Spring in Winthrop and the Methow Valley
It’s just our opinion but Spring in Winthrop & the Methow Valley is the prettiest time of the year. Lush bunch grass cover the hillsides making a perfect canvas for abundance of wildflowers that cover the Valley. Bring your camera, your binoculars and walking shoes as around every corner is a spectacular scene. While most of the high country is still buried in snow, the lower benches of the North Cascades Mountains and the Valley are open for adventures! With over 300 days of sunshine the skies are blue, rivers are high, deer are fawning and the birding is great.
Hiking, Trail Running & Camping
Spring in the Methow Valley is a wanderous place and getting outdoors for a walk, run or hike is easy. The high country is still blanketed in snow but there are many Valley trails and lower elevation trails that are just as beautiful. This time of the year the lower trails are lined in wildflowers, walk quietly through Sun Mountains trails and watch Grouse ushering chicks, hear a slap of a Beaver tail at Beaver pond while Osprey feed their young atop a snag in the center of the pond. Walk through a deep forest along the river at Big Valley Ranch and watch Dippers in the river currents. Wonder high above the Valley at Pipestone Canyon’s open meadows, look down into the Valley and up towards the North Cascades. Bluebirds skirt the hillsides while Golden Eagles soar above. Runners, you can get into great shape for that big race you signed up for as the Methow Valley is an inspiring and fun place to train, the local trails in the area can be as challenging as you make them. Sign up for one or all or one of the many foot races we host all year (see links).
The Methow River is a classic whitewater destination in Washington and arguably the best. Unlike most rivers in the state the Methow’s rapids are close together offering lots of excitement without all the flat water paddling. The Methow River has something for everyone. There is a great family run which has class II and III rapids. The Gold Creek run is a fantastic run with wildlife, swimming opportunities, and great scenery. The Black Canyon run is geared toward those looking for a little more adventure. Black Canyon offers 8 class III rapids and one great class IV as well as numerous class II’s. The dry climate promises warm and sunny weather during the river rafting months of May, June, and July, perfect for getting out and getting soaked! By August the summer heat and long lazy days have tamed the river, luring travelers and locals alike to float the Methow river in tubes or Kayaks. For more information try Blue Sky Outfitters.Patterson Lake and Pearygin State Park fare great lakes for spring swimming on hot days, Patterson Lake also offers a variety of water craft for rent including paddle boards and Sunfish sail boards.
Mountain Biking and Road Riding
Many of the Valley trails we ski on in the Winter convert to Mountain Bike trails when the snow is gone. The rolling hills of the Methow valley are covered in sunflowers in May and June and as the summer heat builds in July and August, a plunge into Patterson Lake will keep you cool while riding the Lakeside trail. There are many country roads that loop through scenic and quiet valleys great for Road Riding. For rentals, repairs, tune ups and local advice try Methow Cycle & Sport. Here is a list of Bike events to sign up for – Methow Single track Solstice festival, Women’s mountain bike camp, Winthrop’s Grand Fondo and the Winthrop Traverse all in June.
This is a great time of the year for day rides in the Methow Valley. Whether you want an hour or a full day ride, the North Cascades Mountains and the Methow Valley have wranglers to tell stories, expert guides, and stout horses to ride. Local Outfitters offer day rides by the hour or if that’s not enough, an overnight camping trip can be arranged when the high country opens up.
The Methow River is home to resident Cutthroat, Rainbow, Bulltrout and Whitefish. In addition to the resident fish population, anadromous runs of Chinook and Steelhead are significant. Methow river trout fishing can be great July – September. This river is listed as a closed river for Steelhead and Salmon unless there is an “emergency opening”. We do however fish the Methow regularly for trout July – September and look forward to showing you this beautiful watershed. Start your spring fishing with a day at Winthrop’s National fish hatchery for some fun family time on the second Saturday in June – National Fishing Week. For local talk on where, when and what the fish are biting click KTRT 97.5 Methow River report. The Winthrop Federal Fish Hatchery is located within walking distance from the Chewuch Inn and open to the public 7 days a week 7:30 am – 4pm
The mountains of the North Cascades offers some of the best and most diverse climbing in Western hemisphere. Nicknamed the Alps of North American, these mountains are the training grounds for North America’s top alpinist as well as the perfect place for new climbers to take their skills to the next level. From large, glaciated peaks and high-quality alpine rock and ice climbs, to warm, sunny sport climbing in the lower valleys, the North Cascades has it all. North Cascades Mountain Guides offers private trips and low-ratio courses lead by AMGA trained and certified guides. Contact the NCMG office today to start planning your next adventure.
Enjoy a little piece of golfing heaven right here on Earth. Among the many great Washington golf courses, Bear Creek Golf Course in Winthrop should be on your bucket list. AAA has dubbed it a “hidden gem.” Tucked away in the foothills of the beautiful Methow Valley is this golfing jewel. The beauty of the natural surroundings provides a perfect setting for this challenging 9 hole golf course. Those who choose to play 18 holes are quite impressed with the variety offered by the unique placement of back 9 tees.
Art Galleries, Music and Theater
Spring is such a great time of the year to visit, not just for it spectacular scenery and outdoor activities but also its ever growing and thriving theater, music and art scene. The Methow Valley host several wonderful local galleries where you can not only enjoy the arts but you can participate in workshops, education and meet the artists. Winthrop Gallery, Methow gallery, Confluence Gallery and Twisp Works. For a historical and interpretive look at the region try the Methow Valley Interpretive center and Shafer Museum.
For the Thesbians our own Merc Play House is a popular venue and broad spectrum of theatrical and musical performers, It is appreciated for its marvelous acoustics and intimacy and offers air conditioning in the summer, and cozy warmth in the winter, the Merc seats 150 and no seat is farther than twenty feet from downstage center.
For a schedule of a variety of live music and performances go to Methow Arts.
Birding, wildlife and Photography
The Methow Valley is host to over 250 species of birds thanks to the great diversity of habitat and elevation contained within the Valley walls and basin. The Chewuch Inn has worked hard to keep our grounds native and natural, one of the more unusual visitors you may see are wild Turkeys, especially around the cabins. In June, spotty fawns are often bedded down behind the cabins or our orchard. Wild life and beautiful scenes are easy to find throughout the Methow Valley.
More! Enjoy two great days of Farmers Markets May through October, Saturdays in Twisp and Sundays in Winthrop. Enjoy wine tasting in Winthrop at our local “Lost River Winery“, Cider tasting or a tour though our own Winthrop Coffee Roaster “Lariat Coffee”, we also serve this wonderful organic fair trade coffee right here at the Chewuch Inn. Winthrop and the Methow Valley is blessed with an abundance of great restaurants. Here are a few of our favorites… Arrowleaf Bistro, Old School House Brewery, Tappi, Glover Street Market, Rocking Horse bakery, Tipi Dinners, East 20 Pizza, Sun Mountain Lodge and the Mazama Country inn.
General Methow Valley information:
- Winthrop Chamber of Commerce
- Twisp Chamber of Commerce
Cascade Loop travel information:
Washington State Tourism information:
The Chewuch Inn
Winthrop, WA 98862
- Current Road Conditions
- Updates on North Cascade Hwy. conditions
- Twisp Works Campus artist open studios
- Farmers Markets - Twisp 9am -12pm May through October, Winthrop 10am-2pm Memorial Day to Labor day
- Venus in Fur - live theater 6/24-7/2
- Methow Arts Festival 7/4
- N.C. Institute field trip - beaver Ecology in the Methow 7/9
- Pasayten Wild flower lecture 7/5
- Methow Chamber Music Festival 7/28 - 8/6