cascade King’s: 1421 Methow Valley Hwy S. Twisp; 997-2513; www. kingstire.biz

BANKS North Cascades Bank: 101 Methow Valley Highway N., Twisp; 997-2411; www.northcascadesbank.com Farmers State Bank: 159 Riverside Ave., Winthrop; 996-2244; www. farmersstatebankwa.com

CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE T wisp: 997-2020; www.twispinfo.com Winthrop: 996-2125; www. winthropwashington.com Omak: (509) 826-1880 or (800) 225-6625; www.omakchamber.com Okanogan: (509) 422-4034; www. okanogachamber.com Brewster: (509) 689-3464; www. brewsterchamber.org Pateros: (509) 923-9636; www. pateros.com

RECYCLING Methow Recycles: 997-0520; 12 Twisp Airport Road; www.methowrecycles.org

GOVERNMENT City Of Pateros: (509) 923-2571; www. pateros.com Town Of T wisp: 997-4081; 118 S. Glover St.; www.townoftwisp.com Town Of Winthrop: 996-2320, 206 Riverside Ave., www. townofwinthrop.com

HEALTH CARE Three Rivers Hospital , Brewster: (509) 689-2086; www. threerivershospital.net Mid -Valley Hospital , Omak: (509) 826-1760; www.mvhealth.org Confluence Health Methow Valley Clinic , Winthrop: 996-8180 Family Health Centers Medical Clinic , T wisp: 997-2011 Brewster Clinic: (509) 826-1800 Steven C. Harrop Dds, Winthrop: 996-2164 Sawtooth Dental Care, T wisp: 997-7533 Ulrich’s Pharmacy, T wisp: 997-2191

HIGHWAY INFORMATION Washington State Department Of Transportation: Dial 511 for pass and road information; www.wsdot.wa.gov

INFORMATION & MEDIA Methow Valley News: 997-7011; 502 S. Glover St., Twisp; www. methowvalleynews.com; frontdesk@ methowvalleynews.com www. methownet.com www. methow.com Ktrt, 97.5 Fm Kcsy, 106.3fm Kozi, 93.5fm Ktwp (Public R adio), 91.1fm Komw, 95.1 All 996 and 997 prefixes are in the 509 area code. 33


FE ATUR ED LODGING mazamaranchhouse.com

996-2040 10 Country Rd., Mazama

Our Ranch House is surrounded by fields, snow-capped mountains and large ponderosa pines. Step from your porch onto the sport trail system for hikers, bikers, horse riders, and skiers. We offer onsite horse facilities, free with room rental. We’re also a spectacular setting for weddings, family reunions, and other events.

northcascadesmountainhostel.com Located in the heart of downtown Winthrop, we’re your North Cascades adventure base camp! We offer affordable, communal bunk bed accommodation, as well as private cabins. Our amenities include fully 206-940-4507 stocked communal kitchens, bathrooms, showers, laundry, and free Wi-Fi. We can also set you up with guided climbing. Book today! 209 Castle Ave., Winthrop riverrun-inn.com

800-757-2709 27 Rader Rd., Winthrop springcreekwinthrop.com

996-2495 22 Belsby Rd., Winthrop twispriversuites.com

855-784-8328 140 West Twisp Ave., Twisp

Enjoy our tranquil and relaxing lodge rooms, cabins, or 6-bedroom guest house on the river, just a 15-minute walk to downtown Winthrop. We have an indoor pool and hot tub, open year-round. Cross country ski and snowshoe trails are a short distance away, as is the community ice rink.

A stay at Spring Creek Ranch is more than just a vacation, it’s an experience. The three lodging options (Ranch House and cozy cabins) on our sixty-acre family ranch along the Methow River each come with plush beds and down duvets. Stroll into Winthrop in the summer or ski from your front door in the winter. Experience down-home, river front luxury and unparalleled hospitality in Twisp, the heart of the Methow Valley. Centrally located for outdoor adventure, Twisp River Suites is the perfect winter getaway. Play outside all day, sink into luxurious comfort at night. We offer pet-friendly options and an all-inclusive gourmet breakfast.

Phone numbers with 996 and 997 prefixes have a 509 area code. The expanded listings above are paid for by our advertisers to give you a better idea of what they offer. Establishments featured above are also listed in the complete lodging guide on page 34.

34


Brown’s Farm  | 887 Wolf Creek Road, Winthrop | 996-2571 | methownet.com/brownsfarm

Bunkhouse Inn  | 209 Bluff Street, Winthrop | 996-2148 | bunkhouseinn.squarespace.com

Chewuch Inn & C abins  | 223 White Avenue, Winthrop | 996-3107 | chewuchinn.com

Duck Brand Hotel  | 248 Riverside Avenue, Winthrop | 996-2408 | duckbrandwinthrop.com

Farm House  | 709 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-3113 | winthropchalets.com

Freestone Inn  | 31 Early Winters Drive, Mazama | 996-3906/800-639-3809 | freestoneinn.com

Hazel’s Nightly Rental  | 127 Riverside Avenue, Winthrop | 996-2148 | methownet.com/hazels

Hotel Rio Vista  | 285 Riverside Avenue, Winthrop | 996-3535/800-398-0911 | hotelriovista.com

Idle-A-While Motel  | 505 North Hwy 20, Twisp | 997-3222 | idle-a-while-motel.com

Mazama Country Inn  | 15 Country Road, Mazama | 996-2681/800-843-7951 | mazamacountryinn.com

Mazama R anch House  | 10 Country Road, Mazama | 996-2040 | mazamaranchhouse.com Methow River Lodge & C abins  | 110 White Avenue (Twin Lakes Road) Winthrop | 996-4348 | methowriverlodge.com

Methow Suites B&B  | 620 Moody Lane, Twisp | 997-5970 | methowsuites.com

  

Methow Valley Inn  | 234 East 2nd Street, Twisp | 996-2148 | methowvalleyinn.com

Mt G ardner Inn  | 611 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-2000 | mtgardnerinn.com

Nordic Village C abin  |  1 Nordic Village Road, Mazama | 800-843-7951 | mazamacountryinn.com

North Cascades Mountain Hostel  | 209 Castle Avenue, Winthrop | 206-940-4507 | northcascadesmountainhostel.com

Pine Near RV & C ampground  | 316 Castle Avenue, Winthrop | 509-341-4062 | pinenearpark.com

Riverbend RV Park |  19961 Hwy 20, Twisp | 997-3500/800-686-4498 | riverbendrv.com

River Run Inn  | 27 Rader Road, Winthrop | 800-757-2709 | riverrun-inn.com

River’s Edge Resort  | 115 Riverside Avenue, Winthrop | 996-8000 | riversedgewinthrop.com

River Pines inn  | 114 Bluff Street, Winthrop | 509-322-4062 | riverpinesinn.com

Rolling Huts  | 18381 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-4442/877-223-1137 | rollinghuts.com

Silverline Resort  | 677 Bear Creek Road, Winthrop | 996-2448 | silverlineresort.com

Sportsman Motel  | 1010 Hwy 20, Twisp | 997-2911

Restaurant on site

Pet friendly

Kitchen/Kitchenette

AC

A bbyCreek Inn  | 1006 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-3100 | abbycreekinn.com

Internet

LODGING GUIDE

  

   

Spring Creek R anch  | 22 Belsby Road, Winthrop | 996-2495 | springcreekwinthrop.com

Sun Mountain Lodge  | 604 Patterson Lake Road, Winthrop | 996-2211/800-572-0493 | sunmountainlodge.com

Timberline Meadows  | 45 Timberline Lane, Winthrop | 844-430-8977 | timberlinemeadows.com

T wisp River Inn  | 894 Twisp River Road, Twisp | 997-4011 | twispriverinn.com

T wisp River Suites  | 140 West Twisp Avenue, Twisp | 997-0100/855-784-8328 | twispriversuites.com

T wisp Terrace Lodge  | 20556 Hwy 20, Twisp | 888-550-5919 | twispterrace.com

Winthrop Inn  | 960 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-2217/800-444-1972 | winthropinn.com

Winthrop KOA C ampground  | 1114 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-2258/800-562-2158 | koa.com/campgrounds/winthrop

Winthrop Mountain View Chalets  | 1120 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-3113/800-527-3113 | winthropchalets.com

Wolf Creek C abins & Lodging  | 1 Wolf Ridge Lane, Winthrop | 996-2148/800-422-3048 | wolfcreek-lodging.com

Wolf Ridge Resort  | 22 Wolf Ridge Lane, Winthrop | 996-2828 | wolfridge-resort.com

 

35


FE ATUR ED E ATER IES bluestarcoffeeroasters.com

997-2583 3 Twisp Airport Rd., Twisp hanksharvestfoods.com

997-7711 412 E. Methow Valley Hwy., Twisp

Delicious, artfully prepared espresso drinks, freshly brewed drip coffee, and hand-brewed coffee by the cup. Our knowledgeable staff can answer all your questions about coffee preparation and our full line of brewing equipment and accessories. We carry travel mugs and fabulous Blue Star Coffee gear, and feature fresh, locally baked pastries. Find us on FB & Instagram.

H ank’s Deli offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We offer daily specials and custom-made sandwiches, salads, soup and chili. Enjoy a freshly made donut and Blue Star coffee to start your day, or end your day with one of our dinner specials and save yourself from a night of cooking!

Hometown pizza is the Methow Valley’s choice for affordable family dining! Featuring stone baked pizzas made from scratch, using family recipes. Enjoy a fresh salad, or a sub on a house made roll. We offer take out 202 N. Methow Valley Hwy., Twisp and take & bake. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

997-2100

997-0247 102 Methow Valley Hwy, Twisp

HOMETOWN PIZZA

LAFONDA LOPEZ RESTAURANT is family-friendly and offers a variety of foods: Mexican, pasta dishes, curries, burgers, vegetarian and daily specials. We serve an array of margaritas and cocktails. Please call us for catering menu options! Winter hours 12 p.m.– 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Patio seating available in the summer.

Phone numbers with 996 and 997 prefixes have a 509 area code. The expanded listings above are paid for by our advertisers to give you a better idea of what they offer. Establishments featured above are also listed in the complete dining guide on page 38.

Choose local. Choose independent.

Choose The VIP Insurance Agency.

The best local independent insurance agency in the Methow Valley

Offering business, farm, auto, home, secondary home, nightly rental insurance, and more. info@vipagencygroup.com • www.vipagencygroup.com In Twisp: 102 S. Glover St. • 997-5291 In Winthrop: 505B Highway 20 • 996-4515

36


Wheelchair accessible

Take-out available

Beer/Wine/Cocktails 

D

L, D

B,L, D

Deli

B, L

Hank’s Harvest Foods  | 412 E. Methow Valley Highway, Twisp | 997-7711 | hanksharvestfoods.com

Deli

B, L, D

Hometown Pizza  | 202 Methow Valley Highway, Twisp | 997-2100

Pizza, Deli

L, D

Jack’s Hut  |  Freestone Inn, 31 Early Winters Drive, Mazama  |  996-3212  |  freestoneinn.com

Pizza

L, D

Kind G rinds  | 94 Bridge St., Winthrop | 996-2127 | facebook.com/kindgrinds

Coffee, Deli

B, L

L aFonda Lopez  | 102 Highway 20, Twisp | 997-0247 | facebook.com/lafondalopeztwisp

Multi-cuisine

L, D

Mazama Country Inn  | 15 Country Rd., Mazama | 996-2681 | mazamacountryinn.com

American

D

Mazama Store  | 50 Lost River Rd., Mazama | 996-2855 | themazamastore.com

Bakery, Deli

B, L

Methow Valley Ciderhouse  | 28 Highway 20, Winthrop | 341-4354 | methowvalleyciderhouse.com

American

L, D

Methow Valley Thriftway  | 920 Highway 20, Winthrop | 996-2525 | methowvalleythriftway.com

Deli

B, L, D

Mick & Miki’s Red Cedar Bar  | 110 S. Glover St., Twisp | 997-6425 | facebook.com/Mick-Mikis-Red-Cedar-Bar

Burgers

Old Schoolhouse Brewery  | 155 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-3183 | oldschoolhousebrewery.com

Pub grub

Pardner’s Mini Market  | 900 Highway 20, Winthrop | 996-2005

Deli

Rocking Horse Bakery  | 265 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-4241 | rockinghorsebakery.com

Coffee, Deli

B, L

A rrowleaf Bistro  | 207 White Ave., Winthrop | 996-3919 | arrowleafbistro.com

Fine dining

BJ’s Branding Iron  | 123 N. Glover St., Twisp | 997-0040 | facebook.com/TwispBrandingIron

Burgers

Blue Star Coffee Roasters  | 3 Twisp Airport Rd., Twisp | 997-2583 | bluestarcoffeeroasters.com

Coffee house

Brix Wine Bar  | 229 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-3229 | brixwinthrop.com

Small plates

D

Cinnamon T wisp Bakery  | 116 N. Glover St., Twisp | 997-5030 | facebook.com/CinnamonTwispBakery

Bakery, Deli

B, L

Copper G lance  | 134A Riverside Ave., Winthrop | copperglancewinthrop.com

Small plates

D, Late

Duck Brand  | 248 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-2408 | facebook.com/DuckBrand

Multi-cuisine

B, L, D

E ast 20 Pizza  | 720 Highway 20, Winthrop | 996-3996 | east20pizza.com

Pizza

L, D

El Valle  |  123 N. Glover St., Twisp  |  997-7829

Mexican, American

B, L, D

Freestone Inn  | 31 Early Winters Drive, Mazama | 996-3906 | freestoneinn.com

Multi-cuisine

G lover Street Market  | 124 N. Glover St., Twisp | 997-1320 | gloverstreetmarket.com

3 Bears C afé & Quilts  | 414 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-8013 | 3bearsquiltshop.com

Cuisine type

Reservations

Kid friendly

Meals served

DINING GUIDE

 

L, D L, D, Late 

B, L, D

Bakery, Deli

B, L

Sun Mountain Lodge  | 604 Patterson Lake Rd., Winthrop | 996-2211 | sunmountainlodge.com

Fine dining

B, L, D

Tappi  | 201 S. Glover St., Twisp | 997-3345 | tappitwisp.com

Italian, Pizza

Three Fingered Jack’s  | 176 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-2411 | 3fingeredjacks.com

American

T wisp Chevron  | 126 Methow Valley Highway, Twisp | 997-3181

Deli

L

Wolf Creek Bar & G rill at Sun Mountain Lodge  | (800) 572-0493 | sunmountainlodge.com

Multi-cuisine

D

Woodstone Pizzeria at Rolling Huts  | 18381 Highway 20, Mazama | 996-9804 | woodstoneatwesola.com

Pizza

L, D

D

L, D, Late  

 

 

37


A DV ERTISERS ART

Barnfunk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

BAKERIES

Cinnamon Twisp Bakery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Rocking Horse Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS

Palm Construction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

BUILDING SUPPLY

All Valley Insulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 North Valley Lumber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

CAFES/DINING/ESPRESSO/SPIRITS

Blue Star Coffee Roasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Cinnamon Twisp Bakery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Hank’s Harvest Foods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Hometown Pizza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 LaFonda Lopez Restaurant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Lariat Coffee Roasters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Rocking Horse Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Woodstone Pizzeria. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31

EVENT FACILITIES

Pipestone Canyon Ranch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Spring Creek Ranch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

INSURANCE

VIP Melbourn Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

LODGING

Mazama Ranch House. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Methow Reservations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Mt Gardner Inn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 North Cascades Mountain Hostel. . . . . . . . . . . . 8 River Run Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Spring Creek Ranch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Twisp River Suites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27

OFFICE/WORK SPACE

Mtn Annex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

ORGANIZATIONS

Methow Conservancy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Methow Trails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Methow Valley Snowmobile Assoc.. . . . . . . . . . . 4 Winthrop Chamber of Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . .39

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Methow House Watch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

RADIO

FINANCIAL SERVICES

KTRT 97.5 FM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

FUEL

Blue Sky Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Coldwell Banker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Mountain to River. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

J. Bart Bradshaw CPA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Pardners Mini Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

GROCERIES

Hank’s Harvest Foods. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Pardners Mini Market. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32

HEALTH/MEDICAL FACILITIES

Three Rivers Hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

HEATING

North Valley Lumber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

38

INSULATION

All Valley Insulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

REAL ESTATE

RECREATION

Loup Loup Ski Bowl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Methow Trails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Methow Valley Nordic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Methow Valley Ski School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Methow Valley Snowmobile Assoc. . . . . . . . . . . . 4 North Cascades Mountain Guides. . . . . . . . . . . .12 Sun Mountain Ski. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Winthrop Rink. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29

RETAIL

Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Loup Loup Ski Rental Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Methow Cycle & Sport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Outdoorsman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Wine Shed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Winthrop ACE Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Winthrop Mountain Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

SKI/SNOWBOARD/SNOWSHOE RENTAL & SALES

Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Loup Loup Ski Bowl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Loup Loup Ski Rental Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Methow Cycle & Sport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Methow Valley Ski School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Outdoorsman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Sun Mountain Ski. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Winthrop Mountain Sports. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39

SKI LESSONS

Methow Valley Nordic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Methow Valley Ski School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sun Mountain Ski. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

SNOW REMOVAL

Cascade Concrete. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Palm Construction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Outfitting the Methow Valley since 1985

We’ve got the gear you need handpicked by our experts. Best selection of Cross Country ski gear in the Northwest.

STAY IN

Stop in to rent or buy skis, boots, poles, and snowshoes. If you are feeling cold, we have the apparel, gloves, and shoes to keep you warm.

www.WinthropWashington.com

Open 7 days a week in downtown Winthrop www.winthropmountainsports.com 39


“Grateful for the green land, blue sky, clean air, fluffy clouds, white snow and twinkling stars ... we enjoy watching the weather blow in from the Southwest.” Kathleen & Kyrie Jardin

Welcome to Methow Reservations, serving the Methow Valley community since we began with a state of the art 800 number in 1984 .... we feature state of the art online booking, with calendars up to date 24/7. You are working with professionals who know every detail about the properties we rent.... and you can talk to real people! When it's time for you to visit the Methow Valley, book locally. Stop by and say “Hello” inside the Purple Sage Gallery on the old west Winthrop boardwalk. The Methow Valley is hidden deep in the North Cascades Mountain Range. It is located 20 miles from the Canadian boarder, as the crow flies, and has the largest Nordic ski trail network in North America. We look forward to hosting you, your family and your friends for your winter wonderland adventure ! ! ! “Kind, friendly, and prompt! Methow Reservations is a reliable service for staying in the Methow Valley. My family has been booking here since I was a kid.”

“Your website is easy to navigate, the confirmation emails were clear. Everything was very efficient. You guys turned a potential disaster into a fabulous few awa days away.... that we hope to repeat.”

1-509-996-2148 40