2021 Methow Valley Summer Guide

Page 1



Information for an enjoyable Methow Valley visit


and lodging guides

Activities for every interest & all ages


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Summer 2021


Phasing back in

n April 2021, when we were preparing Methow Valley Summer 2021 for the printer, there was still a lot of uncertainty about what to expect for our longest season (we think of “summer” as May through September, and maybe a bit beyond on the autumn end).

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As the state moves through its coronavirus coverage phases, it’s not easy to predict what pandemic protocols we will still be under. What we do expect is that people will continue to find their way here in impressive numbers. Some events or activities are either already canceled or remain uncertain. Others are re-emerging; a few even endured the summer of 2020 under COVID protocols and are set to return. The Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival and Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival, two broadly popular events, have been canceled again this year. The Merc Playhouse will not likely be hosting

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full productions. But the Methow Valley Memorial Day and Labor Day Rodeos, and Confluence Gallery’s Methow Valley Home Tour, are back on the calendar, and Winthrop ’49er Days was scheduled to return in early May. As of press time, the Methow Valley Farmers Market and Winthrop Market will be open. Look for information about Fourth of July events in Twisp in the weekly Methow Valley news. Of course, the great outdoors is the Methow’s main event, and Methow Valley Summer 2021 is chock full of all the basic information you need to have a fully engaged recreational experience. You’ll find more than 20 user-friendly stories about a wide range of activities and other local attractions that are worth seeking out. And, we continue to offer our dining and lodging guides. There is no better one-stop source for Methow Valley information. Don Nelson Publisher/Editor

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Methow Valley Spin your wheels 7

time in 22 Reel the Methow

10 Move your feet

26 Hoofing it

it 16 Roughing Methow style

30 Safe Passage

18 Shore leave

new 33 Scaling heights

20 Gorgeous greenery

35 A run with a view

The Methow offers every kind of biking experience

The Methow’s many trails offer a multitude of day hikes and overnight adventures

The valley welcomes tents, campers and RVs to its many campgrounds

The valley’s lakes and rivers offer activities in and on the water

A Methow visitor’s guide to golf


On the cover:

Professional photographers often are asked “what’s the best camera.” The answer is. “the one you have with you.” Last summer, reporter Ashley Lodato had her iPhone 11 with her while hiking near Courtney Peak.

The valley’s lakes, streams and rivers welcome anglers

Saddle up for day rides, backcountry trips and wilderness camping

Learn about recreational passes, fees, permits and licenses before you head out

Boulder hopping, peak bagging, or multi-pitch free climbing – the Methow has it all

Trail running in the Methow, from the lows to the highs

Summer 2021

roads 36 The less taken

A selection of scenic drives in and around the valley

full Methow 37 The experience You won’t run out of things to do in the valley

the wild 40 Where things are

Flora and fauna of the Methow

More …

48 Visitor info 48

52 Featured eateries 52

50 Featured lodging 50

53 Eateries guide 53

51 Lodging guide 51

Contributors Don Nelson

Natalie Johnson

Ann McCreary

Marcy Stamper

Ashley Lodato

David Ward

Sandra Strieby

Rick Lewis

is publisher and editor of the Methow Valley News.

is a Methow Valley News reporter.

42 Learning experiences

Exploring the valley’s interpretive sites

44 Creative encounters

is a Methow Valley News columnist.

is a freelance writer for the Methow Valley News.

is managing editor of the Methow Valley News

is a Methow Valley News reporter.

is a Methow Valley News columnist.

is a freelance writer for the Methow Valley News.

A guide to the valley’s outdoor public art

your day 46 Make with Methow Made

Local products will provide a lasting impression of your visit

in 47 Star-struck the Methow

Gaze into the valley’s dark skies for a celestial show

Methow Valley News

DON NELSON | publisher/editor SHEILA WARD | ad sales TERA EVANS | office manager JOE NOVOTNY | design

Methow Valley Summer 2021 is 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 5


Enjoy your stay the Methow way

e are used to busy summers. But we weren’t entirely prepared for the summer of 2020. Despite all the restrictions on services and activities that came along with the state’s COVID protocols, visitors swarmed to the Methow, looking for those far-away-from-thecity experiences that this magical place offers. We’re glad you’re here and will go out of our way to make sure you have a great time. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your Methow experience. • Slow. Down. “Methow Time” is a real thing. Most people are here to enjoy a more leisurely pace, and there’s hardly any reason to hurry anywhere. Take a deep breath, be patient. Be especially alert to the speed limits through Twisp and Winthrop, which see a lot of bike and pedestrian traffic. • Please, please, please,


acknowledge and abide by whatever COVID-related requirements our various businesses have put in place. They are for your protection, but also for ours – tourism is a major component of our economy, and we need to stay healthy to provide visitors what they need. • Respect the land. Last summer, our campgrounds were overwhelmed, and some folks decided to create their own camp spots


guru Rick Steves has some good advice for anyone visiting a new place: behave as if you might come back. • Watch out for the deer. Seriously, even in town. Twisp and Winthrop have “municipal herds” that cross Highway 20 with regularity, and impunity. • Ask for help. We’re informed and ready to provide directions, information or advice.

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wherever they could find a clearing. The resulting messes took time and effort to clean up. • Go native. It’s not that hard to blend in. Start by embracing the “slow down” advice. Dial back any attitude. Give everyone a break. No yelling. Hang out where we hang out. People come to the Methow Valley for the beauty, the quiet, the serenity and the dark skies. We live here for the same reasons. Travel



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Summer 2021

Spin your wheels The Methow offers every kind of biking experience BY A NN M C CRE A RY


rom high alpine singletrack trails that challenge even the most serious rider, to mellow rides along lightly traveled country roads, the Methow Valley has hundreds of miles of dirt, pavement and gravel for cyclists of all abilities and inclinations. Excursions along the valley floor take riders along rivers and through forests and meadows, while mountain trails that reach 8,000 feet (think Angel’s Staircase) carry riders far from civilization and reward them with lovely alpine basins and eyepopping views of jagged snowcapped mountains. In between are all kinds of climbing, rolling, zooming worldclass trails in spectacular settings. Easily accessible from the towns of Winthrop and Twisp are U.S. Forest Service roads, mountain trailheads and quiet pavement for any type of ride imaginable. The expansive mountain bike trail system at Sun Mountain alone offers more than 50 miles of single and double track trails for all abilities, with fabulous views of the valley and surrounding mountains. Riding through the seasons, bikers enjoy colorful spring wildflowers, warm summer days and brilliant fall foliage. The valley’s dry weather makes for great riding from spring until the snow flies – when the fat bikes come out. Cyclists can find maps, trail guides and gear at many locations in the valley, and enjoy après-ride food and beverages at the valley’s diverse selection of restaurants, bars and bakeries.

Methow Valley News Photo by STEVE MITCHELL


Ride sampler – mellow or epic ■ MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDES • Bear Mountain Figure 8: This ride is a great sampler of the riding available in the Loup Loup and Beaver Creek area. It uses U.S. Forest Service road climbs to combine the great Bear Mountain Trail and Middle Fork Beaver Creek Trail descents. The 19-mile trip, including the Telemark Trail, provides 3,074 feet of climbing and 3,049 feet of descent. “The climbs can be brutal if you’re not in shape for it, but both descending sections of singletrack are worth it,” says one rider. No pass required for parking or riding. Electric assist bikes allowed through Sept. 30. • Angel’s Staircase: This is THE Methow Valley ride for the serious mountain biker, reaching 8,000 feet in elevation. This is a physically demanding, epic loop that takes you far from civilization, so bring plenty of food and water, make sure that to carry tools that you know how to use, and be prepared for all conditions. The rewards are fantastic

Where to gear up

• Winthrop Mountain Sports, 257 Riverside Ave., Winthrop, 996-2886 • Methow Cycle & Sport, 29 State Route 20, Winthrop, 996-3645 • Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies, 50 Lost River Road, Mazama, 996-2515 • North Cascades Cycle Werks, 2 Country Road, Mazama, 996-2225 • Cascades Outdoor Store, 222 Riverside Ave., Winthrop, 996-3480

views of jagged mountains and into beautiful alpine basins filled with flowers, trees, and small lakes. The trail is all singletrack, though the first climb up to Cooney Lake can be dusty and loose as it is shared with motorbikes. While most of the trail is easily climbable, the section between Cooney Lake and

the first pass is a good 30-minute hike-a-bike up a steep trail. The suffering is worth it not just for the views, but also because you’ll ride through beautiful alpine meadows before climbing the Horsehead Pass and from there the trail is a flowy rip back to the car. The trail here is buff, fast and well-maintained by equestrian clubs. • Sun Mountain: This expansive network offers 58 miles of riding on 33 trails, with multiple loops and distances available for beginner through advanced riders. The new Thompson Ridge Trail wis complete, adding over 12 miles of fun, flowy singletrack to the network. Check out the trail improvements on Magpie, Black Bear, Pete’s Dragon, Woodpecker and Dave’s Dive as well. Skip riding up the road by checking out Climb-It Change with singletrack climbing access to Thompson Pass. Wild Turkey is a great descending trail packed

with advanced features for the advanced riders. You’ll be treated to scenic views of Patterson Lake and Patterson Mountain on lower trails, with spectacular views of the valley and distant North Cascades on higher trails, which reach almost 5,000 feet. Trails are generally ride-able from early May through mid-November. Trails are well maintained by Sun Mountain Lodge and the Methow Valley Chapter of Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. No parking pass required for parking or riding. Electric assist bikes not allowed.

■ ROAD AND GRAVEL RIDES • Chewuch Loop (with options): This is an easy, 14-mile loop ride on quiet roads, with undulating terrain and some short moderate climbs. Ride up West Chewuch Road and then back on East Chewuch Road, or reverse the direction. For the ambitious, the mileage route can be easily increased by continuing up

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Summer 2021

the Chewuch Road to Andrews Creek, about 24 miles from Winthrop and a steady climb. Or for those for whom no ride is complete without some suffering, add Boulder Creek Road, a moderate climb, or Falls Creek, the local Alp D’Huez, which is very steep at the start and eight miles or so of constant climbing. • Washington Pass: This is a fairly strenuous climb that is well worth the effort for the outstanding views and epic descent. For a 60-mile round-trip from Winthrop, ride Highway 20 past Mazama (or stock up on some food while passing through). The climbing starts at about mile 15 and is fairly relentless the whole way to the top. Shoulders are good, and restrooms are at the lookout at the top. Take plenty of water, food and some layers of clothing. While it can be really warm in the valley, the summit of the pass can be pretty frigid – especially if the wind is blowing. To shorten the ride to 30 miles round trip, start at Mazama or the Freestone Inn. • Tour De Okanogan: This is the ultimate overachiever ride for the local area. This 105-mile loop takes riders south to Twisp and then up over Loup Loup Pass (a pretty steep

Stay tuned for events

The Methow Valley hosts many fun events for cyclists to join or observe. Except for the Gran Fondo (details below), regular events were unconfirmed due to uncertainties of COVID-19 when this publication went to press. Methow Cycle & Sport in Winthrop hosts an events calendar on its webpage (methowcyclesport.com), and is a good source to check for upcoming events. Scheduled for Sept. 18, Gran

Fondo Winthrop will take riders over 90 miles of paved and gravel roads deep into the North Cascades with 10,000-plus feet of climbing. This ride is hard and is intended for experienced cyclists. Riders leave the Winthrop Barn at 8 a.m. Cost: $75. Organizers are hoping for a mass start format, but will adjust for health safety measures if necessary. Find more information at http://rideviciouscycle.com/events/ gran-fondo-winthrop.

and long climb), down to Malott and South to Brewster and then Pateros. The return journey is up Highway 153 from Pateros to Methow, Carlton, Twisp and then Winthrop. Food stops are in the major towns, but take plenty of food water and some money. Repair opportunities are non-existent once you leave Winthrop, so take necessary repair gear. Watch the wind because in the afternoons it usually blows down valley and riding 40 miles into a headwind is no fun. • Bear Creek and Balky Hill Figure 8:

This is a quintessential Methow Valley gravel ride, with beautiful views of the valley and surrounding hills. Take in the wildflowers in the spring as you climb up and over Balky Hill to Highway 20, then retrace your route back to Bear Creek and all the way back down into Winthrop. Information from Methow Cycle & Sport (methowcyclesport.com); Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (evergreenmtb.org); and MTB Project (mtbproject.com).

Information on riding

• Winthrop’s website, winthropwashington.com, has information on mountain and road bike riding, and offers a free “Winthrop Washington” app. • The Methow Trails office in downtown Winthrop has information on mountain bike and road rides, and on its website: methowtrails.org. • Methow Cycle & Sport’s website, methowcyclesport. com, provides trail descriptions, maps and a calendar of events. • Stop by local Methow Valley sports shops in person for current trail conditions and maps. • Trailforks.com, a mountain biking database, has up-to-date maps and trail information. • MTBproject.com, affiliated with the REI outdoor store, offers a comprehensive guide for mountain biking trail maps and information.

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2021 Photo by Summer STEVE MITCHELL

The Methow’s many trails offer a multitude of day hikes and overnight adventures and Ace Hardware in Winthrop also stock some camping gear.



hether you crave solitude or adventure, contemplation or conquest, the mountains can be the backdrop for reflection or the source of inspiration.


Until you’ve spent time in the mountains their distant peaks and valleys can seem mysterious or foreboding, but once you’ve learned to live in harmony with the rhythms of the mountains they really do begin to feel like a second home. Surrounding the Methow Valley the jagged peaks of the North Cascades stand sentinel, calling out to those who crave the wildness of deep gorges, thick forests, rocky promontories, and alpine lakes. Grab your gear, pack up, and hit the trail. Or, fill your day pack with the 10 essentials and have a leisurely outing that will get you back in time for dinner. In the Methow Valley, you can find a wide variety of outdoor gear at Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies in Mazama, and Winthrop Mountain Sports, Cascades Outdoor Store and The Outdoorsman in Winthrop. Do It Center in Twisp

Guided fly fishing trips on the Methow River & surrounding area.

■ WEIGHT The three biggest and heaviest things you’ll need are your pack, your tent (or tarp, if bugs aren’t an issue) and your sleeping bag. Coincidentally or not, these are also likely to be your three most expensive purchases, so shop around, test things out, and make sure you’re investing in equipment that fits you well, is light enough, and is built to last. ■ FOOTWEAR Backpacking footwear choices are bewilderingly vast these days, with options ranging from minimalist sneakers to traditional heavy leather lace-up boots. Most hikers are most comfortable with something from the middle of this range, usually a lightweight breathable boot with moderate ankle support. Winthrop Mountain Sports’ former co-owner Diane Childs suggests that hikers consider stiffness (particularly in uneven terrain), breathability (you probably don’t need waterproof boots if most of your hiking is in the eastern Cascades), and boot height (low for level trails, higher for off-trail), but solves the boot dilemma decisively: “What’s the best boot for The


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■ FOOD Meal planning is often one of the most onerous tasks of the trip, yet is quite possibly the most appreciated component of any journey into backcountry. Just as colors are brighter in the mountains, food seems to taste better. For some people, backcountry meal planning is as easy as visiting an outdoor retailer and purchasing a variety of foil packages, which, after boiling, can be opened to reveal offerings such as beef stew and Thai curried rice and chicken. These meals aren’t cheap, but they’re certainly convenient. For those on a tighter budget or for those who prefer meals from scratch, food planning will take a bit longer. But fear not – backpacking meals with whole ingredients can be simple and satisfying, lightweight and luggable, endlessly varied, and easy on the budget. Suggested meals include: • Breakfast: hot cereal, granola, or bagels and cream cheese. • Lunch: foil pouches of peanut

butter, jam, tuna, or chicken on bagels, or crackers, cheese, and salami. • Dinners: mac-n-cheese, dried black bean soup, couscous with spice packet, sun dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. • Snacks: trail mix, cheese, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, granola bars – favor savory over sweet.

■ HUMAN WASTE Few things kill the buzz of a trip into the backcountry faster than the sight of someone else’s unburied human waste. It’s irresponsible to dispose of human waste improperly, especially as recreational use of popular areas increases, as it has been steadily doing for decades. At backcountry campsites, you may find a modern, clean, regularly-maintained outhouse, a ramshackle privy, or a “wet willy,” which is basically a box-like platform with a seat over a hole. If you don’t find an established toilet, you’ll need to dig a cat hole. Follow Leave No Trace regulations: 6-8 inches deep and 4-6 inches in

diameter (using the U-Dig-It or other sturdy trowel you had the foresight to pack, because it’s really hard to get down 6-8 inches using only a sharp stick or the heel of your boot).

■ CROWD CONTROL With pandemic restrictions and increased use of trails and recreation spots that are open, getting away from it all will probably be more difficult this summer. Try scheduling your trip for mid-week, if possible, and always check https://coronavirus.wa.gov for updates on travel restrictions, regional closures, and social distancing guidelines. ■ HEAD FOR THE HILLS The lower trails and lakes in the North Cascades are often snow-free by June, but the snow in the higher country doesn’t melt until July most years. Plan your trip accordingly, or you’ll find yourself undertaking some pretty rugged travel on trails that may be difficult to locate. Make sure you have proper permits, passes, parking, and pandemic information for your desired destination as well (see page 30).




Summer 2021

A few good choices ■ DAY HIKES (ONE-WAY MILES FROM SHORTEST TO LONGEST) • Slate Peak: The ¼ -mile hike to Slate Peak gets you up to 7,400 feet elevation and provides a glimpse into the rich mining history of the area around the turn of the 20th century. Drive to the end of the Harts Pass road (which can often be quite rough) and hike from the gate. • Falls Creek: Another short hike to a stunning view is the ¼-mile walk to Falls Creek Falls, out the West Chewuch Road. Park at Falls Creek Trailhead. Very kid-friendly. Early season. • Twisp Ponds: A 1-mile loop winds through restored riparian areas, native vegetation, interpretive signage, and several significant public art pieces. Park at the Twisp Ponds site just outside Twisp on Twisp River Road. Very kid-friendly. Early season. • Rainy Lake: Hiking doesn’t get any easier than the 1-mile walk on a paved, level path with interpretive signs and resting benches, ending at a sparkling alpine lake. Park at the Rainy Pass Trailhead. Very kid-friendly. • Tawlks-Foster Suspension Bridge: The flat 1-mile trail to the Suspension Bridge brings you to a picnic shelter and some interpretive signs by the river. Park at the Suspension Bridge

Trailhead along Goat Creek Road in Mazama. Very kid-friendly. • Lone Fir Loop: Kids love the 2-mile loop around Early Winters Creek at Lone Fir Campground. With its shady glades and fun bridges, the trail is interesting and surprising. Park at Lone Fir Campground. Very kid-friendly. Early season. • Meadowlark Natural Area: Situated on a bench overlooking Winthrop, the Meadowlark Natural Area features 2.5 miles of trail through shrub-steppe terrain and provides critical mule deer winter range as well as important habitat for songbirds, small mammals, and raptors. Dogs on leash only. Very kid-friendly. Early season. • Patterson Mountain: The 3-mile loop around Patterson Mountain is one of the first snow-free hikes in the valley and is lush with wildflowers in the late spring. Park at the state boat access on Patterson Lake Road. Early season. • Lake Ann: Lake Ann is just 1.9 miles from the parking area, but it gets you into what feels like the heart of the mountains – a sparkling lake in a granite cirque. Park at the Rainy Pass Trailhead. Very kid-friendly. • Lookout Mountain: Lookout Mountain in Twisp loses its snow early, making it a favorite

spring hike. Panoramic views and a historic wildfire lookout make this 2-mile hike a worthwhile one. From Twisp River Road, turn left on Rd 1605 and connect with Forest Service Rd 4400-200 to the parking area at the end. Early season. • Cutthroat Lake: Another alpine lake worth visiting is Cutthroat Lake, although it is marshier than Blue Lake or Lake Ann. The 2-mile trail into the lake is easy; moms have even been seen pushing baby joggers along it. Park at the Cutthroat Lake Trailhead. Very kid-friendly. Early season. • Blue Lake: The 2.2-mile hike into Blue Lake has some elevation gain but rewards the hiker with the opportunity to dip in its turquoise waters. Park at the Blue Lake Trailhead. • Goat Peak: Goat Peak is popular for its panoramic views of the North Cascades but also for its fire tower on the summit. The 2.5-mile hike is strenuous and is dry in the late summer. From Goat Creek Road, take Forest Rd #52, then #5225, and then to the end of #5225-200 to the parking area. • Maple Pass: The 7-mile Maple Pass loop is probably the most popular day hike in the area, and for good reason. The hike passes through old growth forests and subalpine hillsides before

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emerging into alpine meadows and a 360-degree view of the North Cascades from the summit ridge. Park at the Rainy Pass Trailhead. The Maple Pass hike has been severely over-crowded in recent summers, and is on most summer days the antithesis of a solitary backcountry experience. • Easy Pass: The 3.5-mile hike up Easy Pass is anything but, as you climb up 3,000 feet fairly relentlessly. Emerge into the talus above treeline and the views are breathtaking, as the trail crisscrosses an avalanche fan under the soaring peaks of Ragged Ridge before entering the larch-covered lush Easy Pass saddle. Park at the Easy Pass Trailhead.

■ OVERNIGHT TRIPS (one-way miles from shortest to longest) • Tiffany Lake: The 1-mile trail into Tiffany Lake brings you to a level campsite with swimming and exploration opportunities, with wildflower-carpeted Tiffany Mountain looming above. From the campsite you can travel more lightly on side trips to the saddle above the




lake or to Tiffany’s summit. Park at the Tiffany Lake Trailhead. Directions are complicated; get a Forest Service map. Very kid-friendly. Early season. • Windy Pass: The 3.5-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to Windy Pass lacks significant elevation gain or loss, so you can travel through meadows and larch stands at a brisk clip before reaching your camping destination at the pass.

Drive the Harts Pass Road almost to the end, parking in the small area that gives access to the PCT. Very kid-friendly. • Black Lake: Hiking into Black Lake with a backpack is appealing due to its limited elevation gain and loss. In August, the 4.5-mile trail is lined with raspberries and blueberries as well. There are campsites on both ends of the lake. From the West Chewuch Road, take Rd #51, the #5160-100 to the road end and trail #500. Early season. • Stehekin: Huh? Yes, that’s right, you can hike from the Methow Valley to this tiny boat-and-planeaccess-only community at the end of Lake Chelan. The hike starts at Bridge Creek and drops you gradually into the confluence with the Stehekin River 18 miles later. From there you can take a National Park Service shuttle into Stehekin and either boat out to Chelan the next day if you’ve arranged a pickup, or turn around and hike back to your car at Bridge Creek via McAlester Pass. Two reservable campsites along the PCT provide the opportunity to break the 18-miles up into two days. Park at the Bridge Creek Trailhead.

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The 10 backcountry essentials Developed in the 1930s by The Mountaineers as a checklist for backcountry emergency preparedness, the Ten Essentials were 10 individual items that few experienced wilderness travelers would consider leaving out of their backpacks. The jury is still out on the Ten Essentials regarding day hikes, especially those on familiar or well-marked trails in good weather. While most hikers agree that sunscreen is worth the weight, those trotting around Maple Pass in 3 hours would probably consider it overkill to carry a space blanket and a water filter (however, given the number of people populating that loop, there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a fellow hiker in need at some point). When packing, you’ll need to make the decision for yourself, but consider the basic premise behind the Ten Essentials: You probably won’t use most of this stuff, but as soon as you need it, you’ll be glad you brought it.

• Navigation: Learn how to read a topographic map before you hit the trail. Seriously. Ditto for your compass. Plus, a lot of compasses have mirrors in the lids, which you can use to admire your grubby face. • Sun protection: Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat – wear them every day. • Insulation: Bring more warm clothes than you think you’ll need; it’s colder in the mountains. Even on a sunny day hike it’s often nice to have a hat and puffy jacket for lunch on the summit. • Illumination: Even in the summer with 16 hours of daylight, you never know when you might have to hike out in the dark. Pack a headlamp or flashlight and make sure your batteries are new. • First aid kit: Outdoor stores sell well-stocked commercial kits, or visit REI’s website for an inventory list that will guide you through assembling your own. • Firestarter and matches: If for some reason you are spiraling

WE’RE OPEN Thursday - Monday


toward hypothermia, and there are no other options for getting warm, you’ll have to light a fire. This should only be a last resort if there are no established fire rings. Heed all fire bans! • Repair kit and tools: Sometimes the ability to fix your stove or your pack makes the difference between comfort and misery. • Water and purification system: All water pulled from streams,

rivers, and lakes should be treated. • Extra food: Bring something high calorie, non-perishable and unappealing, like stale energy bars in an unpopular flavor. You’ll have them if you need them, but you won’t be tempted to break them out for dessert one night. • Emergency shelter: If all goes well and you’re lucky, you won’t need your rain gear or space blanket, but better safe than sorry.

Methow Valley Clinic 1116 WA-20 | Winthrop, WA

Meet Your Local Team

Jesse Charles, MD

Michael Tuggy, MD

Call our Wenatchee Scheduling Team to make an appointment today!


Phoebe Hershenow, Danielle Micheletti, PA-C ARNP

Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm confluencehealth.org

Caitlin McIntyre, ARNP Behavioral Health

Rolling Huts • 18381 Hwy 20 • Winthrop, WA 98862


Methow Valley News

• Family Medicine

• Sports Physicals

• Pediatrics

• Annual Check-Ups

• Common X-Rays

• Newborn Screening

• Behavioral Health

* This list is not exclusive, for a complete list of our services please visit our website: confluencehealth.org


Photo courtesy of RIVERBEND RV PARK

Roughing it, Methow style The valley welcomes tents, campers and RVs to its many campgrounds BY A SHL E Y LO DATO


amping is not for everyone, but if you’re the type who prefers roughing it to the creature comforts of a hotel or rented cabin, the Methow Valley is the place for you. From the upper valley all the way down to the confluence of the Methow and Columbia rivers, the Methow Valley has abundant options to pitch a tent, park a camper, or string up a hammock. Sleep under the stars, listen to the wind in the pines, watch the river flow, and

surrender to the camping life.

■ UP-VALLEY (CASCADES TO WINTHROP) These campgrounds are all located right off Highway 20 in the mountains between Winthrop and Washington Pass. Ballard, Road’s End, Meadows and Harts Pass campgrounds are situated on Lost River Road and in the Harts Pass area. For a complete listing of U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in this area, visit www.fs.usda. gov/activity/okawen/recreation/ camping-cabins. ■ MID-VALLEY (WINTHROP TO TWISP)

These campgrounds are all located on or near Highway 20 between Winthrop and Twisp. There are no U.S. Forest Service campgrounds located immediately off Highway 20 in the Winthrop-to-Twisp area; however, numerous Forest Service campgrounds like 8-Mile, Falls Creek, and Chewuch are just a few miles outside Winthrop along the Chewuch River, while others like South Creek, War Creek and Roads End are easily accessible up Twisp River Road. For a complete listing of Forest Service campgrounds in the mid-valley area, visit www.fs.usda. gov/activity/okawen/recreation/ camping-cabins.

■ DOWN-VALLEY (TWISP TO PATEROS) These campgrounds are all located on or near Highway 20 and Highway 153 between Twisp and Pateros. There are no U.S. Forest Service campgrounds located immediately off Highway 153 in the Twisp-to-Pateros area; however, numerous Forest Service campgrounds like Black Pine Lake can be found just a few miles from the highways. For a complete listing of US Forest Service campgrounds in the downvalley area, visit www.fs.usda. gov/activity/okawen/recreation/ camping-cabins.


Trail Passes Lures, Tackle & Live Bait Sporting Goods & Camping Gear Valley Hardware IN TWISP • 509-997-3355 16

Summer 2021

Campgrounds at a glance   Up Valley (Cascades to Mazama)

Mid Valley (Mazama to Twisp)

Down Valley (Twisp to Pateros)


Operated By








Lone Fir Campground

US Forest Service

27 miles NW of Winthrop on Hwy 20

First Come First Served

$12/site; $5 add’l vehicle

potable water pump, no sewer or electric hook up

wheelchair accessible vault toilet

beautiful kid-friendly 2-mile hiking loop along stream, great for cyclists

509-996-4000, www.fs.usda.gov

Klipchuck Campground

US Forest Service

19 miles NW of Winthrop on Hwy 20

First Come First Served

$12/site; $5 add’l vehicle

potable water pump, no sewer or electric hook up

wheelchair accessible vault toilet

trailhead to Driveway Butte hike located at entrance

509-996-4000, www.fs.usda.gov

Early Winters Campground

US Forest Service

15 miles NW of Winthrop on Hwy 20

First Come First Served

$8/site; $5 add’l vehicle

potable water pump, no sewer or electric hook up

wheelchair accessible vault toilet

near town of Mazama, running trails, views of Goat Wall

509-996-4000, www.fs.usda.gov

Rendezvous Huts


Rendezvous Basin, Cougar & Grizzly Mountain area



rustic hut accommodations with propane stove and cooking/eating dishes, bunks with mattresses, no running water

pit toilet

mountain biking, hiking & running trails, sweeping valley and mountain views

509-996-8100, www.rendezvoushuts.com

Pine Near RV Park and Campground


2 blocks from downtown Winthrop


$25-$50; more for cabins

full hookups, EV charging station, laundry, wifi, showers; mining shacks, tipis, cabins

full restroom, showers

pets, walking distance to downtown Winthrop, across street from historic Shafer Museum

509-341-4062, http://www. pinenearpark.com/

Winthrop KOA


1/2 mile east of Winthrop



full hookups, laundry, TV reception, wifi, snack bar, showers

full restroom, showers

pets, riverside, heated pool, cabins, playground, bicycle rentals, pavillion, camping kitchen

509-996-2258, https://koa.com/ campgrounds/ winthrop/

Pearrygin Lake State Park

WA State Parks

3 miles from Winthrop



full hookups, showers, cabins, vacation house, group campsites

full restroom, showers

lakeside, swimming, boating, hiking trails, fishing

509-996-2370, http://parks. state.wa.us/563/ Pearrygin-Lake

Big Twin Lake Campground


3 miles south of Winthrop



full hookups, toilets, showers, wifi

full restroom, showers

boating, stocked lake fishing, close to trails & rodeo grounds, paddleboats, stand up paddleboards

509-996-2650, http://www.bigtwinlakeresort.com

Silverline Resort


1.5 miles from Winthrop



full hookups, toilets, showers, convenience store, wifi, breakfast kitchen

full restroom, showers

lakeside, swimming, boating, hiking trails, fishing, mini-golf

509-996-2448, silverlineresort.com

Riverbend RV Park


2 miles west of Twisp



full hookups, toilets, showers, dog park, wifi, convenience store, laundry

full restroom, showers

riverside, boating, fishing, horseshoes, basketball

509-997-3500, www. riverbendrv.com

Carlton RV Park





full hookups, showers, convenience store, laundry


swimming, beach, free hot breakfast on Sundays

509-997-0833, www.carltonrvpark. com

Loup Loup Campground

US Forest Service

12 miles east of Twisp

First Come First Served

$12/site; $5 add’l vehicle

potable water pump, no sewer or electric hook up

wheelchair accessible vault toilet

creekside, mountain biking, hiking, Western Larch

509-996-4000, www.fs.usda.gov

Alta Lake State Park

WA State Parks

2 miles southwest of Pateros



full hookups, showers, wifi, group campsites

full restroom, showers

lakeside, boating, hiking, birding, golf

888-226-7688, http://parks.state. wa.us/239/Alta-Lake

At press time, the campgrounds listed in this publication were open, with some restrictions and public safety measures in place. For updated information about COVID-19’s impact on private campgrounds, Methow Valley News

COVID-19 camping information

please check those campgrounds’ websites before you leave for your camping trip. For updated information on Washington State Parks campgrounds, visit https://parks. state.wa.us/1181/Parks-opening.

For updated information on U.S. Forest Service campgrounds, visit www.fs.usda.gov/activity/okawen/ recreation/camping-cabins. Many trailheads (such as Early Winters in Mazama and Chickadee

at Sun Mountain) are not open for camping or overnight parking, even for self-contained vehicles; please observe restrictions posted onsite. 17

Shore leave The valley’s lakes and rivers offer activities in and on the water BY M A R CY S TA MPER


n those long days of summer, there’s nothing like some time in – or on – the water to cool off. The Methow offers water activities for all interests and abilities, from shallow wading areas along the rivers to serene freshwater lakes to thrilling whitewater rapids. Because the Methow River is free-flowing, conditions change with the season. In early summer, consider a raft trip with experienced guides to safely navigate the whitewater while you take in the scenery. Later in the season, as the river level gets lower – and the water gets warmer – people switch to tubing, where they can enjoy a relaxed float downstream in gentler conditions. Have your own boat or personal watercraft? Try sailing or jet-skiing on Pearrygin Lake or Alta Lake, where there are state park facilities. Or take a canoe to explore Blackpine Lake, a quiet, highaltitude lake with shimmering blue-green water. Swimmers and waders will want to check out Pearrygin Lake or Patterson Lake for a refreshing dip or languid float on a raft. For a truly invigorating experience, try one of the many swimming holes on the Methow’s rivers. Paddleboards are a familiar sight

on lakes and even rivers. Wind sailing is popular at Patterson Lake when there’s a good breeze.

■ SWIMMING • Patterson Lake, near Sun Mountain Lodge: swim in a cool freshwater lake surrounded by hills. Numerous informal areas along the shore. Access from Patterson Lake Road. • Pearrygin Lake: swim in a large, roped-off area or explore other areas of this spring-fed lake, ringed by mountain scenery. Access from East Chewuch Road and Bear Creek Road east of Winthrop. • Blackpine Lake: swim in a crystal-clear, high-mountain lake. Access from Buttermilk Creek Road (11 miles west of Twisp on Twisp River Road) or Libby Creek Road off Highway 153, 1 mile south of Carlton. • Confluence of Methow River and Twisp River (Twisp Town Park): splash and wade through river rocks where two of the Methow’s finest rivers converge. Lots of options for sunbathing. • Carlton swimming hole: a favorite with locals, with a deep pool, sandy beach and some shade. Access across from the Carlton Store on Highway 153. • Alta Lake State Park: clear mountain lake with day-use area with picnic tables and shade trees. Access 2 miles north of Pateros on Highway 153. • Chewuch Campground swimming hole: a generous pool for splashing and dunking. Access through Chewuch campground, 15 miles north of Winthrop on Summer 2021



the West Chewuch Road toward Thirtymile.

■ BOATING • Pearrygin Lake State Park: Bring your own rowboat, kayak, canoe or motorboat and explore this lake’s many inlets. Waterskiing and personal-watercraft use also allowed. Two boat ramps, 60 feet of dock. Access from East Chewuch Road and Bear Creek Road east of Winthrop. • Alta Lake State Park: Bring your own rowboat, canoe, sailboard, paddleboard or windsurfing gear. Also popular for motorboats or personal watercraft. Limited waterskiing on small lake. Two boat ramps, 60 feet of dock. Access 2 miles north of Pateros on Highway 153. • Patterson Lake: Launch your boat or paddleboard on this beautiful lake, ringed by eye-catching hills, from the state boat launch on Patterson Lake Road. There is an 8-mph speed limit for motorized boats. • Blackpine Lake: Row or paddle on a crystal-clear high-mountain lake. Non-motorized boats only. Gravel boat ramp; two floating docks. Access from Buttermilk


Creek Road (11 miles west of Twisp on Twisp River Road) or Libby Creek Road, 1 mile south of Carlton.

■ RAFT TRIPS AND BOAT RENTALS Motels and outfitters in the Methow Valley are equipped to take you on guided whitewater rafting trips or will rent a rowboat, paddle boat or inner tube so you can

explore on your own. Because of COVID, these companies still don’t know what they’ll be able to offer this summer. Your best bet is to call closer to your visit. • Sun Mountain Lodge rents boats for exploring Patterson Lake. Check this year’s status at 1-800572-0493 or 996-2211. • Methow Rafting leads scenic, organized trips on the Methow

River from their Winthrop location. Choose from guided, family-friendly whitewater trips in rafts or kayaks. They’ll also launch you on a tube trip for a languid float down the river (and pick you up when you’re done). Check this summer’s status at (509) 866-6775 or online at www. methowrafting.com. • Lazy River Tubing at the AbbyCreek Inn rents tubes and life-jackets for a gentle, beginner-level float down the river. Rent tubes at the inn south of Winthrop, get dropped off at the Winthrop Red Barn, and float back to the inn – a trip of 25 to 45 minutes, depending on the season. Season is mid-July to mid-September (depends on river flow), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check details at 996-3153 or www.WinthropTubing.com. • The Silverline Resort on Pearrygin Lake rents paddle boards, kayaks, paddle boats, and rowboats. Check for this summer’s plans at 996-2448 or winthropwashington.com/business/ silverline-resort. Check the guide to recreation passes on page 30, since many of the lakes and rivers require a pass.

Shafer Historical Museum Methow Valley’s Window into the Past

Learn about life in the Methow Valley and the extraordinary people who founded the towns, farmed the land, and traveled the mountains where we live & recreate today. At home? Visit online to view photos, order books, join & donate.

285 Castle Avenue, Winthrop Open May 7 ‘till early October Check website for most current hours Guided tours by reservation

www.shafermuseum.org Methow Valley News


Gorgeous greenery BY S A NDR A S T RIEBY


n assortment of cool greens in and around the Methow Valley offers challenging play in dramatic settings. Magnificent scenery is one attraction at Okanogan County’s four golf courses; read on to learn what else to expect at each one. This article covers local course basics; each of the courses has a website where you can learn more and get a feel for the course. Check for early and twilight hours if you’d like to beat the Methow summer heat.


■ METHOW VALLEY GOLF COURSES • Alta Lake Golf Resort: Located in Alta Coulee west of Pateros, Alta Lake offers a challenging 18-hole course with views of rugged Columbia-basin terrain. The resort’s motel offers a range of rooms, and Golfer’s Package rates for guests. The property is owned by the Barth family, owners of three other courses in the region; a North Central Washington Player’s Card provides discounted rates at all four courses. • Bear Creek Golf Course: Built on a former cattle ranch in the 1960s, the Bear Creek course offers players nine holes with 18 tee boxes, and a driving range. Expect stunning mountain views from the course located just south of Winthrop in the heart of the Methow Valley. For a change of pace, try your hand at Frisbee golf.

In the news

• Beginning this season, the Bear Creek Golf Course is being managed by brothers Rick and Bart Northcott. Both Northcotts have long histories in the community and are lovers of the game. Course upgrades are among their plans. • QuickSands is a new short course at Gamble Sands. Course designer David McLay Kidd calls the terrain “wildly contoured” and speculates that it may be the best on the property. Tight quarters took the land out of the running for the main course, and created the opportunity for fun play for all skill levels. Designed to offer dynamic routing, the course includes 14 greens; direction and distance of play can be varied, and Gamble Sands plans to do just that so the course can be experienced in different ways on different days. QuickSands opens May 1.

■ ELSEWHERE IN OKANOGAN COUNTY • Gamble Sands: Overlooking the Columbia River near Brewster, Gamble Sands was dubbed the “Best New Course of 2014” by Golf Digest, and has continued to earn high rankings. In 2020 Golfweek ranked the course No. 1 among public-access courses in Washington and No. 17 among those in America. A 14-hole short course recently joined the resort’s original 18-holes; there’s also a putting course and, according to Golf Digest, “the most panoramic vistas of any ranked course.” • Okanogan Valley Golf Club: Everyone is welcome at the friendly-yet-challenging Okanogan Valley club. An upland site between Okanogan and Omak ensures sweeping vistas. The club offers a nine-hole course and will be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

cia e • fa ls • wa


g in


g ssa


A Methow visitor’s guide to golf

A boutique wellness space in the beautiful Methow Valley


thetwispa.com Summer 2021

Online tee times

Greens Fees (cart fees not included)


Pro shop





Summer rates: 9 holes, $26; 18 holes, $48. Senior and Twilight rates



Breakfast, lunch, beverages


(509) 923-2359; http:// altalakegolf.com/


9 holes, $25; 18 holes, $37. Junior, Senior, quick golf, and flat golf rates

Call for info


Espresso & snack bar; sandwiches; beverages


(509) 996-2284; http://www.bearcreekgolfcourse.com/

$95-$175. Junior, twilight, short-course, and resort-guest rates



Breakfast, lunch, dinner


(509) 436-8323; https://gamblesands. com/

Okanogan Valley Golf 9 holes, $22; 18 holes, Club, off the Conconully No tee times $33; all day, $44. AnHwy. between Okanoneeded nual memberships gan and Omak



Snack bar; sandwiches and other lunch fare


(509) 826-6937; http://www.okanoganvalleygolf.com/

Name & Location Methow Valley Alta Lake Golf Resort, 3 miles west of Pateros via Hwy. 153 Bear Creek Golf Course, 3 miles southeast of Winthrop via TwispWinthrop Eastside Rd.

Elsewhere in Okanogan County Gamble Sands, 10 miles east of Brewster via Hwys. 97 and 17

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Reel time in the Methow The valley’s lakes, streams and rivers welcome anglers BY RI CK L E W I S


he mid-1800s American naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau was quoted as saying, “Many men go fishing without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” It is true that there are as many reasons to go fishing as there are people who fish. Contemporary 22

author, de facto philosopher and outdoor enthusiast M.A. Bookout put it this way: “In this ever-changing world, there are few things that have remained constant for me. The chance of hooking a nice trout still excites and thrills me to this day … just as it did when I was a kid. I like that.” In the Methow Valley and vicinity, one has an amazing and almost unlimited set of backdrops for those experiences from which to draw, whether it is an

easily accessed lowland lake of the valley floor, the Methow and Chewuch rivers, or the morechallenging high mountain creeks, streams and alpine lakes of the North Cascade Mountains and surrounding wilderness areas. A conversation with lifelong resident and local fishing guru and guide Leaf Seaburg revealed some tips and ideas for the young and novice to the skilled and adventuresome. Seaburg’s most important tip for the vacationing

or occasional angler: know the regulations. With the wide variety of waterways and species, there are, as well, many sets of rules and regulations set by the state of Washington for the management of those resources. Those regulations are locally enforced primarily by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), with other agencies like the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service, and Washington State Parks rangers Summer 2021

Methow Valley Rivers & Streams






2021 Regulations and Information

• Use only artificial lure/fly with single barbless hook. • BAIT IS PROHIBITED • DO NOT play fish to exhaustion. • Minimize handling by leaving the fish in the water. • Use rubberized or knot-less landing net. • Grasp fish by its back and head, gently but firmly, turn fish belly up while removing hook. • If fish swallows hook, cut leader.




Methow Valley Rivers & Streams



Mouth to Eightmile Cr.

May 29 - Aug 15



Boulder Creek


Foghorn Dam to Weeman Br.


May 29 - Aug 15




Wolf Creek




near Winthrop





Gold Creek to Foghorn Dam

May 29 - Sept 30


May 29 - Sept 30



May 29 - Aug 15


Beaver Creek





May 29 - Sept 15


Mouth to War Creek

May 29 - Aug 15 or



re ek









Methow Valley News




■ SOME BASICS • Fishing license required: A Washington state fishing license is required for anyone 15 years of age and older. While children under the age of 15 are not required to hold a license, the supervising parent/guardian/adult probably should have one, especially when helping a child fish. Touching the fishing pole, helping a child reel or land a fish, casting for the child, or any other acts of assistance could be interpreted as fishing by the adult. Consider the $29.50 invested in a license as citation insurance and an investment in cultivating the resource for future experiences. • Special license/punch cards: Some specific types of fish require additional paperwork. Fishing for steelhead trout and species of salmon require additional documents that must be returned to WDFW by a specific date as identified on the punch card and/license. • Seasons vary: Lowland lakes, rivers, streams and high or alpine lakes all have different seasons and requirements. Some are open all year, some open for fishing on the fourth Saturday in April, others later. Closing dates are different and sometimes species specific, and some are completely closed to any sort of fishing. • “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (ignorance of the laws is no excuse): It is the responsibility of the person fishing to know those regulations and abide by them. For that reason, WDFW provides its regulatory pamphlet at all

Catch & Release / Selective Gear Rules Apply to the Methow, Twisp & Chewuch Rivers



providing some enforcement as appropriate for their specific jurisdictions. Supplementing those state regulations are local rules for specific bodies of water regulated by Okanogan County that include hours of operation for water skiers and personal watercraft, the types and size of motors and speed limits, and waters closed to any kind of motorized use.


2021 Regulations & Information


Additional Regulations for Methow Valley Rivers and Streams NOTE: Additional Regulations May Apply Libby Creek

Consult the Washington Sport Fishing Rules 2021 - 2022 pamphlet, download the “Fish Washington” app, or check the WDFW website for more details:


HWY 153

https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations METHOW STEELHEAD REGULATIONS: Opening and closure determined by WDFW. Check emergency rule changes on WDFW website for details.

Gold Creek

Lower Burma Bridge to Gold Creek: May 29 - Sept 15 (unless opened by WDFW special regulations)

Gold Creek

WINTER WHITEFISH REGULATIONS: Consult the Washington Sport Fish pamphlet for details.


All threatened or endangered species - including Summer Steelhead, Spring Chinook Salmon, and Bull Trout - must not be completely removed from the water, unless retention is allowed under special state rules. • Report violations to the WDFW Enforcement Officer 509-631-0903 This map was created by Greg Knab and Ben Dennis and updated by Methow Valley Fly Fishers and Methow Fishing Adventures. Questions - contact methowvalleyflyfishers@gmail.com






CLOSED WATERS (unless opened by WDFW special regulations)




of its licensing outlets around the state. When purchasing a license, it is up to the purchaser to obtain a pamphlet from the retailer. The pamphlet can also be downloaded from the WDFW website and easily accessed by most smart phones in most location around Winthrop and Twisp. Seaburg, a fish culturist by profession, has worked for both the state and federal governments researching, propagating and managing fish, working to enhance habitat and survival of species. He is also the owner/operator of Methow Fishing Adventures Guide Service, methowfishingadventures@gmail.com, and will be willing to help locate and land most any type of fish one can find in the upper Methow Valley and vicinity. He updates fishing reports on local radio station, KTRT-FM (The Root), and online at www.flyfishersproshop.com/blog.

■ WHERE TO FISH Pearrygin Lake is probably the most popular local lake for fishing. Public access is pretty easy with lots of available, publicly owned

shoreline, two developed boat launches at the WDFW Access and Pearrygin Lake State Park, and 188 acres of lake surface. During the frenetic activity of the summer months, the best time for fishing from waterborne craft is in the morning before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. in the evening. By Okanogan County ordinance, when the lake is open for fishing, waterskiing and operation of personal watercraft are permitted only from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.. The lake can be significantly disturbed and choppy from wakes. During July and August, those evening hours extend to 8 p.m. There is a five-fish catch limit per person per day – the first five fish landed, whether kept or released, count toward that limit. WDFW stocks Pearrygin with rainbow trout, occasionally dropping in several hundred triploids ranging from 1.5 to 5 pounds. Open season is from the fourth Saturday in April through Oct. 31. Patterson Lake, near Sun Mountain Lodge, is another local favorite, and the best place to go for spiny rays such as perch and

bass. One might also find an occasional trout species. Best access is a WDFW launch toward the north end of the lake. There is a blend of public and privately owned land at Patterson – anglers are reminded to respect property owners and use the public access point. There are Okanogan County ordinance restrictions on use of motorized vessels that include a maximum 8 mph speed limit, which precludes certain activities, like the operation of personal watercraft and towing of skiers, tubers and such. There are no size restrictions or limits on perch, crappie or bluegill in Patterson. Largemouth and smallmouth bass do have some tricky regulations. For largemouth bass there is no minimum size. Only largemouth bass less than 12 inches may be retained, except one over 17 inches may be retained. Daily limit is five. Smallmouth Bass also have no minimum size, however only one smallmouth bass over 14 inches may be retained. Daily limit is 10. Other lowland lakes around the valley have various seasons and restrictions that can change from year to year depending on fish inventories, resource issues and other management driven initiatives. Again, it is best to refer to the WDFW’s Fishing Regulations Pamphlet and WDFW.gov for the latest accurate information. Davis, Little and Big Twin, Campbell Lake, Cougar and Buck Lake all have varied seasons, limits and species of fish, but can be fun for the intermediate to moreadvanced, selective or specialty gear-driven angler.

■ BACKCOUNTRY ANGLING There are a number of backcountry lakes that provide solitude and some fun fishing adventures in the nearby mountains. Along the North Cascades Highway, some easy and relatively short hikes can get one into some beautiful, yet overburdened alpine lakes. Go early in the day, though, as parking can be a challenge, and you won’t be alone. Hiking trails up the Chewuch and Twisp river drainages find some nice day or single overnight trips to places like Black Lake and North Lake where there are fewer people and better fishing. There are some highquality experiences for those who want to strap on a backpack or set off on horseback into the Chelan Sawtooth or Pasayten wilderness areas. Creeks, streams, rivers and beaver ponds are a challenge in the area. Again, knowing the body of water is imperative, and having the regulations within reach is a must. Indeed, it was while researching this article that the author discovered a favorite, rather secretive spot, had recently been closed by the managing agency. A safe bet is Boulder Creek, a tributary of the Chewuch River north of Winthrop, which contains some rainbow trout, an occasional cutthroat, and the non-native eastern brook trout. “Brookies” are a nice aesthetic catch with their predominant green body color and yellow spotting, and they are also a very nice plating fish coming out of the cooler higher streams. But they do pose management and competitive issues for native species, hence there is no minimum size and no


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w w w. t h e o u t d o o r s m a n s t o r e . n e t Summer 2021

daily limit as fish managers would like to see them vanish. Fishing the Methow and Chewuch rivers takes some expertise with endangered species like the bull trout (Dolly Varden), specially managed salmon and steelhead, and tubers and rafters swimming and floating about. There are a number of guide services operating between Mazama and Pateros, and such expertise is highly recommended to keep one on the safe and legal side of complicated regulations.

■ ABOUT THOSE PASSES Allow us to clarify the still-confusing differences between the Washington State Recreational Lands Discover Pass, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Access Pass and the NW Forest Pass. You will need one of these for most any public parking area and water access point in the Methow and surrounding area. The WDFW Pass is a computerprinted receipt attached to a yellow hang tag that is issued when a person purchases either a hunting or fishing license, as a benefit of

that specific license purchase. It is only valid for parking a vehicle at designated WDFW-managed accesses to navigable waters and upland hunting areas. The Discover Pass is an access pass to state-managed recreational lands under the jurisdiction of WDFW, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. The reason for the difference is simple: The fee for the fishing license is retained solely by the WDFW while the fee for the Discover Pass is split between the three agencies – 84% to State Parks; DNR and WDFW split the remaining 16%. In short, if one is displaying a Discover Pass, one may park a vehicle and access most statemanaged lands in Washington. If that pass is the hang tag issued with the license purchase, look for the single WDFW sign. Locally, at Pearrygin Lake, when parking at the WDFW access between Silverline Resort and the new state park entrance, one can display either permit and be legal. In the state

park, a Discover Pass is required and the WDFW pass is not valid. The Northwest Forest Pass is required for all federally managed lands, including the WenatcheeOkanogan National Forest trailheads and water access points. Fishing Licenses and Discover Passes can be purchased locally at Pardner’s Mini-Mart in Winthrop, and Valley Do It Center in Twisp. As well, passes and licenses can purchased on line at each agency’s website, wdfw.wa.gov/licenses and discoverpass.wa.gov. Discover Passes can also be purchased when renewing your vehicle license either online or from Methow Valley Licensing and Services, 201 W. Second Ave., Twisp (the old Filer Plumbing Building). In addition to Pardner’s and The Do It Center, Northwest Forest Passes are available at Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies in Mazama, in Winthrop at the Cascades Outdoor Store, Winthrop Mountain Sports, and Methow Cycle & Sport, and online through the Forest Service or discovernw.org. For more about passes, see page 30.



Because we…..

REDUCE what we use •

Avoid single-use items

BYO mug and bag

Refill growlers

REUSE our things •

Check local thrift shops first

Check Take It or Leave It for building materials

Share tools in the Tool Library

REPAIR our stuff •

Go to local Repair Cafes

Take care of our things

RECYCLE what we can


Alpine Climbing • Rock Climbing • Ski Mountaineering

Support our local recycling center

Washington Pass • Goat Wall • Mazama North Cascades National Park Mt. Baker • Index • Vantage

Know the rules: methowrecycles.org

Educational Programs Include: Crevasse Rescue & Glacier Travel • Rock Rescue • Multipitch Climbing • Gym to Crag Programs for climbers of all abilities plus family programs

Why is it so beautiful here?

Buy a Blue Bag for recycling on-the-go

info@ncmountainguides.com | 509-996-3272 | ncmountainguides.com

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Hoofing it Saddle up for day rides, backcountry trips and wilderness camping BY N ATA L IE J O HN S O N


s COVID-19 restrictions took a major toll on many summer festivals, vacations and events scheduled in 2020 and 2021, the outdoors became a refuge for the quarantine-weary, suffering from a bad case of cabin fever. “When COVID first hit it was right in the center of our booking season,” said Jess Darwood, of his family company, Cascade Wilderness operators. “The longer we got into COVID, the more calls we got … Our season filled out nice.” This year, Darwood is taking over


the business as his father, Steve, retires. The company is now called Darwood Outfitting, but offers the same services. Outfitters throughout the valley offer day rides or overnight trips into forested areas out of reach of other forms of transportation, and with already small groups for such activities, they abide by social distancing guidelines without making too many changes. “We’ve been pretty fortunate,” Darwood said. “It’s about one of the only true socially distant vacations you can take.” For more than 100 years, outfitters have taken visitors and their gear to camps in remote wilderness areas to explore the area or hunt. Depending on the outfitter or their offerings,

these camps can be basic or deluxe. Either way, participants get out in nature at a time when they seem to need it most. “Until COVID hit we were seeing less and less hikers,” Darwood said. “Last year there was a boom of people wanting to get outdoors and we saw it in our business as well.” Darwood outfitting sets up several camps that stay in place for the full season. Each camp has tents for overnight stays and kitchens with camp cooks. The longest trips last for a week and include daily rides to new locations deep in the wilderness. “We try to take in a fairly comfortable camp so people can go and enjoy the wilderness and the backcountry,” Darwood said.

If a shorter ride is more your speed, Chewack River Guest Ranch and Sun Mountain Lodge offer trail rides through the season. For kids, Bethann McKittrick’s Thunderfoot Riding offers short horse riding camps for locals and visitors alike. “I teach a lot of kids with their own horses but my heart is to provide access to horsemanship and learning horsemanship to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access to horses,” she said. “Horses are just a great vehicle so to speak to teach what it means to be a leader, what it means to train, to develop a safe relationship.” The camps fill up quickly, McKittrick said, so it’s best to sign up well in advance.

Summer 2021 Photo by STEVE MITCHELL

Packers, outfitters and trail rides Darwood Outfitting Jess Darwood (509) 322-5377 www.darwoodoutfitting.com pack trips, drop camps, hunting trips

(509) 923-2548 www.altalake.com/sawtoothoutfitters.html pack trips, drop camps, hunting trips, day rides

Early Winters Outfitting Aaron Lee and Judy Burkhart (509) 996-2659 www.earlywintersoutfitting.com pack trips, drop camps, day rides, riding lessons JD Outfitters (Sun Mountain Lodge) John and Debbie “Red” Schrock day rides of varying durations and arena lessons beginning May 1, 2021. Cowboy dinners not available until May 2022 due to COVID-19. (509) 996-4735 www.sunmountainlodge.com or email activity@sunmountainlodge.com Sawtooth Outfitters/Whistlin’ Pine Ranch Brian Varrelman

Chewack River Guest Ranch Don and Chris Lundgren 588 E. Chewuch Road, Winthrop (509) 996-2497 http://chewackranch.com Trail rides, cattle drives, public stables Thunderfoot Riding LLC Bethann McKittrick (360) 348-2144 93 Lower Bear Creek Road, Winthrop www.thunderfootriding.com More information • Methow Trails: www.methowtrails.org

Meeting your outdoor recreation needs since 1984 Backpacking Gear Fishing and River Supplies Trail Info Footwear Outdoor Clothing

• Methow Valley Back Country Horsemen: www.mvbch.com • Washington Outfitters and Guide Association: www.woga.org


All in, for you!

Bob Monetta

Alexis Port

Delene Monetta

Mary Lockman

Nicola Zahn

Anabel Andres

John Aber

Windermere Real Estate/Methow Valley Twisp | 509-997-6562 WindermereMethow.com

Methow Valley News

Open 7 days a week in downtown Winthrop www.WinthropMountainSports.com 27

Summer Trails

Editor’s Note: This version of the Methow Trails map has been edited to meet production requirements of this magazine. To get the full version, scan the QR code to the right or visit www.methowtrails.org.


Summer 2021

Methow Valley News



Safe passage Learn about recreational passes, fees, permits and licenses before you head out

W boat?

ant to get out on the trail or launch your

Although there are many free trailheads, for many hiking trails, you’ll need a pass to park. Boat launches also require a pass. And that means you’ll need a guide to the land agencies behind the scenes so that you get the right pass. 30

If you hike a lot, it’s worth investing in a Northwest Forest Pass for trails in the National Forest, plus a Discover Pass, which provides access to all state parks and wildlife areas. They’ll save you money and you’ll always be ready for that spontaneous outing. If you don’t expect to visit other national parks in the state, like Mt. Rainier or Olympic National Park,

a Northwest Forest Pass will work fine, since it gives you access to a vast range of hiking trails near the Methow. Most trails along the North Cascades Highway start on U.S. Forest Service land. Even though trails take you into North Cascades National Park, there’s no separate entry fee for the park. The Northwest Forest Pass also covers trailheads in the Chewuch and near

Gold Creek, for access to the Lake Chelan–Sawtooth Wilderness. While the pass system can be confusing, the passes support trail maintenance and recreational facilities as state and federal budgets are cut. Fortunately, some popular areas are still free (see list below). And, if you arrive on foot, bicycle or horse, you generally don’t need a pass. Summer 2021

A basic guide to passes: ■ FEDERAL For U.S. Forest Service land (Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest/Methow Valley Ranger District) Needed at: - Most trails along the North Cascades Highway, including Blue Lake, Cutthroat Lake/Pass, and Lake Ann/Maple Pass - Lookout Mountain - Twisp River trails - Falls Creek Falls, Chewuch area - Also good at national forests in Oregon Pass options: - Northwest Forest Pass, $30, annual - National Forest Recreation Day Pass, $5, day - National Forest Recreation ePass, $5, day; can be printed at home and validated for the day you’re going to use it ■ STATE Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW Methow Wildlife Area), Department of Natural Resources areas Needed at: - Carlton Swimming Hole - Lewis Butte - Patterson Mountain/Patterson Lake - Pearrygin Lake State Park (unless you’re camping there) - Alta Lake State Park (unless you’re camping there) - Leader Lake (Loup Loup Highway) Parking on state land requires a Discover Pass (unless you can park safely on a state or county road). The campsite fee at a state park covers your daytime activities there (including boat launch), but camping on other state lands generally requires a Discover Pass. The pass can be transferred

between two vehicles. Pass options: Discover Pass, $30, annual; $5 service fee if purchased online or at a local vendor Day Pass, $10, day; $1.50 service fee if purchased online or at a local vendor The Vehicle Access Pass is free to people who buy hunting and fishing licenses. It provides access to WDFW lands (such as the Methow Wildlife Area), boat launches and other water access sites, but not other state lands. The pass can be transferred between two vehicles. If you do a lot of boating at state parks, the annual Natural Investment Permit could be the way to go. For $80, you get access to watercraft launches, as well as day access to the parks, for a year. The pass can be transferred between two vehicles. The Natural Investment Permit is only good at state parks and doesn’t cover state wildlife lands or state forests, so you still need a Discover Pass to visit those areas. You can buy a single-day permit to launch a boat for $7, but you’ll also need a $10 day pass if you don’t have a Discover Pass. You can launch a boat for free if you’re camping at a state park like Pearrygin or Alta Lake.

■ PICKING THE RIGHT PASS In addition to the main passes – day or annual versions of the Northwest Forest Pass and the Discover Pass – a variety of other passes are available, depending on your interests, age, and how much you use public lands. Interagency Annual Pass: $80 for a year. Good at national parks and other federal lands; has two

signature lines and both people are considered pass holders. Interagency Senior Pass: If you’re over 62, you can get a lifetime pass for $80 or an annual pass for $20. Both the Interagency Annual Pass (aka the America the Beautiful Interagency Pass) and the Senior Pass are good at national parks, U.S. Forest Service lands (most trails along the North Cascades Highway), and other natural areas run by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. They also provide free entrance for your traveling companions and a discount on camping, boat launching and guided tours. A pass providing lifetime entry to all federal lands (the Interagency Access Pass) is available for free to those with a disability and their traveling companions, and to certain volunteers. The Interagency Annual Military Pass is free for active-duty military and traveling companions. The Interagency 4th Grade Pass Every Kid Outdoors program provides a free pass to all fourth-graders (or those who start fourth grade this fall)

and their families from September through August. The pass must be printed and displayed at parks and other sites. Check out everykidoutdoors.gov.

■ MORE INFO There’s detailed information about the different types of passes, where you need them – and what the agencies use the fees for – on the Washington Trails Association website at www.wta.org/go-outside/passes, plus a handy guide called “Which Pass Do I Need Q&A.” Federal (U.S. Forest Service and national park) passes are also available through the U.S. Geological Survey store at http://store.usgs.gov, on the home page and under “Recreational Passes.” http://store.usgs.gov More FAQs and a quick guide to choosing a pass are at Discover Your Northwest, https://www.discovernw. org under the “Rec Passes” tab. Free trails - Big Valley, between Winthrop and Mazama - Goat Peak, Mazama - West Fork Methow, Lost River - Copper Glance, Chewuch - Harts Pass area

Rafting Kayaking Tubing

methowrafting.com | info@methowrafting.com | (509) 866-6775 Methow Valley News


FEDERAL Annual Northwest Forest Pass is $30; National Forest Recreation Day Pass or Day ePass is $5

■ LOCAL VENDORS Cascades Outdoor Store, 9963480, annual only Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies, Mazama, 996-2515, annual only Methow Cycle & Sport, Winthrop, 996-3645, annual and day Valley Hardware Do it Center, Twisp, 997-3355, annual and day Winthrop Mountain Sports, Winthrop, 996-2886 National Forest Recreation Day Pass (day) ■ IN PERSON: at trailheads; requires exact cash or check Day ePass ■ ONLINE: Purchase online, print at home and validate for desired date Online or by phone (annual and day passes):

U.S. Forest Service: www.fs.usda. gov/okawen (click on “Passes & Permits,” then “Recreation Passes & Permits”; select pass from options on page) Discover Your Northwest, https:// www.discovernw.org (click on the “Rec Passes” tab). U.S. Geological Survey store at http://store.usgs.gov, (888) 275-8747 (plus $5 or $10 processing fee, depending on the pass). Also has pass FAQs. Processing of interagency pass orders may be delayed because of COVID, so you may want to buy your pass in person. Interagency Annual Pass (aka America the Beautiful pass) Honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees. Waives most day-use fees (except at some concessionaire-run sites) and most entrance fees for all the federal agencies listed below under

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■ COVID INFO As of press time, the Methow Valley Ranger District was closed to the public because of COVID restrictions. Call 996-4003 for updates. Some national parks and federal sites across the country may not be open, so call before you visit.


Annual Discover Pass is $30; Day Pass is $10

■ IN PERSON: Discover Pass (annual and day passes) State Park ranger at: - Pearrygin Lake State Park, Winthrop - Alta Lake State Park, Pateros (no transaction fees) Local vendors (annual and day passes) Pardners Mini Market, Winthrop, 996-2005 Valley Hardware Do it Center, Twisp, 997-3355 Winthrop Ace Hardware, Winthrop, 996-2150 (transaction fees: $5, annual; $1.50, day) ■ ONLINE OR BY PHONE: https://discoverpass.wa.gov or (866) 320-9933 (transaction fees: $5, annual; $1.50, day) When renewing vehicle license

tabs (annual pass only): - In person at the Washington Department of Licensing - By mail with tab-renewal form - Online at www.dol.wa.gov - Methow Valley Licensing & Services, Twisp, 997-9009 Can purchase annual pass with vehicle-registration renewal; pass is sent from Olympia, so it takes about two weeks (no transaction fees)

■ PASS INFORMATION AND ONLINE PURCHASES General info: Washington Trails Association: https://www.wta.org/go-outside/ passes/passes-and-permit-info Outdoor Recreation Information Center: https://www.discovernw.org/ ranger-station-rei-seattle.html, (800) 270-7504. Full list of federal and state passes to buy online. Discover Your Northwest, www. discovernw.org (under “Rec Passes”). Federal: U.S. Forest Service: www.fs.usda. gov/okawen (click on “Passes & Permits,” then “Recreation Passes & Permits”). That includes the Northwest Forest passes, the Interagency Annual Pass (covers two people who sign the pass) and special passes for seniors 62 and over ($80, lifetime; $20, annual), active military (free, annual), and the disabled (free, lifetime). The page describes the different passes and gives pointers on choosing the right one for your interests. The free Interagency 4th Grade Pass (Every Kid Outdoors) program provides a free pass to all fourthgraders (or those who start fourth grade this fall) and their families from September through August. Check out everykidoutdoors.gov. State: Discover Pass: https://discoverpass.wa.gov; frequently asked questions, exemptions, etc.

Brighten up your mailbox...

(509) 997-7011

Where to buy rec passes

“Participating Sites” across the United States. The Interagency Annual Pass has two signature lines and any two individuals may sign the pass. Both are considered pass holders. Frequent visitors of multiple federal agency lands may save money by buying an Interagency Annual Pass. Interagency 4th Grade Pass (annual pass, free) everykidoutdoors.gov


Methow Valley News Summer 2021

Scaling new heights Boulder hopping, peak bagging, or multi-pitch free climbing – the Methow has it all BY J OA NN A B A S T I A N


he Methow Valley has long been a sport climber destination for the variety of rock faces and scenic views from ground to summit. More routes are added each year, and trails to popular areas are improved for accessibility and to protect sensitive areas. The variety of surfaces and routes found throughout the valley and surrounding areas provides an experience for all levels of ability: from beginners to experienced alpine climbers. From hundreds of locations and routes to choose from, it is easy to find serenity away from summer crowds. Just you and few close friends, puzzling out the route beneath your fingers, feeling the warmth of the rock on your face, a light breeze across your back, feeling thousand-yearold stories locked in granite, read by your fingers and toes.

Photo by STEVE MITCHELL Methow Valley News

■ WHAT TO KNOW The Methow Valley is a destination experience that becomes more popular every year. Increased use causes damage to sensitive environments. Always stay on the trail and leave no trace. Only park and camp in approved areas. Plan several options for outings, and if the parking lot at Plan A is full, proceed to Plan B. Practice good climbing etiquette and fundamental

safety precaution; a great list of tips can be found at www. rockandice.com/how-to-climb/ best-rock-climbing-ethics-andpractices. North Cascades Mountain Guides in Mazama is the premier guide service for learning the ropes or bagging the peaks surrounding the Methow Valley. NCMG guides have decades of experience, trained and certified by the American Mountain Guides Association. NCMG maintains a low ratio of clients to guides to ensure a high margin of safety and a quality experience with individual attention. NCMG offers an armchair preview of the Methow Valley peak experience through videos on their blog, located at www.ncmountainguides.com. Books written by local and world-renowned climbers provide readers with climbing routes, tips, and stories of life on the eastern slopes of the North Cascades. “Mazama Sport Climbing,” by Bryan Burdo, is the most comprehensive guide to sport climbing in the upper Methow Valley. This book is the updated 2019 version to Burdo’s earlier publication, “Methow Rock.” “Matrix & Europa,” also by Burdo and fellow climber Gabe Grayum, covers over 60 new routes near Mazama not covered in any other guide book. Legendary late climber Fred Beckey meticulously documented his Cascade ascents in three volumes of the “Cascade Alpine Guide” series. 33

“Stone Palaces,” by local author and climber Geof Childs, received the American Alpine Club H. Adams Carter Literary Award for providing readers with “a vision of the climbing life that is insightful, true, and beautiful.” All these books and more can be found at the Trail’s End Bookstore in Winthrop, or at Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies in Mazama.

■ MULTIDAY TRIPS Soaring summits and miles of views are the draw to the backcountry peaks surrounding the Methow Valley. The Methow Valley Ranger station, located at 24 W. Chewuch Road in Winthrop, (509) 996-4000, can provide permits and up-to-date trail conditions for destination peaks in the Sawtooth Wilderness, Pasayten Wilderness and Washington Pass areas. PeakBagger.com has information on the top peaks in the area, including the towering classics of Mt. Gardner, Silver Star and Hoodoo Peak. ■ REWARDING DAY TRIPS Short or long, there are many

options in the Methow Valley for climbers of all levels of experience and skill. Color printed miniguides can be purchased at Goat’s Beard. • Fun Rock: Located 1.4 miles northwest of the Mazama Store, the Fun Rock crags along Lost River Road are easily accessed from the parking area. Signs point all the way to crags. Over 50 routes ranging 5.5-5.13b are noted in the Fun Rock guidebook – available at Goat’s Beard. • Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires: The climbs in the Liberty Bell/Early Winters Spires area are some of the best in Washington state, with solid rough granite and climbs ranging from moderate to difficult. This area is popular for good reason, but decades of popularity have resulted in considerable impact to the surrounding area, including human waste disposal issues, erosion and trail proliferation. The result of a collaborative effort with the U.S, Forest Service, the Access Fund, the National Forest Foundation, and other organizations, the presence of a seasonal climbing ranger with outreach and education information will be a step toward mitigating

human impact on the Liberty Bell/ Early Winters Spires area. Please respect signs and use guidelines. • Goat Wall: The iconic Goat Wall towers 1,500 feet over the valley floor. The parking lot and trail access is located 3 miles northwest of the Mazama Store on Lost River Road. The face of Goat Wall is over a mile wide and consists of meta-pyroclastic rock. Irregular cracks and jagged holds provide texture to smooth glacier polish. Long sport multi-pitches and natural lines provide varied options to enjoy classic climbs. • Europa: Europa is Goat Wall crag with new routes ranging from 5.6-5.12. • The Matrix: Located 1.6 miles south of Mazama and accessible from the Goat Creek Sno-Park, the 60-plus routes at The Matrix are mostly sport routes with a few traditional lines as well. • West Chewuch/Falls Creek: Climber and author Bryan Burdo developed this new site located along West Chewuch road, above Falls Creek. The climb is a single pitch bolted route, with traditional options on the surrounding walls above the falls.

• Washington Pass Crags: The climbing crags are located above the hairpin turn at Washington Pass. A five-minute walk from the road leads climbers to faces with single pitch bolted routes and traditional options.

■ TIPS AND GEAR Climbing equipment, outdoor gear, guidebooks, maps, and local climbing advice are available at several locations throughout the Methow Valley: • Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies in Mazama has the largest selection of climbing gear found in the valley. Be sure to purchase the color print miniguides for local crags. www.goatsbeardmountainsupplies.com 44 Lost River Road, Mazama (509) 996-2515 • Winthrop Mountain Sports www.winthropmountainsports. com 257 Riverside Ave., Winthrop (509) 996-2886 • Cascades Outdoor Store www.cascadesoutdoorstore.com 222 Riverside Ave., Winthrop (509) 996-3480

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Summer 2021

A run with a view Trail running in the Methow, from the lows to the highs BY J OA NN A B A S T I A N

2021 trail running events


ith a vast network of connected trails and diverse terrain ranging from river valley to ridgelines, the Methow Valley ranks high on the list for trail runners’ top places to put rubber to the ground.

Check with the sponsoring organization for updated information. • May 22-23: Sun Mountain 50-mile, 25K and 50K trail runs (tentative pending permits) www. rainshadowrunning.com. • Sept 11: Cutthroat Classic 10.6mile trail run from Rainy Pass over Cutthroat Pass to the finish line at Cutthroat Trailhead. $85. www.methowtrails.org.

No matter the weather or conditions, trail runners can easily find a trail to fit their mood. The varied terrain, elevations and micro-climates in the Methow Valley provide options that change daily. In winter, groomed snowmobile trails provide runners access to the higher elevations and views. When spring snows block higher elevations, valley trails accommodate runners with ample views. As the valley floor heats up in the summer, cooler mountain temperatures and shaded trails provide a refreshing retreat.

■ BEFORE YOU GO The Methow Valley is a scenic resource that is becoming ever more popular each year. Increased use causes damage to sensitive environments. To help us protect our beautiful areas, always stay on the trail, leave no trace, and park and camp only in approved areas. Plan several options for outings, and if one parking lot is full, move on to your next option, or come back on a different day. Take COVID precautions by wearing a mask at the trailhead, and keep a mask at hand on the trail for use when passing other trail users. Wear bright colors and come prepared for challenging trail conditions and changing weather. Unexpected storms can roll in quickly in the higher elevations. Pack light layers, such as a rain jacket and stocking cap, a map, compass, cell phone, whistle, sunscreen, water, first aid kit, and snacks. Know your limits. Trail running Methow Valley News


in challenging terrain and steep climbs can take twice as long or longer than a road run. Give yourself plenty of daylight. A Discover Pass or Northwest Forest Pass is required for most trail access. Maps for area trails, trail condition information, and trail passes can be found at the Methow District Ranger Station, Winthrop Mountain Sports, Cascades Outdoor Store and Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies.

■ RECOMMENDED TRAILS • Patterson Lake trail is a 3.75mile loop, when connected with the Radar Creek and Magpie trails in the Sun Mountain trail system. This run can be made longer and more challenging by utilizing the connected trail system up to Patterson Summit, Thompson Ridge, or with

the Methow Community Trail. • Jack’s and River Run can be accessed via the Early Winters Campground, Freestone Inn Trailhead, or North Cascades Trailhead. The 7-mile loop can be extended via Upper Jack’s trail, or a side jaunt up Doe Canyon. • Spokane Gulch trail is a 5-mile roundtrip zigzag up Goat Wall. Park at the Corral Parking Lot in Mazama, and follow the signs across the meadow to the trailhead. • Riser Lake Loop is 4 miles of early season bliss, circling a riparian wetland. Parking lot is located on Gunn Ranch Road. To extend this run and add a climb, take a side trip up Lewis Butte, 2.5 miles round trip. • Pipestone Canyon Rim Trail is a 9-mile loop traversing the canyon

rim and floor. Small sections along the rim are closed seasonally to protect nesting falcons. If this is the case, use the marked detour routes. • Cutthroat Pass has multiple options for distance and elevation gain. Via the Pacific Crest Trail, the 10-mile roundtrip route gains 2,000 feet of elevation. When accessed from Cutthroat Lake trailhead, the route is 11.4 miles roundtrip, with 2,300-foot elevation gain. • Golden Lakes Loop is one of the longer loops with rewarding heights. At 23.1 miles and an elevation gain of 5,223 feet, this scenic loop requires time and skill. At the highest point, Angel’s Staircase offers a bird’s eye view of Glacier Peak.

■ INFORMATION AND GEAR • Methow Valley Ranger Station www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/okawen 24 W. Chewuch Road, Winthrop (509) 996-4000 • Winthrop Mountain Sports www.winthropmountainsports. com 257 Riverside Ave., Winthrop (509) 996-2886 • Cascades Outdoor Store www.cascadesoutdoorstore.com 222 Riverside Ave., Winthrop (509) 996-3480 • Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies www.goatsbeardmountainsupplies.com 44 Lost River Road, Mazama (509) 996-2515 35

The roads less taken A selection of scenic drives in and around the valley BY N ATA L IE J O HN S O N


early every drive is a scenic drive when you’re in the Methow Valley. Whether you’re looking at snow-covered mountains from a distance, cruising alongside the Methow, Twisp or Chewuch rivers or gazing at rolling wheat fields and herds of cattle, the Methow has a little of everything. You could drive Highway 20 over Loup Loup Pass for a winding, forested trip in and out of the valley, or take the back way between Twisp and Winthrop on the TwispWinthrop Eastside Road. Twisp River Road is a paved path along the Twisp River ending in a Washington State Parks Recreation Area, while a drive up to Bear Creek and Pipestone Canyon hits gravel and dirt roads. The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway, which includes the Methow Valley and follows Highway 20 west across Washington Pass, was recently named a National Scenic Byway, recognizing its miles of beauty as it loops around the North Cascades. We’ve collected a handful of short, scenic drives for locals and visitors


alike to enjoy this summer in the Methow Valley.

■ CASCADE LOOP SCENIC BYWAY The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway is a 440-mile loop stretching as far west as Oak Harbor, but a portion of it starts at Pateros at the confluence of the Methow and Columbia Rivers and heads north through the Methow Valley, first on Highway 153, then at Highway 20 at Twisp. Highway 20 passes through Twisp, Winthrop and Mazama before turning west over the North Cascades. The drive has incredible views from the road, but plenty of places to stop and enjoy the scenery up close. North Cascades National Park has no entry fee, and the area includes many hiking and camping opportunities in the warmer months. ■ CHEWUCH LOOP The Chewuch loop snakes past shrub-steppe, farmland and country houses and provides a path to Pearrygin Lake State Park and the National Forest. To start on the west side from Winthrop, head out of town on Highway 20 and turn right onto West Chewuch Road. At the stop sign about 7 miles out, you can turn right, cross the Chewuch River bridge and head back toward Winthrop on East

Chewuch Road to finish the loop. Alternately, continue straight ahead on Forest Service Road 51. In about 5 miles you will encounter a short walking trail to scenic Falls Creek Falls. You can ramble for many miles more on the primitive road, all the way to the Thirtymile Fire Memorial, which commemorates the four firefighters who died in 2001 while combating the fire. It is a quiet and contemplative place to stop before returning the way you came.

■ SIDE TRIP If you choose the East Chewuch Road route back to Winthrop, a left turn at Bear Creek Road takes you to Pearrygin Lake State Park. After the pavement ends, you can continue south on Bear Creek Road along a ridgeline overlooking Pearrygin Lake, then all the way to the Bear Creek Golf Course. At Lester Road just before the golf course, turn left for the road to Campbell Lake and Pipestone Canyon, where there is a parking area at the end of the road. There’s a bit of a view of Pipestone Canyon from there, but take a trail for 1.5 miles for a better look. ■ TWISP RIVER ROAD Second Avenue in Twisp Becomes Twisp River Road, which becomes a Forest Service road before ending at

the Roads End Campground – about a 25-mile drive – and becoming the Twisp Pass Trail. The first public access to the river is at Elbow Coulee, about 9 miles from town (Elbow Coulee is an interesting side trip that connects to Patterson Lake Road). Keep driving and you’ll reach the War Creek Campground, further still will take you to the Mystery Campground and the Slate Creek Trailhead. Keep going on the forest road toward Gilbert Mountain to find more trailheads and campgrounds, before the road finally dead ends at the fittingly named Roads End Campground. The Twisp Pass Trail continues on, but the car has to stay behind.

■ HARTS PASS Starting at the Mazama Store, go west toward Lost River. Turn right on Harts Pass Road after 8.8 miles – about 2 miles past where the pavement ends. In 12 more miles you’ll be at Harts Pass. Bear right to get to Slate Peak in another 2 miles. Check road conditions before heading out and be aware of seasonal conditions such as lingering snow or slides. The road to Harts Pass is a steep, narrow, primitive route with intimidating drop-offs along the way (Dead Horse Point is called that for a reason). Go slow, watch for oncoming traffic, and enjoy the ride.

Summer 2021 Photo by STEVE MITCHELL

The full Methow experience You won’t run out of things to do in the valley 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.



ou came to the Methow Valley to hike. Or you came here to climb. Or to backpack, raft the river, waterski, mountain bike, swim, compete in an athletic event, read in a hammock, fish or float downstream. You came to spend time alone, or spend time with your family, or your dog. Your days are full of activity, or full of a whole lot of nothing, and that’s exactly how you want it to be.

■ WORK OUT Looking for indoor exercise? Get a day pass at Winthrop Physical Therapy & Fitness and take advantage of a wide range of modern workout equipment in a pleasant environment, or take one of their regular fitness classes. Visit their website for the latest COVID updates and protocol, http://winthroppt. com. All of the local yoga studios offer drop-in rates and a welcoming atmosphere.

But at some point you might find yourself with a free hour, or a free afternoon, and you think, “What now?” And the answer is, “All of the rest of things to do in the Methow Valley, that’s what.” As of this writing, Okanogan County remains in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, which affects how restaurants and bars may operate – which means things may change throughout the summer. 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.

■ ARTFULLY DONE 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. 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 and Cinnamon Twisp Bakery in Twisp. Look for unique items at other boutiques Methow Valley News

■ NIGHT LIFE Restaurants and bars in both Twisp and Winthrop will again feature evening entertainment like live music, poetry slams, open mic sessions, trivia nights, and other activities – depending on COVID protocols. Check with the individual establishments for more information.


and stores including the Fiber yarn store in Twisp, where you can learn to knit on site.

■ LOCAL CREATIONS A one-stop destination for locally created products, Valley Goods in the TwispWorks campus features the work of more

than 70 Okanogan region artisans, craftspeople, creators and makers. The Mind Buffet in Winthrop sells jewelry, art, candles, papercrafts and other creations of Methow Valley youth.

■ TREAT YOURSELF Get a massage, facial, manicure,

■ LIVE PERFORMANCE As the county moves toward reopening, live public performances like plays, concerts, poetry slams and other literary readings, and informal jam sessions will eventually resume. We look forward to the return of performances at: The Merc Playhouse, Old Schoolhouse Brewery, Old Schoolhouse Brewery Taproom at TwispWorks, Methow Valley Ciderhouse, Sixknot Taphouse, Twisp River Suites, the Branding Iron, Mick & Miki’s Red Cedar Bar, Copper Glance, The Barnyard Cinema, Methow Arts, the Methow Valley Community Center, Winthrop Barn, Sun Mountain Lodge, Freestone Inn, Mazama Country Inn, Confluence Poets, and Trail’s End Bookstore. ■ LOOK TO THE STARS The Methow Valley’s dark skies will show you the constellations 37

■ GRAB A CUP Savor locally roasted coffee at Blue Star Coffee Roasters, Kind Grinds, Rocking Horse Bakery, 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 52 and 53 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 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, and with warmer weather and an increasingly vaccinated population, in-person classes have begun to resume. Visit www. methowconservancy.org/events, www.methowarts.org/community calendar, www.winthroplibraryfriends.org/events, methowcommunity.org/calendar, and https:// methowathome.clubexpress.com.

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FAMILY FRIENDLY ■ METHOW VALLEY INTERPRETIVE CENTER When you’re in the Methow Valley you’re on land traditionally occupied by the Methow People. The Methow Valley Interpretive Center offers exhibits, events, and classes that foster cultural awareness and understanding of Indigenous peoples and the natural history of the Methow Valley. A native plants garden, a fire lookout replica, and a traditional pit house provide delightful and educational exploration. Visit www.methowvalleyinterpretivecenter.com. ■ HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES The Shafer Historical Museum on Castle Street in Winthrop (also reachable by stairs from Riverside Avenue) offers a remarkable and informative collection of buildings, belongings, documents and artifacts from Methow Valley history. The centerpiece is “The Castle,” the original home of Winthrop’s legendary entrepreneur Guy Waring. It’s well worth a casual stroll (www.shafermuseum. com). The museum also offers a self-guided tour of Winthrop pamphlet for $2. It is also available at the visitors center on Riverside Avenue. ■ FISH STORIES The National Fish Hatchery in Winthrop, which raises spring Chinook, coho salmon and steelhead, offers exhibits and interpretive information. Check fws.gov/ winthropnfh to make sure the hatchery is open under COVID


■ SMOKEJUMPING TOURS The smokejumping approach to fighting wildfires started at the North Cascades Smokejumpers base in 1939. Learn all about it in a tour at the base, on Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road. Check at www.northcascadessmokejumperbase.com to make sure the base is open under COVID protocols. ■ ART WALK 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. Visit www. methowarts.org/public-art-map for a map and brief description of the art and artists. See related article, page 40. ■ SUMMER READING 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. ■ SILVER SCREEN A normal year in The Barnyard Cinema’s deluxe viewing room brings an eclectic roster of films ranging from wide-release to independent to arty; with COVID the focus is on the intimate private

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like you’ve never seen them before. Check out Dave Ward’s article about summer stargazing on page 47, 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. They welcome involvement from residents and visitors. Email kyrie.jardin@ methowdarksky.org for more coalition information.


Methow Valley News Summer 2021

rental experience, with an eventual return to full audiences. Contact The Barnyard Cinema, www. thebarnyardcinema.com, (509) 996-3222, info@thebarnyardcinema.com.

■ MAKE A CROSSING There’s something special about footbridges, and the Methow Valley’s three most prominent pedestrian-only bridges are gorgeous examples of cable bridge architecture and engineering. The Tawlks-Foster Suspension Bridge in Mazama is a traditional suspension bridge over the Methow River, with a nearby picnic shelter, interpretive signage, and a William Stafford poem plaque. Downvalley, the Sa Teekh Wa Bridge over the Chewuch River at the north end of downtown Winthrop and the Spring Creek Bridge over the Methow River are cable-stay bridges with easy access to the amenities of town. The Sa Teekh Wa Bridge connects to a riverside interpretive trail, while the Spring Creek Bridge delivers you to the Winthrop Rink,

with roller skating and pickleball sessions.

you can take a dip in nearby Pearrygin Lake: silverlineresort.com.

■ GET PICKLED A few years ago the Methow Valley went crazy for pickleball and the passion hasn’t waned. The Winthrop Rink’s summer session includes pickleball sessions. Visit http://winthroprink.org/pickleball for complete information.

■ MARKET IT Dedicated to connecting Methow Valley growers and producers with consumers, the Methow Valley Farmers Market runs Saturday 9 a.m.-noon from mid-April through late October at the Methow Valley Community Center parking lot in Twisp. http://www.methowvalleyfarmersmarket.com. A Sunday market running 10 a.m.2 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Winthrop Market in Mack Lloyd Park features artisan goods and other locally-made products: https://winthropwashington.com/ events/farmers-markets.

■ LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL Wheels on your heels is so retro that it’s modern. Visit the Winthrop Rink at http://winthroprink.org for roller skating and roller hockey schedules. ■ TAKE A SWING The Methow Valley offers three mini-golf options. Ice cream and miniature golf go hand-in-hand (cone in one hand, club in the other) in downtown Winthrop at Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe, www.sherissweetshoppe.com. On the eastern edge of Winthrop, the Abby Creek Inn runs an 18-hole mini golf course. www.abbycreekinn.com. After a round or two of mini golf at the Silverline Resort,

■ 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.

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Where the wild things are Flora and fauna of the Methow BY S A NDR A S T RIEBY


hanks to its size, latitudinal extent, and diverse terrain, the Methow Valley is home to a vast array of plants and animals. This article offers an overview of the valley’s habitat types, and a look at some of the plant groups and animal species that occupy them. The Methow offers four major habitat types for plants and animals to colonize: forest, shrub-steppe, riparian and aquatic. • Forested lands receive enough moisture to support trees, and vary from dry forests where trees may be widely spaced to denser stands in cooler and wetter areas – often at higher elevations. • In the shrub-steppe, trees are few or non-existent due to lack of water; shrubs fill the ecological niche that’s occupied by trees in forests. Long considered barren wastelands, areas of shrub-steppe are now understood to be rich storehouses of plant and animal diversity. • Riparian areas – those adjacent to water bodies – have access to plenty of water and support diverse trees and shrubs. Straddling the edge between water and land, they are house abundant resources and are more important than their size would suggest. • Aquatic systems – rivers, streams and lakes – are home to few plants but many animals.

■ THE FLORA Forests, shrub-steppe and riparian areas all support a mix of vegetation types: trees, shrubs and forbs (the botanical term for grasses, wildflowers and other non-woody flowering plants). Trees grow primarily in forested and riparian areas. Generally, shrub-steppe is too dry to support them, although they may appear 40


in spots where there’s adequate moisture. Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir are two prominent tree species at lower and mid elevations. Both are adapted to fire, and forests like those in the Methow Valley thrive on periodic low-intensity burning. Other pines and true firs become more common at higher altitudes, and there’s a smattering of Western Red Cedars in moister places. In the mountains, larches provide a spectacular color show when their needles turn gold in the fall. Riparian zones, and wetter spots within forests, may support cottonwoods, aspens, alders, willows and birches. Scouler’s Willow is a common find in local forests – unlike most of the willows, it will grow

on drier sites, away from lakes and streams. Shrubs are workhorses of aridzone ecosystems, providing food – pollen, nectar, berries and leafy browse – for numerous animal species. With their colorful flowers and fruit, shrubs are a delight to the eye as well. Wax currant is an early harbinger of spring; tradition holds that the hummingbirds return to the valley when the currants bloom. Serviceberry lights up the landscape with its white flowers in mid-spring, and some late-flowering specimens may be found at higher elevations into the summer. In the shrub-steppe, where few trees survive, shrubs such as sagebrush, bitterbrush and rabbitbrush take their place, providing perches,

refuge and nesting places for birds. Wildflowers are charismatic representatives of the forbs, bringing a color show that advances up valley and into the high country as days lengthen, temperatures rise, and snow melts to reveal bare soil. Bloom starts as early as March on the valley floor at the southern end of the valley, peaks in the high country in July, and lasts into fall where temperatures permit. Flowers range from tiny belly flowers like Whitlowgrass (best seen by lying on your belly) to big eye-catching species like balsamroot. Occasionally, following a fire, you may see swathes of a single species such as lupine, shooting star, or prairie star flower. In spite of their small size, wildflowers are key components of the valley’s Summer 2021

ecosystem in their relationships with bees and other pollinators.

■ THE FAUNA The valley’s forest, shrub-steppe, riparian and aquatic habitats are home to a lot of kinds of animals. Hundreds of species spend at least part of their life cycles here; they include more than 270 species of birds, 70 species of non-avian vertebrates, and more invertebrates than we’ve been able to catalog. Those animal populations include a number of keystone species that provide broad support for the ecosystems to which they belong. The concept of keystone species was introduced about 50 years ago. It is supported by our growing understanding that complex ecological relationships are often held in place by a single species or group of species – just as a single keystone is able to support an architectural arch, and all the weight above it, so can a keystone species play an outsized role in a natural system. Some of the Methow Valley’s keystone animals are: • Beavers. Beavers shaped much of the landscape of North America, and in recent years have gained increased appreciation for their role in creating habitat for plants and other animals and retaining water in the landscape. Birds, insects, fish, mammals, frogs salamanders and more thrive on beaver-engineered ground. Some of the water trapped by beaver dams seeps into the ground to support moisture-loving plants; some provides habitat for fish, amphibians, reptiles and water-dependent mammals like muskrats and mink; some slowly makes its way through the dam and flows downstream, recharging rivers during the

Be on the Lookout • Deer. The Methow Valley is home to Washington state’s largest migratory mule deer population. Deer are important both ecologically and economically. They are the wild mammals you are most likely to see here. They’re especially important to remember when you’re driving. Although they are most likely to be encountered in certain places and at certain times of day, the best rule of thumb is to expect deer anywhere at any time. Keep an eye on the margins of the road and be aware that deer often travel in groups – if one deer crosses the road in front of you, others may follow. Does are likely to be accompanied by a fawn or two, which may lag behind their mother. • Wasps. Yellow jackets and hot dry summer months. The plants that surround beaver ponds attract insects and birds; the insects feed the birds and also the fish. The beavers’ role in watershed function has earned them the moniker “ecosystem engineers” along with recognition as a keystone species. • Gray wolves. Once extirpated throughout much of their range, wolves are making a comeback in Washington, and two packs have become established in and around the Methow Valley. As predators that can feed on livestock, wolves are controversial. They also play a keystone role in the mountain systems they inhabit, keeping

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bald-faced hornets (which are actually wasps, not hornets, biologically) both deserve your cautious attention. Yellow jackets, in particular, are likely to show up as uninvited guests at any outdoor meal. • Ticks. Ticks can hitchhike on clothes and gear or fall into your hair as you travel through denselyvegetated areas. Since tick bites can cause disease, it’s smart to examine your clothes, gear, and body – and those of any pets – after you’ve been outdoors during tick season (typically spring and summer). If you are bitten, consider follow the CDC’s recommendations. You can find them at www.cdc.gov/ticks. • Rattlesnakes. Keep your eyes and ears open for rattlers, and populations of deer and other prey species in check. What does that mean for the system as a whole? Plants are protected from overgrazing by deer, elk and moose; trees and shrubs have a chance to mature and provide habitat for other animals, such as rodents, forest carnivores, birds, butterflies and other insects. • Native bees. About 80% of flowering plants are pollinated by animals, many of them bees. Because animals ultimately depend on plants for survival, the role of bees in keeping both wild and cultivated lands healthy is immeasurable. Trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers all reproduce with the

aid of bees – and then provide food for many more kinds of animals. Washington is a diversity hot-spot for native bees, with more than 600 species living in the state. • Salmon. As our streams and rivers flow toward the sea, they carry a load of nutrients with them – dissolved and suspended minerals, plant and animal detritus all leave the watershed by water power. Salmon journey to the oceans, then return, bringing loads of nutrients to replenish their home streams. Those nutrients support dozens of other animals that feed on the salmon, their eggs, and their carcasses, as well as microorganisms that also play a role in the food web.

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give them a wide berth if you do encounter them. Rattlesnakes won’t generally strike unless they feel threatened, but their bites can be dangerous. They are more common in some parts of the valley than in others – Pipestone Canyon is a notorious haven – but it’s prudent to be watchful wherever you are. Keep dogs under control, and consider vaccination and/or aversion training for your canines. See the Resources section for WDFW advice about what to do in case of snake bite. • Cougars and bears. Encounters with large dangerous animals are unlikely, but both cougars and bears are present in the Methow, and it’s safe to be cautious.

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Learning experiences Exploring the valley’s interpretive sites BY S A NDR A S T RIEBY


he sites described here use words, images, art and more to enhance visitors’ understanding of the Methow Valley’s natural and cultural features. They are all worth visiting in their own rights; at the same time, the interpretations they offer can enrich your experience of the sites themselves and the local landscape as a whole. At all of the sites listed below, please be prepared to observe COVID-safety protocols, which may include distancing and masking. See www.recreateresponsibly.org for more-specific guidance.

■ METHOW MONUMENT AND PATEROS MUSEUM, PATEROS The Methow Monument is located in Lakeshore Park and uses signs, sculpture and tiles bearing images of Methow pictographs to convey the history and culture of the Methow People. There’s a teepee and a salmon bake oven; the monument is landscaped with native plants that were significant to people of the Methow tribe. A paved trail leads to the Pateros Museum; signs along the way and exhibits within chronicle various phases of the city’s history. For more information: www.pateros.com/index.php/ history/pateros-museum. ■ METHOW VALLEY INTERPRETIVE CENTER, TWISP Enjoy natural-history and nativeculture exhibits, including Seasons of the People, Emergence of the Methow, Ribbon of Life, and Methow Artifacts. Native plant garden with signs in English and n̓səlxcin, the language of the Methow people; pit house; lookout cabin replica. Last Sunday 42

Photos by DON NELSON

presentations. Accessible restroom; accessible parking and entry on the north. Located on the northwest corner of the TwispWorks Campus at 210 Fifth Ave., Twisp. Admission is by donation. The garden is always open; for center hours and other information: www.methowvalleyinterpretivecenter.com.

■ TWISP PONDS DISCOVERY CENTER One-half mile west of Twisp. The focus is on fish at this site, where a series of linked ponds provides habitat for salmon, steelhead and other species. An osprey sculpture marks the entrance; signs, more sculptures, and colorful nest boxes are all part of the experience. Numbered markers are tucked among native plants along the trail; a guide, with map, can be found at https://tinyurl.com/532dpn7j. Learn more at www.methowsalmon.

org/get-involved/explore-habitatproject and www.methowarts.org/ river-twisp-ponds-discovery-center.

■ COTTONWOOD TRAIL Between Twisp and Winthrop on the Old Twisp Highway. The trail loops through an abandoned agricultural field and along the Methow River, showcasing land and river restoration activities. Signs and a trailhead kiosk focus on natural and cultural history and the restoration project. Watch for colorful species-specific nest boxes, as well as birds, fish and other wildlife. Beavers are active in the area, and recently-fallen trees attest to their handiwork. Open yearround; parking lot is not plowed in winter. Discover Pass required. Learn more at www.methowsalmon. org/get-involved/explore-habitatproject and www.methowarts.org/ river-cottonwood-trail. Summer 2021

■ HOMESTREAM PARK, WINTHROP Enjoy art, picnic facilities, a riverside trail, and interpretive signs celebrating the Methow’s rivers, fish, and, especially, native people. The 2-acre park is protected as a home for the spirits of those first people with a unique spirit easement. ADA parking is on-site; other users park at the town trailhead on the far side of the Twin Lakes Road/White Avenue. Learn more, and find a link to a map, at www.homestreampark.com. ■ GLACIER INTERPRETIVE LOOP, SUN MOUNTAIN LODGE Signs along the 1-mile loop trail explain features of plant and animal life and the Methow Valley’s glacier-sculpted terrain. Park at the lodge – the trailhead is near the tennis courts – or make your way up from the Chickadee Trailhead off Thompson Ridge Road. The loop is composed of sections of the Kraule and View Ridge trails. Visit www.sunmountainlodge.com/sunmountain/hiking for information about the Glacier Loop and other Sun Mountain trails. ■ SHAFER HISTORICAL MUSEUM, WINTHROP Dedicated to fostering understanding of local history, culture and sense of place. Indoor and outdoor exhibits feature the Methow Valley’s settlement and homesteading period. Open May 7-Oct. 3, weather permitting; explore the outdoor farming and mining collections during daylight hours year-round. Masks required; other COVID precautions in place. Gravel paths; most buildings have access ramps. Portable toilet. Admission is by donation – $5 suggested for adults. Located at 285 Castle Ave. Free parking on Castle Avenue, or ascend the footpath from Riverside Avenue. For more information: (509) 380-9911; www.shafermuseum.org. ■ SATEEKHWA TRAIL, WINTHROP A wide, level trail follows the Chewuch River; interpretive signs chronicle local history, including tribal use of the site, power and irrigation projects, and eventual restoration to support salmon recovery. Reach the site from 110 Bluff St. in Winthrop, just past the north end of Riverside Avenue – cross the footbridge between the River Pines Methow Valley News

Inn and the Chewuch Professional Building and turn right. For more information: www.methowsalmon. org/get-involved/explore-habitat-project and www.wta.org/ go-hiking/hikes/sa-teekh-wa-trail.

■ WINTHROP BARN TRAIL Start from the Winthrop Auditorium (Red Barn) parking lot to explore the Methow River’s riparian zone and learn more about critters in the river. The site is part of the Methow River Collaborative, a project of the Department of Ecology, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, Bureau of Reclamation and Methow Arts Alliance. Visit www.methowarts.org/river-collaborative-bridgesart-water-community-and-learning for a brochure and to learn more. ■ BIG VALLEY TRAIL Natural history is the theme of signs along a level trail that follows the Methow River through the woods for roughly a mile and a half. (For a longer walk, continue around a loop, without signs, then return to the parking area by the original route.) No pass required. or more information, contact Methow Trails at (509) 996-3287 or visit www.methowtrails.org/ summer-family-fun.. ■ EARLY WINTERS CAMPGROUND Fifteen miles west of Winthrop. To learn about the Methow basin’s fish, explore the campground and look for signs along the trail that follows Early Winters Creek. There’s no fee for day use, but please don’t park at a designated camp site. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/okawen/ recarea/?recid=59203 for more information. ■ ACCESSIBLE INTERPRETIVE TRAILS The U.S. Forest Service maintains two accessible trails in the Methow watershed. Black Pine Lake Campground is located about 20 miles west of Twisp off the Buttermilk Creek Road. Fees apply for camping, but there’s no charge to park in the day-use area. A paved trail follows the shore of Black Pine Lake; signs describe aspects of the site’s natural history. At the far end there’s a view into the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness, with a peak finder that gives the names of some of the prominent high points. Other features include benches, accessible vault toilets,

and accessible fishing access. Learn more at www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ okawen/recarea/?recid=59109. Washington Pass Overlook, 30 miles west of Winthrop, offers stunning views of Liberty Bell Mountain, the Early Winters Spires, and more. Fall visitors will see golden larches. There’s a paved, accessible trail; accessible restrooms, and signs covering the history of the North Cascades Highway and more. Two of William Stafford’s Methow River Poems are posted at the site, as well. Learn

more at www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ okawen/recarea/?recid=5949 and www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/ washington-pass-overlook. For more information about the sites above and two others, take a look at the Forest Service’s “Over the Top” Accessible Adventures video at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=uIlTgs1MDCg. The video is a few years old, so be sure to check current conditions online or by calling the Forest Service at (509) 9964000. The Lone Fir trail featured in the video is currently not accessible.

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Methow Trails Stay Safe Plan ahead and prepare. Control your dog. Be aware of other users and ride in control.

Tread Lightly

Pack out litter. Pick up after your dog and take the bag with you. Follow posted use guidelines and respect private Be Kind property. Don't cut switchbacks. Be courteous. Yield to

others. These trails are shared by first-timers and Olympians alike, and everyone deserves a great experience.



Creative encounters A guide to the valley’s outdoor public art BY A SHL E Y LO DATO


any outdoor spaces in the valley adorned with easily accessible public art. Here are a few examples. ■ METHOW RIVER POEMS Located in six spots overlooking the Methow River and its headwaters deep in the North Cascades, the Methow River Poems invite visitors to experience the watershed through the words of the late Poet Laureate William Stafford. Commissioned by the U.S. Forest Service in 1992, the seven poems pay tribute to the landscape and character of the 44

Methow Valley. Visit www.methowarts.org/williamstaffordmethowriverpoems2020.

■ SPRING CREEK RANCH TRAILHEAD The Spring Creek Ranch Trailhead (formerly the Winthrop Town Trailhead, at the junction of Highway 20 and Twin Lakes Road) doesn’t get a lot of action in the summer, but it is well worth a visit just to see the two murals. Sponsored by the Methow Valley Nordic Club as part of its ongoing efforts to make trailheads more appealing, the mural “Winter in the Methow” was designed and painted by high school art students guided by artist Tori Karpenko

through Methow Arts’ Artist-inResidence program. The individual scenes were inspired by historic images from the Shafer Historical Museum and contemporary pictures showing how people live, work, and play during winter in the Methow Valley.

■ METHOW VALLEY WILDLAND FIREFIGHTERS MEMORIAL The memorial to Methow Valley Wildland Firefighters rests in the Mack Lloyd Park near the Winthrop Barn. Built by metal artist Barry Stromberger, the sculpture honors the 17 men and women who have lost their lives protecting

the Methow Valley from wildfire since 1929. Wildland firefighting is integral to the history and culture of the Methow Valley, and the statue stands as a tribute to all ground and aerial firefighters; past, present and future.

■ RICHARD BEYER SCULPTURES Richard Beyer’s cast aluminum “The War of the Frogs and the Cranes” sits at Chickadee Trailhead, en route to Sun Mountain Lodge. A collaboration by Liberty Bell High School students, the piece is at first mystifying, as your eyes sort out legs, wings and beaks. Another Beyer piece, “Grandsons Carrying Summer 2021

Water to their Herbs,” is located in the Twisp Commons park, outside the Methow Valley Community Center. A prolific Northwest artist, Beyer’s sculptures reflect the character of the places they inhabit. Visit https://okanogancountry.com/poi/the-war-of-thefrogs--the-cranes-chickadee-trail; https://okanogancountry.com/poi/ grandsons-carrying-water.

■ BEEEST Hovering above the Twisp Commons park, “Beeest,” Barry Stromberger’s giant metal yellowjacket, was created from the bodies of three cars embedded in the banks of the Methow River. When the Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, in collaboration with the state Department of Natural Resources, launched a river cleanup and recovered about 40 old cars – “Detroit riprap” – Stromberger repurposed two black vehicles and a yellow Plymouth Cranbrook, welding them together to create the giant yellow and black predatory wasp, a nod to the insect that is allegedly the namesake of the town of Twisp. Visit www.methowarts.org/beeest-1.

■ TWISP GATEWAYS Recently completed art installations can be viewed from Highway 20 at each end of Twisp. The works were created on a commission from the Town of Twisp by local artists Craig and Perri Howard. The installations, called “Mountain Home,” are intended to provide a visual welcome to people entering town. The artwork evokes the feeling of mountain ranges that provide the backdrop for Twisp and the Methow Valley. ■ ENTRO One of the 80 sculptural metal spheres fabricated by the late Bernard Hosey as part of his “Spheres” series, “Entro” sits at TwispWorks near the Methow Valley Interpretive Center. “Entro” delights from all angles, featuring geometric shapes, a relationship between positive and negative space, steel girders, and even a human face. ■ TWISP ART PANELS A series of 3-foot by 6-foot art panels installed on buildings in Twisp celebrate the history of Twisp and connect residents and

visitors to its priorities: agriculture, commerce, community, farming, foodways, forestry, history, recovery, recreation, relaxation, rivers, and vibrancy. Designed by artist Hannah Viano, the powder-coated steel panels will be installed in June 2021 in the downtown corridor. For panel location map and more information visit www.methowarts.org/ twisp-creative-district-art-panels.


■ HOMESTREAM PARK Homestream Park, adjacent to the Methow River bridge in Winthrop, is dedicated to the rivers and fish of the Methow Valley, and to the native people, past and present, who have called this place home for thousands of years. Located on 2 acres of riverfront, the park includes a trail with benches along the river, inspiring sculptures by renowned Native American artist Smoker Marchand, and a public gathering area with shelters, picnic tables, interpretive signs, and a kid’s lookout topped with a carved wooden osprey by local sculptor Bruce Morrison. Visit www.homestreampark.com.

LaFonda Lopez Restaurant

Authentic Mexican Menu


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


24 HOUR FUEL Open 6 a.m. – Midnight Methow Valley News

North Cascades Bank)

PARDNERS MINI MARKET Accepting Texaco and Chevron fuel cards.


Hwy 20, Winthrop (509) 996-2005

methowtrails.org winthrop, wa 45

Make your day with Methow Made Local products will provide a lasting impression of your visit


he Methow Valley is more than a beautiful place to visit and recreate. It’s a working community, full of imaginative, energetic people who make their livelihoods growing, creating or producing things that are entirely portable, enjoyable and durable. Make your Methow Valley memories tangible by taking home, or ordering online, something from the attractive array of locally made, manufactured, grown or created goods – including beer, wine, coffee, cider, spring water, grains, meats, fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies, hot sauce, honey, baked goods, cheese, soaps, lotions, arts, crafts, plants, jewelry, knives and more. More than 60 Methow Valley businesses are represented in the Methow Made program sponsored by TwispWorks. For a complete list, visit www.methowmade.com. Many local retailers carry selections of Methow-made products. On 46


the TwispWorks campus, the Valley Goods retail store offers an eclectic collection of Methow creations. It is open Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Don’t miss either the Farmers Market at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp, on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon; or the Winthrop Market at Mack Lloyd Park (near the Winthrop Barn) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

on Sundays. The Methow Makers Market, an outdoor market for arts and crafts, is scheduled to be staged at Confluence Park on Riverside Avenue in Winthrop on May 29, June 19, July 17, Aug. 14 and Sept. 11 from 3-7 p.m. For lots of useful information, you may be able to find copies of the 2020 Methow Made publication produced by the Methow Valley News

in conjunction with TwispWorks. To see a digital version, go to www. methowvalleynews.com, scroll to the bottom of the home page and click on the Methow Made cover. The 2021 version of Methow Made will be available mid-summer at locations throughout the valley. For more information, call TwispWorks at 997-3300. Summer 2021

Star-struck in the Methow

Photo by STEVE MITCHELL Methow Valley News

Gaze into the valley’s dark skies for a celestial show BY DAV ID WA RD


he pandemic changed our lives in many ways, but the stars have not been effected at all. In fact there is nothing we bungling humans can do down here that changes anything up there. When you have a chance some balmy evening this summer, spend some time out under the stars. They will always be there for you. Not a lot of equipment is needed for stargazing except your eyes. You might want to lie back in a lounge chair to ease that pain in the neck from craning upward. Also, a blanket to ward off the chill, mosquito repellant, and a pair of binoculars all will come in handy. So what is up there to see? Let’s start with the planets. It will be great season for looking at them, with all five naked-eye planets visible sometime this summer. Mercury, the innermost planet, never gets very far from the sun and is the most difficult to see. Try catching it in the morning, about 30 minutes to an hour before sunrise in late June to early July. Look for it low in the east just above where the sun will rise. Obviously you have to get up really early to see something before sunrise in the summer, so if that is a non-starter, try an evening viewing of Mercury in midSeptember. Look for a fairly bright “star” low in the west about 30 minutes to an hour after sunset, before it gets completely dark. Binoculars will help tease it out of the twilight sky. Mars is getting dimmer and more uninteresting as the earth continues to pull away from it in our orbit around the sun. Look for the red planet low in the west in the early evening during the first part of summer. By August, it will be fading into the sunset glow. Jupiter and Saturn are still kind of close together in the east. During the first part of the summer, you need to stay up late to see these two bright lights in the sky. You will know you have found them when you notice they are not twinkling like that the stars. By August they will be rising about the time of sunset, and will be at their brightest. A small telescope will show you Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s moons. Venus, the brightest of all the planets, will be returning to our evening skies this summer. Look for her low in the west in

the twilight of early summer. As summer progresses she will be higher in the sky and easier to spot, dazzling us this fall.

■ BEYOND THE PLANETS What about those meteors that blaze across the summer night sky? This year will be a great time to see the Perseid meteor shower because bright moonlight will not drown out the “shooting stars” like the last couple of years. Aug. 10-12 will be the best dates to see most of the show. Experts are predicting that early morning before dawn on Aug. 12 will be the peak of the shower. Why do you have to stay up so late to see the most meteors? Because after midnight, we are looking up at the sky into the direction the earth is traveling in its orbit around the sun. So we are actually running into the little bits of debris up there in space that causes the bright streaks across the sky. When that debris hits our upper atmosphere, friction causes it to heat up and burn, leaving a column of ionized air that glows for a few moments. By the way, the average size of a “shooting star” is about that of a kernel of grape nut cereal. The grandest sight in the summer night sky is the Milky Way, that glowing swath of light stretching from north to south above us. Seen by humans since the dawn of time, it has only been in the last 100 years that we figured out exactly what it is. Now we know it is our home in the vast cosmos, a home we share with hundreds of billions of other suns. Shaped like a vast pinwheel with spiral arms radiating out from its center, it is beyond our imagination to visualize how big it is. When we look at it arching overhead we are seeing one of the arms containing billions of stars. The light coming to our eyes took about 6,000 years to reach us. Down in the south near the constellation of Sagittarius, we are seeing the center of our galaxy, home to a monster black hole. Scan the swath of light with binoculars to see a myriad of stars pop out of the glow. Look for star clusters and glowing nebula of gas in the southern regions of the Milky Way. We are traveling through that gigantic glow of light, pulled along by our sun, at the dizzying speed of 500,000 miles per hour. And you thought you were just relaxing in your lounge chair! I hope you get to see at least some of what is up there and remember, the best of summer is after dark. 47


Visitor information Help when you need it


TWISP: 997-2926; 201 Methow Valley Highway (Methow Valley Community Center); https://twispwa.com WINTHROP: 996-2125, 888-463-8469; 202 Riverside Ave.; https://winthropwashington.com


METHOW RESERVATIONS: 996-2148 or (800) 422-3048; www.methowreservations.net; info@methowreservations.net


HANK’S MINI MARKET: 410 E. Methow Valley Highway, Twisp; 9974332; until 10 p.m. every day; 24-hour fueling MAZAMA STORE: 50 Lost River Road, Mazama; 996-2855; 24-hour fueling PARDNERS MINI MARKET: 900 Highway 20, Winthrop; 996-2005; until midnight every day; 24-hour fueling 48

TWISP 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


TWISP MUNICIPAL AIRPORT: 40 Wagner Road, Twisp; 997-2311. METHOW VALLEY STATE AIRPORT: Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road; (360) 618-2477




CARLTON: 997-6091; 2274 Highway 153 METHOW: (509) 923-2759; 34 Main St. TWISP: 997-3777; 205 Glover St. WINTHROP: 996-2282; 1110 Highway 20


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


TWISPWORKS: 502 S. Glover St., Twisp, 997-3300, twispworks.org PINE NEAR RV PARK: 316 Castle Ave., Winthrop; (509) 341-4062, www. pinenearpark.com MAZAMA COUNTRY INN: 15 Country Road, Mazama; 996-2681; www. mazamacountryinn.com SUN MOUNTAIN LODGE, WINTHROP: 996-2211; www.sunmountainlodge.com TWISP RIVER SUITES: 140 W. Twisp Ave., Twisp, 997-0100, www.



METHOW MOTION SHUTTLE SERVICES: 996-2894; www.methowmotion20.com; reservations@methowmotion20.com


EMERGENCY: 911 TWISP POLICE DEPARTMENT: 997-6112; 110 East Second Ave.; townoftwisp.com/index.php/ departments/police-department/ WINTHROP MARSHAL’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 Summer 2021


TWISP: 997-4681; 201 Methow Valley Highway (Methow Valley Community Center); wireless hot spot; www.ncwlibraries.org/locations/ twisp-public-library WINTHROP: 996-2685; 49 Highway 20; wireless hot spot; www.ncwlibraries. org/locations/winthrop-public-library


LAUNDROMAT, SHOWERS AND FREE WI-FI AT WASHWORKS: 325 E. Highway 20, Twisp; 997-0336; www. hwy20washworks.com



CASCADE KING’S: 1421 Methow Valley Hwy S. Twisp; 997-2513; www. kingstire.biz


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


TWISP: 997-2020; https://twispwa.com WINTHROP: 996-2125; https://winthropwashington.com OMAK: (509) 826-1880 or (800) 2256625; www.omakchamber.com Methow Valley News


METHOW RECYCLES: 997-0520; 12 Twisp Airport Road; www.methowrecycles.org


CITY OF PATEROS: (509) 923-2571; www.pateros.com TOWN OF TWISP: 997-4081; 110 East Second Ave.; www.townoftwisp.com TOWN OF WINTHROP: 996-2320, 206 Riverside Ave., www.townofwinthrop.com



WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Dial 511 for pass and road information; www.wsdot.wa.gov


METHOW VALLEY NEWS: 9977011; 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 RADIO), 91.1FM KOMW, 95.1 All 996 and 997 prefixes are in the 509 area code.





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, TWISP: 997-5441 PEARRYGIN LAKE 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

OKANOGAN: (509) 422-4034; www. okanogachamber.com BREWSTER: (509) 689-3464; www. brewsterchamber.org PATEROS: (509) 923-9636; www. pateros.com


AERO METHOW RESCUE SERVICE: 997-4013; www.aeromethow.org

Pastries & Breads

  Iced Organic Espresso, Smoothies & Shakes  organic flours & grains

Breakfast & Lunch Sandwiches & Bagels

Sit in or Take out!

Open Every Day 6am - 3pm

Downtown Twisp 116 N. Glover Street 509.997.5030 Free Wifi Follow us on Facebook

97.5 fm 49

Featured Lodging


996-2040 10 Country Rd., Mazama silverlineresort.com

996-2448 677 Bear Creek Rd, Winthrop springcreekwinthrop.com

996-2495 22 Belsby Rd., Winthrop

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. Located directly on the shore of Pearrygin Lake, Silverline Resort RV park & campground offers great water sports and family fun galore! Fishing, swimming, boating & skiing. Or simply enjoy a quiet spot along the lakefront. Our parklike grounds offer everything from tent sites to large, level full hook-up pull-thrus. 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 for outdoor adventure, Twisp River Suites is the 855-784-8328 located perfect summer getaway. Play outside all day, sink into luxurious comfort at night. We offer pet-friendly options and 140 West Twisp Ave., Twisp an all-inclusive gourmet breakfast. twispriversuites.com


866-996-2535 808 Hwy 20, Winthrop

Rustic, affordable lodging located along the edge of the Methow River, only half a mile from downtown Winthrop shops. Pet friendly, with a variety of room types and individual cabins. Continental breakfast included. For your enjoyment, we offer picnic tables, basketball, volleyball, horseshoe pit, complimentary bicycles, free Wi-Fi and barbecues.


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 to the right.


Summer 2021

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

Chewuch Inn & Cabins | 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 Ranch House | 10 Country Road, Mazama | 996-2040 | mazamaranchhouse.com Methow River Lodge & Cabins | 110 White Avenue (Twin Lakes Road) Winthrop | 996-4348 | methowriverlodge.com

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

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

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

Nordic Village Cabin  |  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 & Campground | 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

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Spring Creek Ranch | 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 | 966-3949 | timberlinemeadows.com

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

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

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

Virginian Resort | 808 Hwy 20, Winthrop | 996-2535/866-996-2535 | thevirginianresort.com

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

Winthrop KOA Campground | 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 Cabins & 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

Methow Valley News

Restaurant on site

Pet friendly


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



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


Lodging Guide


Featured Eateries

bluestarcoffeeroasters. com

977-2583 3 Twisp Airport Rd., Twisp

997-2100 202 N. Methow Valley Hwy., Twisp

997-0247 102 Highway 20, Twisp

methowvalleyciderhouse. com

509-341-4354 28 Hwy 20, Winthrop

996-2175 228 Riverside Ave., Winthrop

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. 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 and take & bake. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m..


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. Summer hours 12-8, Monday through Saturday, with patio seating. Food, fun, fine ciders! Methow Valley Ciderhouse ciders are made from our own organic, local apples. We offer full lunch and dinner menus, with vegan and glutenfree options. Hopefully Live Music summer Fridays and Saturdays, in the Apple Amphitheater. Dog and Kid friendly, lots of off-street parking, even for RVs. The Winthrop Store is not just your local gas station! Stop by for a delicious made to order sandwich from our Deli. We offer espresso, gourmet chocolates, wine and cigars, craft beer and ciders. At the pumps we feature non-ethanol supreme. Be sure to check out our gifts and souvenirs!

The Winthrop Store The Downtown Winthrop Gas Station 228 Riverside Ave.

Espresso ~ Guido’s Deli ~ Gifts ~ Fuel Deli Sandwiches made to order ~ Call in orders welcome! Mix & Match Craft Beers or Ciders ~ Non-Ethanol Supreme

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: winthropstore

509-996-2175 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 to the right.


Summer 2021



Take-out available

Wheelchair accessible

Fine dining

Meals served


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

Cuisine type

Kid friendly

Dining Guide

Bear Creek Golf Course | 19 Bear Creek Golf Course Rd., Winthrop | 996-2284 | bearcreekgolfcourse.com Coffee, Snack bar

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


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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


Carlos1800 | 149 Riverside Ave., Winthrop | 996-2245 | facebook.com/CARLOS1800


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

Bakery, Deli

B, L

Copper Glance | 134A Riverside Ave., Winthrop | copperglancewinthrop.com

Small plates

D, Late

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


B, L, D

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


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

Mexican, American

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


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


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


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

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Pizza, Deli

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The Inn at Mazama | 15 Country Rd., Mazama | 996-2681 | innmazama.com


B, D

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


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Kind Grinds | 94 Bridge St., Winthrop | 996-4563 | facebook.com/kindgrinds

Coffee, Deli

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LaFonda Lopez | 102 Highway 20, Twisp | 997-0247 | lafondalopez.com


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Linwood Restaurant | 108 Glover St N., Twisp | 513 407-0514 | linwoodtwisp.com

Comfort, Asian


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

Bakery, Deli

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


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


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


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

Pub grub

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Old Schoolhouse Brewery Taproom | TwispWorks, Twisp | 997-0902 | oldschoolhousebrewery.com Snacks + drinks


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Oliver’s Artisan Kitchen | 100 Bridge St., Winthrop | 996-2020 | oliversartisankitchen.com

Bakery, Bistro

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


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

Bakery, Deli

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

Fine dining, casual

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

Italian, Pizza

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


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


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

Fine dining, casual

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


Methow Valley News

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Directory of Advertisers ■ AUTOMOTIVE/FUEL Pardner’s Mini Mart . . . . . . . . 45 Winthrop Store, The . . . . . . . 13 ■ BICYCLE DEALERS/REPAIR Methow Cycle & Sport . . . . . . .8 ■ CAFÉS/DINING/ESPRESSO Blue Star Coffee . . . . . . . . . . 14 Cinnamon Twisp Bakery . . . . . 49 Hometown Pizza . . . . . . . . . . 6 LaFonda Lopez . . . . . . . . . . 45 Lariat Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Methow Valley Ciderhouse . . . 25 Old Schoolhouse Brewery . . . . .2 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32 Winthrop Store, The . . . . . . . 13 Woodstone Pizzeria . . . . . . . . 15 ■ CAMPGROUNDS/RV PARKS Big Twin Lake Resort . . . . . . . 39 Riverbend RV Park . . . . . . . . 12 Silverline Resort . . . . . . . . . . 41 ■ EMERGENCY SERVICES Aero Methow Rescue Service . 34 Three Rivers Hospital . . . . . . . .6 ■ EVENT FACILITIES Freestone Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Mazama Ranch House . . . . . . 34 Merc Playhouse . . . . . . . . . . 11 Pipestone Canyon Ranch . . . . 13 Spring Creek Ranch . . . . . . . . 9 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32


■ GROCERIES Pardner’s Mini Mart . . . . . . . . 45 ■ HARDWARE STORES Valley Hardware Do-it Center . . 16 Winthrop ACE Hardware . . . . . 14 ■ HEALTH/MEDICAL Cascade Rolfing . . . . . . . . . . 11 Confluence Health . . . . . . . . 15 Family Health Centers . . . . . . 39 Three Rivers Hospital . . . . . . . .6 ■ INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS Methownet.com . . . . . . . . . . 12 ■ LOCAL GOODS & PRODUCE Bluebird Grain Farms . . . . . . . 20 Methow Makers Market . . . . . 12 Methow Valley Ciderhouse . . . 25 Methow Valley Farmers Market 41 Old Schoolhouse Brewery . . . . .2 ■ LODGING Freestone Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Mazama Ranch House . . . . . . 34 Methow Reservations . . . . . . 56 Mt. Gardner Inn . . . . . . . . . . 34 Rolling Huts/Methow Tents . . . .3 Silverline Resort . . . . . . . . . . 41 Spring Creek Ranch . . . . . . . . 9 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32 Twisp River Suites . . . . . . . . . .2 Virginian Resort, The . . . . . . . .8

■ MASSAGE PRACTITIONERS/ SPA SERVICES Nectar Skin Bar & Boutique . . . .9 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32 TwiSPA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 ■ MUSEUMS Shafer Historical Museum . . . . 19 ■ ORGANIZATIONS Methow Conservancy . . . . . . . 8 Methow Recycles . . . . . . . . . 25 Methow Trails . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Shafer Historical Museum . . . . 19 Winthrop Chamber . . . . . . . . 19 ■ PIANO SERVICES Kamansky Piano Services . . . . 13 ■ RADIO KTRT 97.5 FM . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 ■ REAL ESTATE Blue Sky Real Estate . . . . . . . 21 Windermere Real Estate . . . . . 27 ■ REAL ESTATE LAW North Cascades Law Group . . . 3 ■ RECREATION/ACTIVITIES Bear Creek Golf Course . . . . . 21 Cascades Outdoor Store . . . . . 2 Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies39 Methow Cycle & Sport . . . . . . .8 Methow Fishing Adventures . . . 11

Methow Rafting . . . . . . . . . . 31 Methow Trails . . . . . . . . . . . 45

■ NORTH CASCADES MOUNTAIN GUIDES Slidewaters Waterpark . . . . . . .6 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32 Winthrop Mountain Sports . . . 27 ■ RECYCLING SERVICES Methow Recycles . . . . . . . . . 25 ■ RETAIL Cascades Outdoor Store . . . . . 2 Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies39 House of Cannabis . . . . . . . . 55 Lariat Coffee . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Methow Cycle & Sport . . . . . . .8 Nectar Skin Bar & Boutique . . . .9 Outdoorsman, The . . . . . . . . 24 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32 Twisp House of Cannabis . . . . 55 Winthrop Mountain Sports . . . 27 Winthrop Store, The . . . . . . . 13 ■ SPORTING GOODS Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies39 Methow Cycle & Sport . . . . . . .8 Outdoorsman, The . . . . . . . . 24 Sun Mountain Lodge . . . . . . . 32 Winthrop Mountain Sports . . . 27 ■ THEATERS Merc Playhouse . . . . . . . . . . 11

Summer 2021

4.9 /





305 W 4TH ST TONASKET, WA 98855 (509) 486-0919 9AM-9PM M-SAT 11AM-7PM SUN

1017 E METHOW VALLEY HWY TWISP, WA 98856 (509) 997-4200 9AM-9PM M-SAT 11AM-5PM SUN

Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Should not be used by woman that are breast feeding. For use by adults twenty one or older. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination and judgement. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. This product may be unlawful outside of Washington State.

Methow Valley News




Welcome to the Methow Valley, we are your local lodging & hospitality experts.



THE METHOW VALLEY is open for Adventures.... our lodging team can help you find the perfect spot to perch. We rent legal, licensed nightly rental homes, small inns, and extended stay homes for a longer stay, and we are happy to assist you and make recommendations. Photograph by:


Summer 2021