Weekends only until base improves
Loup Loup Ski Bowl is up and running, in one of its earliest openings in recent years.
Later in the season the Loup will be open on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but while waiting for the base to set up, the lifts will be running on weekends only. Check https://skitheloup.com for ticket prices, conditions, updates, employment, and operating schedule.
The Winthrop Rink hosts the Great Outdoors Youth Hockey tournament this weekend but there are still some open skate slots. Visit the website for rates, schedules, and employment information: http://winthroprink.org.
Nordic skiers out on the trails recently are usually spotted doing one of two things: shaking their heads in disbelief about the exceptional early-season conditions, or just flat out grinning from ear to ear. Visit www.methowtrails.org/trail-report when planning your ski. Trail passes are required.
Grooming has begun at the South Summit Sno-Park area near Loup Loup Pass. Reports are that the pack is unstable due to the very cold and dry snow, but that the groomed trails provide plenty of fun. Dogs are welcome on some trails. 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.
Snowshoers can’t ask for better conditions than these: regular refreshers of dry snow and bluebird days. Check the Methow Trails website for groomed snowshoe trail conditions: www.methowtrails.org/trail-report. Trail passes are required on groomed trails.
After lots of grooming, some user traffic, and some cold overnights, the trails in Pearrygin Lake State Park and on Lloyd Ranch are rounding back into good shape. There are still some soft sections so keep those tire pressures low and choose other trails if you are leaving tracks deeper than 1 inch. The firmest trails will be in the campgrounds and on the west side of the lake. Check www.facebook.com/methowfatbike for grooming updates.
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-grooming-report-pg184.htm for more information and trail suggestions. Parking passes are required.
An fisherman fell through the ice on Patterson Lake the other day — a solid indication that the ice is not yet stable. The state Department of Fish & Wildlife recommends waiting until ice is 4 inches thick before venturing onto lakes for ice fishing, and 9 inches for snowmobiling.
Sun Mountain Lodge’s sleigh ride program will open on Dec. 17 for private and group sleigh rides. Visit www.sunmountainlodge.com/sun-mountain/sleigh-rides for more information.