Fall in Winthrop and the Methow Valley
It’s just our opinion, but fall in the Methow valley is the prettiest time of the year; Nothing is more breath taking then the North Cascade Mountains in the fall, deep blue alpine lake ringed in golden larch and crimson vine maples against a backdrop of rugged granite. Travelers driving the North Cascades Scenic state route Hwy 20 in late September will be rewarded with the changing colors high in the mountains. By mid October that color trail has reach the Methow Valley turning every outdoor activity into a glorious golden adventure. Expect warm sunny days with cooler nights.
Water Sports in the Rivers and Lakes
The Methow river slows to a drift over smooth river rocks, warmed by the summer past. Lazy drifting in a tube from the town park is a popular past time, expect a bit of bottom dragging this time of the year on the river and always practice all safety precautions. There are dozens of local swimming holes along the Methow and Chewuch Rivers. Patterson Lake offers paddle boards, wind sailing boards and kayaks and Pearrygin lakes offers warmer water, grassy lawns and sandy beaches with a child friendly swimming hole.
Mountain Biking and Road Riding
Fall in the North Cascades Mountain is special, for Mountain bikers the possibilities are endless. With hundreds of miles of well maintained, easy to access single track and forest service roads, families or technical riders, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy a easy ride along the community trail or try a technical high alpine single track. Fall is often your only chance to ride high in the mountain. Click here for a few favorite Mountain Bike rides: Road cyclers from the town of Winthrop can experience a new ride every day of the week without ever having to get in a car and still enjoy stunning scenery and practically empty pavement. Click here for a few favorite road rides: For rentals, repairs, tune ups and local advice talk to the locals at Methow Cycle & Sport.
Horseback Riding and Pack trips
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the mountain in the fall is by horseback. Local Outfitters offer day rides by the hour on the Valley floor but an overnight camping trip deep into the Pasayten Wilderness is an experience of a lifetime. You can choose to hike pack free on foot and have an Outfitter drop your gear at that Alpine lake you have always wanted to see or you could also choose a fully guided pack trip where you can enjoy the experience of a true cowboy meal around the campfire with a lot of local story telling, day rides or hikes from camp that take you to blue lakes and golden ridges that would take days longer to reach without a ride.
Fishing & Hunting The Methow River is home to resident Cutthroat, Rainbow, Bulltrout and Whitefish. In addition to the resident fish population, legendary runs of Steelhead are significant in Methow river and Alpine lake are abundant with trout. July – September can be excellent and you can double your chances and your skills with a local guide.
Hunting in Vast public lands that climb from a ribbon of river-bottom are home to one of the largest populations of mule deer in the country, attracting the attention of hunters from across the West every October. Over 17,000 mule deer inhabit the hills and ranges of the Methow Valley. Grouse (Sept. 1st – 31st..) are abundant here, while pheasant and chukar attract upland bird hunters. The Methow is also known for cougar (early August – March) and bear hunting (early August – mid November). Regular deer hunting season usually opens the second weekend of October, with separate seasons for black powder and bow hunting. Guided pack trips available from many qualified, local guiding services. Washington State department of fish and wildlife – hunting regulations
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
The Methow Valley is such a wonderful place 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 join in with 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. Enjoy evenings rich with superb musical peformances, complemented by local wines, beers, and hors d’oeuvres, and framed by golden sunsets over the Cascade mountains. Each concert evening begins with a community social hour and ends with a heartwarming Afterglow where you can meet the musicians. For the Thesbians our local theater “The Merc Playhouse” has a popular venue and broad spectrum of theatrical and musical performers, it is ppreciated 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 the 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 and it is not unusual at all to watch deer pass through the orchard daily. Wild life and beautiful scenes are easy to find throughout the Methow Valley.
Enjoy two great day of Farmers Markets May through October, Saturdays in Twisp and Sundays in Winthrop. We have two great Brew Pubs with live music and river front seating, “Old School House Brewery” in Winthrop and the Twisp River Pub in Twisp. Enjoy wine tasting in Winthrop at our local “Lost River Winery”, Cider tasting and 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’s, Glover Street Market, Rocking Horse bakery, Sun Mountain Lodge and the Mazama Country inn.
General Methow Valley information:
- Winthrop Chamber of Commerce
- Twisp Chamber of Commerce
- Methow Trails organization
Cascade Loop travel information:
Washington State Tourism information:
The Chewuch Inn
Winthrop, WA 98862