We are so fortunate to live in a community with 200 km of groomed ski trails. For current conditions, maps and ticket information, visit MethowTrails.org. Here are a few staff favorites that never get old:
For Joe, the perfect ski has a variety of climbing and descending, a good mix of technical challenges and faster speeds. His favorite route is up Cougar Bait, up Cub Creek, up Cow Creek to Rendezvous Pass, Cougar Mtn counter-clockwise, descend Cow Creek, out Cedar Creek, descend Cedar Creek Loop, over to Cow Creek, descend Cub Creek to Cougar Bait. Often times he'll never see another skier even in the afternoon. Cedar Creek often has the best conditions and least traffic. Just don't tell anyone!
Sun Mountain Trails
Beginning from the Chickadee trailhead, choose flat or rolling trails around the beaver pond and out to Aqua Loop and back. Great for beginning to intermediate skiers! For the more ambitious members in your group, Inside Passage, Thompson Ridge Road, Meadowlark and Blue Jany offer challenging climbs and descents. Top your day off with a hot beverage in the Wolf Creek Bar & Grill at Sun Mountain Lodge.
Always a great place to go during ski season, Mazama which has a nice mix of flat and rolling terrain. Take a few laps around the Corral trail to warm up then pick your direction and go. The perfect apres-ski snack can be found at The Mazama Store.
Winthrop "Power Hour"
Julie loves this loop when time is tight but she wants a great ski. Starting at the Winthrop Town Trailhead, this loop heads up the MCT, skirts along the edge of the Barnsley Loop to the Winthrop Trail, then down Power's Plunge and back to town.
mazama 10k loop
Another great loop, Jane hits this one after her morning yoga class when she wants to get her heart pumping. Starting across the road from the Mazama Corral Parking area, this loop follows the river before taking a steep left up toward Goat Wall Cutoff, then descends into the broad open fields of Inn Run and back to the Corral.
methow community trail "outback"
When Kris wants a good thrashing, the MCT "Outback" --and back!-- delivers! Plunging hills, tight corners and hotshoe skiers breathing down your neck highlight this portion of the MCT between Wolf Ridge and Brown's Farm.
For a fast ski, Ray recommends the "Skating Race Track" also know as the Arrowleaf Loop. He starts from Basecamp in Mazama then connects to the River Run trail to get to the Arrowleaf Loop's big meadow. It has consistently great grooming with classic tracks on both sides of a wide skate platform.
Early season conditions. Trail surface is currently ungroomed. Classic skis are your best choice until further grooming occurs. Chuck says Big Valley is the place to be because you can take the whole family there, whether you're a skier, a snowshoer, fatbiker or a fun-loving dog.
If your schedule allows, visit the Methow during off-holiday and mid-week days. The grooming is great and the trails are quieter. I like to think of it as the "Vintage Methow" experience.