Top Ten Winter Outdoor Family Getaways

Jewel of the Cascades: Methow Valley, Washington
By Elyse Green

Rocky Mountain powder in the Pacific Northwest? Go ahead, pinch yourself. You're in Methow Valley.

Imagine yourself in Washington's stellar North Cascades, on the fringe of a broad basin framed by rugged, snow-capped peaks under cold, shockingly blue skies. As you take in the landscape, imagine skiing right out of your front door, with so many miles of groomed trail ahead of you, you could ski for a week and never cross your own tracks.

Surrounded by over one million acres of sparkling federal wilderness, Methow makes for an idyllic family trip. Long a nordic skiing mecca, the area is now maintained by the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA), the non-profit organization who built the valley's expansive 200-kilometer trail system. The MVSTA run ski school clinics, races, and fun family-oriented events year-round, so beginner and experienced families alike can learn and improve or just ski, ski, ski in a relaxed and well-maintained environment. There are also snowshoeing-only trails and trails designated strictly for skiing or snowshoeing with dogs, making Methow one of very few vacation destinations where the entire family is welcome.


Methow Valley, Washington

Methow? and How!

GORP feature story on cross-country skiing in the Methow Valley.

Be sure to check out nearby Okanogan National Forest, renowned for its teeming mule deer population and its numerous lakes and streams. Wildlife viewing also takes center stage at Wenatchee National Forest, just south of Methow. And don't forget North Cascades National Park, a hop, skip, and a jump north on 153.

See Methow in its proper context—that is to say, completely surrounded by more natural beauty than you could shake a camera at.

Everything you ever wanted to know about wonderful Washington. Enjoy your trip!


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