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Category Archives: Methow Trails

It was a perfect sunny day with bluebird blue skies on the Methow Trails yesterday. The groomed trails are in good shape despite a lower than wished for snowpack. I’m glad we got out because today it is pea soup foggy conditions! A good day to stay inside.

Yesterday a friend and I skied Methow Trails’ Community Trail from Mazama to the Town Trailhead in Winthrop – a distance of thirty kilometers or more than eighteen miles! For some people that’s not a long ways but it is for me. It was sunny and cold. Colder than I usually like to ski. My water bottles froze shut and had to be forced open. Brrrrr. My feet and fingers suffered some, but in the end I was refreshed and exhilarated.

The trail winds through the forest and across fields and along the river. It crosses the Methow River and several streams – Goat Creek, Wolf Creek, Spring Creek and some side channels. With all the cold weather we’ve had, the ice formations are fascinating. Cold weather also makes the skiing slower and more challenging and squeaky too! We did it in almost exactly four hours with one twenty minute break at a warming hut and several shorter breaks.

These images¬†are from earlier this week when the girls and I went out to Big Valley to enjoy the newly-groomed ski trails. We returned yesterday with Ken for our annual Christmas ski and had more fun but I didn’t make any photos. It was similar but with more people out celebrating with their friends, families and dogs!

Big Valley is part of the Methow Trails system of over 200k of Nordic trails in the Methow. Skiing is free for people at Big Valley but dogs do need to have a trail pass.

The Methow Valley has been socked in with fog for a few days now and it’s not very pleasant. Gray and feels colder than it is. The light is flat. This morning I had lots of choices for skate skiing on groomed trails and I could tell from a web cam that one of them had sunshine and it’s a dog trail. Sky has not been to Gunn Ranch but she’s doing well at Big Valley so I figured we could give it a try. This trail is a long gradual uphill climb of 5k, or more. I just went the 5k and that was enough for me today. And then it’s down, down, down back to the trailhead. With perfect grooming it was lots of fun but when I got going pretty fast, Sky would come too close and cut me off or step on my skis. Twice she caused me to fall. I did figure out how fast to go and keep her out of my way after that and also I kept my eyes on her pretty closely. And we stopped and took pictures too. It was beautiful in the sunshine just barely above the sea of clouds in the valley below.

The top of the fog was just a few hundred feet above here yesterday. I took advantage of that headed to the Methow Trails Chickadee trailhead and enjoyed a couple of hours of skate skiing on perfectly groomed trails in the sunshine. Despite a few cars in the parking lot, I seldom saw any other skiers. It is amazing to have such a terrific trail system in my own backyard!

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