Under state and county guidelines, a face covering is not needed when you are outside walking, exercising or otherwise outdoors as long as you are able to stay 6 feet away from other people who do not live with you. However, at trailheads, busy trails, bathrooms, any indoor spaces and trail intersections be ready to pull a mask on.
A big snow and subsequent warm temperatures followed by a short cold snap have created firm and fast Nordic skiing conditions. Visit www.methowtrails.org/trail-report when planning your ski to find out where the best conditions are. Some trails are dog-friendly; make sure you know which ones they are by visiting http://www.methowtrails.org/index.php/ski-trails-for-dogs. Trail passes are required for humans and canines.
A 10-day window on the Methow Trails system offers skiers an opportunity to participate in a timed, self-supported Ski to the Sun Marathon & Relay. For more information, visit https://www.methowtrails.org/events/2021-ski-to-the-sun-marathon-and-relay/01-29-2021.
The Nordic trails at South Summit are generally groomed for weekend use. Visit https://skitheloup.com/nordic-skiing for trail conditions and grooming updates. Parking passes are required.
There is no camping allowed at Methow Trails trailheads, including Early Winters and Chickadee.
When trails are soft, lower your tire pressures or choose other trails if necessary to avoid damaging the groomed surface. Helmets are strongly encouraged. 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. Parking passes are required.
Groomed snowshoe trails can be found on the Methow Trails system in Mazama, the Rendezvous, Winthrop and Sun Mountain. Check the website for conditions: http://www.methowtrails.org/trail-report. Trail passes are required.
Trail conditions are fast at Loup Loup Ski Bowl, which is open from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The luge is open weekends only and requires advance reservations. The lodge cafeteria will be closed for the season; users should bring their own food or purchase from the Mountain Meals food cart onsite (weekends only). Equipment rentals are available onsite. RV parking is limited and is unavailable on holiday weekends. Check https://www.skitheloup.com for information,
The Winthrop Rink offers opportunities for skating, organized hockey, drop-in hockey and private rentals. Visit the website for schedules and rates: http://www.winthroprink.org.
Davis Lake and Patterson Lake cover enough terrain to accommodate both ice skaters and ice fisherpersons. Skaters may find uneven ice conditions after last week’s thaw and light rain. Need an ice fishing guide? Try Heavy Hitter Guide Service: http://www.facebook.com/HeavyHitterGuideService/community. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife recommends 4 inches of ice for ice fishing and 9 inches for snowmobiling. Check these websites for more information about conditions and license requirements. https://www.okanogancountry.com; https://wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/weekender/north-central.
It may be disconcerting to see people standing in the river in winter, but for those interested in winter fly fishing during Methow Whitefish season, it’s time well spent. Methow Fishing Adventures can introduce you to the art of winter fly fishing or help you hone your technique: http://www.flyfishersproshop.com/blog/guiding.
The Methow Valley’s six Sno-Parks provide access to 175 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and connections to other areas of the region. The Methow Valley Snowmobile Association organizes group rides and reports on conditions; check their website and social media for conditions, grooming, event information and trail use/management concerns: http://www.mvsnowmobile.blogspot.com; http://www.facebook.com/methowvalleysnowmobile.
Enjoying the meticulous trail grooming and maintenance? Equipment, fuel, and personnel all cost money, which trail pass revenues help offset. Purchase your parking and trail use passes, and help support winter recreation in the Methow Valley.