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The Winthrop Trail

Ski the cross country trail from Winthrop to the Sun Mountain trail system and back.
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 14 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  The Methow Valley has superb groomed cross country trails that weave through the valley and surrounding mountains. This tour takes... more »

Tips:  As this trail is rated Expert, solid downhill skills on XC skis are advised. Bring plenty of water and food for energy for this 23 km... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Start of Tour

Park at the Town Trailhead to begin the XC ski tour. Head northwest up the Methow Community Trail towards Mazama following the Methow river for 1.8 km.

2. Winthrop Trail Junction

At the junction of the Winthrop Trail, turn south onto the trail, leaving the MCT behind. You cross more open farm land and after crossing the first road crossing, you begin an gradual climb that marks the start of the long climb to Sun Mountain. The second road crossing is 2.5 km from the trail junction.

3. The Second Crossing

At the second crossing, you leave the open fields and enter the wooded climb along the north side of Patterson Mountain. Climb up the intermittently steep trail as you gain greater views of the valley floor below.

4. The Hairpin

You will be nearing the end of the main climb at a very tight set of steep hairpin turns. From here traverse southwest to Patterson Lake.

5. Patterson Lake Cabins

Along the west side of Patterson Lake are cabins that are part of the Sun Mountain Resort. The trail runs along the lake shore then begins the last climb up Cabin Trail to Chickadee Trailhead.

6. Chickadee Trailhead

Once at the trailhead, refuel and refresh for the ski back down the same trail that you climbed up. The return trip will take 1/2 of the time due to the fast descent from Patterson Lake to the Second Crossing. This is a moderately difficult descent so be sure you have the skills needed to manage the speed of the run that is before you. Return to... More