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Visiting Winthrop In Winter/Spring

Winthrop has been on my "Bucket List" for the past two years...

Known for the American Old West design of all the buildings in town, the theme idea was inspired by the example of Leavenworth, which in turn was heavily based on Solvang, California. 

The charming atmosphere of cute western town, board sidewalks, beautiful vistas, high, ragged peaks, cowboys and the old west everywhere - that are the pictures portrayed in every local guide book, trip planner or a brochure.

But when you get here...

It's a "two-line, half -mile, overpriced everything, tourist infested " town with more hotels than "places to see/ things to do " ( though some of the hotels are an attraction of their own, and some people consider drinking - " a thing to do"). 

Three Fingered Jack's Saloon is the area's main attraction. So, other than drinking , you don't really have too many options. 

After all, wandering around Shafer Museum, learning local history is always more fun when you are buzzed.

But for outdoor enthusiasts, Winthrop is an major cross-country skiing location, with over 120 miles of groomed trails ( second longest trail system in U.S).

Though, I didn't have a chance to ski on the famous Rendezvous Ski Trails ( 44 km that provide a semi backcountry experience and offer a comfortable overnight stay at one of their 5 huts), I had a great experience skiing on the beautiful Sun Mountain ski trails.

Sun Mountain Lodge features access to a trail system of over 200 kilometers, with ski tracks right outside your door.

Even if you are "not so much into cross country skiing" , sometimes the location dictates you what to do ( you don't go to Whistler and not ski, right ? Or do you ?). 

Just grab a pair of cross country skis and go for a quick run to the View Ridge point !

The trailhead is right in front of the lodge, 1.5 mile long, relatively easy (a couple little hills won't kill you), and you'll be rewarded with spectacular scenery of the North Cascades and the Methow Valley from trailside overlooks.

For more information on cross country skiing in the The Methow Valley, visit their web site - The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association

Not into cross country skiing ? Prefer going downhill at high speed ?

Just 23.3 miles away you can get your shred on at Loop Loop Ski Area !


Try fat biking !

... or snowmobiling !

Did you know that Winthrop is home to the very popular annual Winthrop Balloon Roundup ?

This three-day festival is a photographer's dream !

It's an incredible visual display as the balloons fly over the old western town of Winthrop and with the snow-capped mountains of the North Cascades as a backdrop.

All in all, Winthrop deserves a visit at least once ( and maybe just once... )


Casey Knopik said...

I like the picture with the cowboy. And I really liked the signs in the window of the shop you're outside. Pretty funny wanted sign.

ExtraHyperActive said...

Thanks ! Winthrop is a fun little town with ....not that much to do in winter ( except drinking at the famous saloon:))

Paula Christen said...

Ouch. Guessing by the date of your post, you were in Winthrop on the weekend of Feb 15,16 & 17. If so, you missed: Friday-torchlight ski parade & fireworks, Saturday-Tour of the Methow ski,Snowshoe Softball(hosted by the famous saloon), Sunday-Doggy Dash,experience Biathlon,guided snowshoe tours,horsedrawn sleigh rides & gallery opening reception.

ExtraHyperActive said...

I was there on Sat/Sun , but you are right, I missed a lot. I read about annual snowshoe softball, but didn't hear anything about other evens ( later I read about the Methow Olympic on MVSTA blog ), even after I stopped at the local visitor center. Events like those should be promoted more, they are a lot of fun !