Twisp Welcomes Winter

Winter 2018.19

Brought to you by the Twisp Chamber of Commerce#twispwa #visittwisp #playintwisp #winterintwisp

When snow blankets the Methow Valley and the North Cascades Highway has been gated and closed for the season, Twisp marks your entrance to the vast winter wonderland of the eastern slopes of the North Cascades. Come visit us and enjoy winter Twisp-style.

First, find lodging at one of Twisp’s many hotels and inns and get settled. You may not want to leave the cozy comfort of your hotel, but we urge you to venture forth; the warm bed will await your return.

Next, plan your activities. Whether you like alpine or Nordic skiing, fat biking, snow shoeing, or ice skating–or all of the above–you’ll find many options in and around the Methow Valley. Although the valley is on the international map for its Nordic trail system, there are plenty of other ways to play on the snow.

Loup Loup Ski Bowl is not just your average rural lift service ski area. It’s a gem of a mountain located only 20 minutes from Twisp. With lessons, rentals, a terrain park, a rope tow and a poma-lift in addition to a quad chair, Loup Loup offers diverse terrain in a family atmosphere. Prices are reasonable, lift lines are minimal to non-existent, the lodge always has a cozy fire roaring, and snowboarders and skiers share the mountain. “The Loup,” as it’s known to locals, also grooms almost 23 kilometers of Nordic trails, accessed from the main parking area.

More than 200 kilometers more Nordic skiing can be found just west of Twisp, with trailheads in Winthrop and Mazama. Methow Trails grooms both classic tracks and skate platforms to perfection and offers free Saturday ski shuttles to trailheads within its system. If you’re new to Nordic skiing and want to learn from a professional, Methow Valley Ski School offers lessons in three locations throughout the valley.

Fat biking took the Methow Valley by storm a few years ago and it’s clear that it’s here to stay. Fat biking trails are maintained on parts of the Methow Trails system, as well as at Pearrygin Lake State Park and Lloyd 

Ranch, both accessed from Bear Creek Road in Winthrop. A casual online social group, Methow Fatbike, can provide you with additional information about the best trails and conditions.

Those wanting a backcountry ski experience can find guided options with North Cascades Mountain Guides and North Cascades Heli. Or if you have the gear and the experience, simply head up Hwy 20 and ski or snowmobile in from there.This is avalanche country, so check conditions, travel with others, and carry the right equipment (and know how to use it!). 

If snowshoeing is more your style, you’ll find plenty of choices. Depending on your lodging, some of these options might be right out your back door. Twisp borders US Forest Service land, and intrepid snowshoers can simply take off into the forest. Those seeking actual trails can either access the snowshoe portions of the Methow Trails system, or drive to the end of Twisp River Road and walk along the section of road that is unmaintained during the winter. Methow Trails also offers free family-friendly snowshoe tours throughout the winter.

Several businesses offer equipment rentals: Winthrop Mountain Sports,Methow Cycle & SportCascades Outdoor Store, and Loup Loup Ski & Snowboard Shop in Twisp.  The staff at all establishments are knowledgeable about winter sports and the gear that accompanies them, and will get you outfitted properly.  

In the early season, when consistently cold temperatures precede significant snowfall, many of the ponds and lakes around the Methow Valley freeze into smooth sheets of gleaming ice. When such conditions present themselves, local skaters can be found at Frost Pond, Davis Lake, Patterson Lake, and Big Twin Lake, doing everything from walking on the ice to practicing Salchows to playing pickup games of hockey. 

The biggest news in Methow Valley winter sports is that the local ice rink got a refrigeration system, which guarantees season-long ice. The rink, located at the Winthrop Town Trailhead, is an outdoor rink with stunning views of the mountains to the north and west, a heatedviewing room, and skate lessons and rentals. 

Snowmobile riders will find plenty of terrain in the surrounding hills, as well as–

usually–plenty of sunshine and sweeping views. The Methow Valley Snowmobile Association grooms some trails and schedules some group rides throughout the winter. Information about grooming, trail maps, and equipment rental facilities can be found on their website.

When you’re tuckered out from your winter sports, stroll through Twisp’s galleries and art studios (Confluence GalleryD*Signs Gallery,TwispWorks) or indulge in a little retail therapy in downtown Twisp or at TwispWorks. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, you’ll find a refreshing array of unique, handmade artisan products in Twisp, ranging from jewelry to birdhouses to blown glass.

You’re on vacation, so why not indulge in an afternoon cup of coffee atBlue Star Coffee Roasters or Cinnamon Twisp Bakery? If you’re ready for cocktail hour, stop by Glover Street Market‘s Saturday wine tasting. Or take a ride in an old-fashioned sleigh, complete with jingling harness bells on the draft horses who pull the sleigh. The sleigh ride takes you through the woods to an old packer’s tent, where you will enjoy a cup of hot cocoa before making the return journey.

Are you hungry yet? Let Twisp feed you. Dining options in Twisp range from downright casual to Methow elegant, with everything from home-made tamales to curry bowls to wood-fired pizza. Start your day with coffee at Blue Star followed by breakfast at the Cinnamon Twisp or Glover Street Market. If you’re headed out for the day, grab lunch foods from Glover Street or the deli at Hanks Harvest Foods. If you’re in town for lunch, you can’t go wrong with La Fonda Lopez or El Sabor Norteno. Dinner choices are numerous and none will disappoint. 

If you still have energy after dinner, listen to some live music at the Twisp River Suites, see a play at the Merc Playhouse, or just take a walk around town, enjoying the crisp air and the crunch of snow under your boots. Friday karaoke and Saturday DJ dance parties are always popular with the locals at BJ’s Branding Iron, while Mick & Miki’s Red Cedar Bar (we just call it “Mick and Miki’s”) is THE place to play pool. 

Now back to your hotel for a cup of tea and a good book, or to simply climb in bed and watch the snowflakes fall outside your window.

A perfect winter day. And you get to wake up and do it all over again tomorrow. 

Come to Twisp. We welcome winter and we welcome you as well. 

For weekly updates on what’s happening in Twisp, visit our Facebook page. #VisitTwisp #TwispWa #MethowValley

This blog is brought to you by the Twisp Chamber of Commerce.

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