Warmer, wetter weather patterns have resulted in fast conditions on ski trails and more stability in the trail bases. Many snow sports events are coming up in the next few weeks, from the Ski to the Sun to the Snowshoe Softball Tournament to the Wolf Chase Race, among others. Check individual websites or https://winthropwashington.com/events/calendar for more information.
Hosted by the Seattle Kraken Adult Hockey League, the Great Puckaroo Roundup this weekend (Friday through Sunday) showcases 12 adult teams in 24 games, but there are still plenty of opportunities for open skate. Visit the website for rates and schedules: http://winthroprink.org.
Under the hands of a skilled groomer, Loup Loup’s new Prinoth Bison grooming machine has been laying down some nice corduroy, but the warm weather and high traffic over the holiday weekend has made the base thin in some places. The upper mountain and chairlift will be closed Wednesday (Jan. 19) and Friday (Jan. 21); junior poma and rope tow will be running. No uphill travel is allowed. Check https://skitheloup.com for ticket prices, conditions, updates and operating schedule.
Plan ahead for the Methow Valley Snowmobile Association’s Bucket Run on Saturday (Jan. 22): http://mvsnowmobile.blogspot.com; www.facebook.com/methowvalleysnowmobile.
The Saturday ski shuttle that runs from the Spring Creek Ranch Trailhead, to Brown’s Farm, to Mazama, and back to Winthrop provides a free, easy way to do a point-to-point ski on the Methow Community Trail. Visit www.methowtrails.org/events-calendar for more information. Check out grooming updates and trail conditions at www.methowtrails.org/trail-report. Trail passes are required.
The South Summit’s Nordic trails are groomed and fast. A trail map can be found at https://parks.state.wa.us/453/Mount-Baker-Methow. Trail passes are not required, but each vehicle must display a Sno-Park permit, which can be purchased at Hank’s Harvest Foods in Twisp or online at https://parks.state.wa.us/134/Sno-Park-non-motorized-Permits.
Snowshoe trails have set up, thanks to warmer weather and a lot of volunteer legwork. Check the Methow Trails website for groomed snowshoe trail conditions: www.methowtrails.org/trail-report. Trail passes are required on groomed trails.
The rainbow trout and perch were biting on Patterson Lake over the weekend, which currently has an ice thickness of about 8 inches with a little slush on top. Davis Lake and Leader Lake have been seeing some good ice fishing action as well. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends waiting until ice is 4 inches thick before venturing onto lakes for ice fishing. Drill holes to be safe. Check these websites for more information about locations, safety, conditions and license requirements: https://okanogancountry.com/fishing–hunting-winter; https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/ice-fishing.
Methow Fatbike groomers worked long hours to reestablish firm trail bases, just in time for the well-attended Methow Valley Fatbike Meetup, which featured group rides, fires and even a night ride in the fog. Please respect trail signs indicating what types of use is permitted. Weekly rides and fireside socials take place on Wednesday evenings; visit www.facebook.com/methowfatbike for more information.
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.
Private and group sleigh rides are available at Sun Mountain Lodge. Jingle bells, an open sleigh, cocoa in a miner’s tent, views of the valley floor — it’s the whole package. Visit www.sunmountainlodge.com/sun-mountain/sleigh-rides for more information.
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.