• The Loup Loup Ski Bowl is open, much to the delight of local and visiting alpine skiers, Nordic enthusiasts, tubers and luge riders. Tree skiing will need to wait for a couple more inches of snow, but the open runs are glorious and nearly every skier on the premises over the weekend featured a wide smile, sources tell us. A recent replacement bull wheel set the Loup Loup Ski Foundation back $85,000, so every skier buying a lift ticket this year will help chip away at this unexpected investment. Frequent skiing is encouraged! Check https://skitheloup.com for updates on conditions.
• Methow Trails: Nordic skiing does not get any better than it currently is in the Methow Valley. Significant snowfalls have enabled Methow Trails to open all trails, most recently Bob, an exhilarating rollercoaster of a loop off the Methow Community Trail not too far from Brown’s Farm (and which, coincidentally, is being groomed this winter by a man named Bob). A free Saturday morning shuttle delivers skiers to Brown’s Farm and Mazama for 20K or 30K journeys along the Methow Community Trail to Winthrop, and four warming huts (Power’s Plunge, Wolf Creek Resort, Brown’s Farm, and Suspension Bridge) make frequent rest stops convenient and cozy. All of the fat bike and snowshoe trails are open and provide fun riding and walking. Visit www.methowtrails.org/trail-report when planning your ski, fat bike, or snowshoe outing to find out where the best conditions are.
• Winthrop Rink: Despite periods of heavy snow that have rink operators hustling to clear the ice, the Winthrop Rink has been a hive of activity so far this winter, bustling with open skate, lessons, hockey and tournaments. The upcoming Great Puckaroo Roundup Adult Hockey Tournament features three days of fun and fast-paced co-ed hockey games Friday through Sunday (Jan. 24-26), 2020, while the Apple Puck tournament on Feb. 22 should draw big crowds of spectators to watch four collegiate level teams compete: reigning champions University of Washington, Washington State University, Gonzaga University and Western Washington University. The rink is open for weekday school field trips, when students from around the region skate, learn about ice making, and watch a Zamboni in action. Visit www.winthroprink.org for the rink schedule.
• Pearrygin Lake State Park: Trail passes are required on the Pearrygin Lake State Park trails, which are open to Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. Maps for this area are most easily located on the Bear Creek Golf Course website. Nearby, the Lloyd Ranch fat bike trail system is fairly extensive and is groomed by avid fat bikers. Maps for Lloyd Ranch can be accessed from the Methow Cycle & Sport website. Methow Fatbike hosts a Fat & Fire gathering most Wednesdays at 6 p.m. at the Pearrygin West Campground entrance. Visit www.facebook.com/methowfatbike/ for more information about fat bike events and updated trail maps.
• Bear Creek Golf Course features 8K of snowshoe and fat bike trails and is open Thursday through Sunday. In addition to its own network of winter trails, Bear Creek Golf Course offers access to the Pearrygin Lake State Park winter trails. Visit http://bearcreekgolfcourse.com/-fat-bike-and-snow-shoe-rental-rates for more information about trails, trail maps, passes and equipment rentals.
Methow Cycle & Sport provides the most comprehensive list of fat biking trails and conditions in the Methow Valley. Visit https://www.methowcyclesport.com/articles/fat-bike-trails-conditions-pg187.htm for more information and trail suggestions.
Grooming trails costs money. Purchase your passes, and help support winter recreation in the Methow Valley.