Snowfall opens up winter rec options
Time to pull out your jackets and mittens; winter recreation seems like it’s here to stay in the Methow Valley, at least for the next three months.
Here’s how to take advantage of all the Methow has to offer.
Thanks to the refrigeration system, the Winthrop Rink has been open for weeks, with hockey tournaments, youth hockey practice, and open skate sessions underway, as well as a visit from some of the Seattle Kraken staff. Holiday hours include many options to experience the ice at the rink with friends and family. Visit http://winthroprink.org for info.
A bountiful snowfall over the past few days allowed Methow Trails to open some of the trails in Mazama, the Rendezvous and Sun Mountain. James DeSalvo, executive director of Methow Trails, said “We need 4-6 inches on pavement or hard pack to groom, so we don’t till up the trail or track dirt up into the trail platform.”
Methow Trails announced Tuesday (Dec. 14) that it is officially open for the season, and passes are required. Some trails are fully open; others are packed and will be groomed as soon as snow depth allows.
Visit www.methowtrails.org/trail-report when planning your ski to find out where the best conditions are. Buy tickets online at www.methowtrails.org.
Some trails are dog-friendly; make sure you know which ones they are by visiting www.methowtrails.org/index.php/ski-trails-for-dogs. Trail passes are required for humans and canines.
Once the Nordic trails at South Summit open, they are generally groomed for weekend use. Visit skitheloup.com/nordic-skiing for trail conditions and grooming updates. Parking passes are required.
There is no camping or any kind of overnight sleeping allowed at Methow Trails trailheads, including Early Winters and Chickadee. Running is not allowed on the Methow Trails winter trail system; try Upper Bear Creek Road if you want a dirt road run.
Although snow depth hasn’t been sufficient for fat bike grooming yet, fat bikers have been riding the Rex Derr Trail at Pearrygin Lake. Methow Fatbike predicts many fat bike trails in the valley will open by the weekend of Dec. 18-19. Methow Cycle & Sport provides the most comprehensive list of fat biking trails and conditions in the Methow Valley. Visit www.methowcyclesport.com/articles/fat-bike-trails-conditions-pg187.htm for more information and trail suggestions. Parking passes are required.
It’s a great time of the season for walking in a winter wonderland, aka snowshoeing. Visit www.methowtrails.org/trail-report for snowshoe trail conditions.
We need a little more snow for the Loup Loup Ski Bowl to open, but alpine skiers remain hopeful that the opening date is not too far away. Reservations for the Bear Mountain Luge are now open. Seats fill quickly; reserve early. Check skitheloup.com for info, updates and operating schedule.
Another consistent period of cooling might push us into safe ice fishing conditions, but we’re not there yet. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife recommends 4 inches of ice for ice fishing. Ice anglers might set their sights on the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival in Molson on Jan. 15, 2022: orovillechamberofcommerce.wildapricot.org/event-4602193.
Check these websites for more information about conditions and license requirements: https://okanogancountry.com/fishing–hunting-winter; wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/weekender/north-central.
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.