okanogan national forest camping

methow valley

From the North Cascades to the Methow and Columbia Rivers, the Methow Valley’s scenic beauty offers plenty of recreational and cultural opportunities. Here you will find some of the world’s best cross-country skiing, hiking and mountain biking, local organic farming, galleries, theater and live music.


Boardwalks and cowboy boots, and big cowboy hats thrive in the Old West town of Winthrop, but you’ll also find wine tasting, art galleries and great shopping and dining. Don’t miss the Balloon Roundup in March or the famous 49er Days in May. Explore the Shafer Museum’s famous outdoor replica pioneer village, wander the boardwalks and take the time to experience Winthrop’s two walking bridges, one north and one on the south edge of downtown.


In the heart of the Methow Valley, Twisp is home to musicians, thespians, painters, sculptors, glass, metal and fabric artists. Enjoy live theater at the Merc Playhouse and art exhibits at the Confluence Gallery. For great food and cool brews, stop by a local brewery. On seasonal Saturdays, don’t miss the famous Methow Valley Farmers Market right off the main highway.  As the summer heats up, take a dip in the Wagner Pool and enjoy the Twisp Park, at the confluence of the Twisp and Methow Rivers.  Up the Twisp River Recreation Area find numerous trails for outstanding hikes and camping. 

THE GREAT OUTDOORS  For the outdoor enthusiast, the Methow Valley is a fantastic base for exploring the North Cascades National Park or the half-million acre Pasayten Wilderness. Autumn brings deer hunting season, and fishing in the Methow River or many of the streams and lakes is a popular pastime year-round. 

NORDIC SKIING DESTINATION   Ski on the largest cross-country ski trail system in the US with the Methow Trails. The snow quality and grooming of the trails is the best in the nation and draws athletes from around the world.  With over 200km of groomed trails and hut-to-hut skiing you’ll find a trail for every age and skill level.  

MORE WINTER ADVENTURES Alpine skiing, snowboarding, Nordic skiing and tubing for all ages are a short drive away at the Loup Loup Ski Area, a fantastic family ski area with a 1,240 vertical drop and a quad chair lift. For the snowmobilers, the Methow offers 450 miles of groomed trails and many snoparks. Heli-skiing rewards the truly adventurous with unsurpassed snow. Everyone will enjoy ice skating at Winthrop’s outdoor ice rink. 

UNIQUE SPOTS Spring is a time of extravagant beauty as the wildflowers bloom. The best view is while running the MVSTA’s Sunflower Relay! Don’t forget the annual Ride to Rendezvous, as horses, mules and stagecoaches ride through Twisp every spring on their way to the famous 49ers Days in Winthrop.  Learn about the history of smokejumping and take a guided tour of the birthplace of smokejumping at the North Cascade Smokejumper Base south of Winthrop.

KIDS & PETS  The Weather Channel declared the Methow as the number one place in the nation for family vacations!  In Winthrop, tromp the wooden boardwalks, play mini golf and check out the ice cream shop and bakery. There are many easy well maintained trails that are perfect for the family. Some, like Falls Creek, Blackpine Lake, Rainy Pass Trail and the Washington Pass Overlook are designed for wheelchair and stroller access.

Visitor Information

Winthrop Visitor Center

202 Riverside Ave

Twisp Visitor Center           
201 Highway 20 South

Methow Trails
800-682-5787 (trail report) 

Sun Mountain Lodge Trails & Activities

Unexpected Treasures

North Cascades Base Camp
Ecology center, nature programs, retreats | 996-2334 

Winthrop Fish Hatchery 
Tour newly remodeled facility, open daily. | 996-2424

North Cascades Smokejumper Base 
tour the birthplace of smokejumping.  | 997-9750

Methow Valley Interpretive Center 
Twisp Explore area’s Native American inhabitants and 
natural history | 997-4904 

All area codes (509) unless otherwise noted