Magical Methow Valley

By Olympian Brian Gregg

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The Gregg family out for a morning ski from Mazama. Photo taken by Chad Gregg

Having traveled the world on cross-country skis throughout the last twenty years, my favorite place to ski is my hometown of the Methow Valley in Washington state. Three hundred days a year of sunshine, 220 km+ of cross country ski trails, low altitude and panoramic views makes the Methow Valley one of the best Nordic ski destinations in the Nation.

The Methow Valley is hidden in the mountains Northeast of Spokane, Washington. A little over three hour drive from the Spokane airport lies a magical cross country ski trail system.  Most of the trails are groomed daily by one of the Methow’s four Piston Bullys.  A huge thank you to the hard-working groomers who make dawn patrol and corduroy hunting one of my favorite activities.  With so many trails to choose from, it is not uncommon to enjoy fresh tracks. 

Alieta Gregg enjoying a successful fresh corduroy hunt! Photo by Chad Gregg

Skiing in the Methow Valley is unique in that the trail network and tourism is the artery for the economy. Similar to European ski trail networks you can ski from bakery to bakery, hotel to hotel, or restaurant to restaurant.

The Methow Community Trail follows the Methow River from the town of Mazama to the Town of Winthrop. Photo by Chad Gregg

The Methow Community Trail offers a smooth relatively flat trail to connect the 32 kms between the towns of Mazama and Winthrop. There are plenty of hillier options for those who enjoy the challenge and the vista views from up high.  Over the last decade the trail system has grown and improved over the years in a coordinated effort on both public and private land.  

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Mazama Meadows in the Morning Sun. Photo by Chad Gregg

The morning sun in the Mazama meadows is hard to beat, especially as you gaze over the river at the 1500 foot cliffs of the Goat Wall.  

Photo by Chad Gregg

January is known for temperatures in the teens and twenties.  The fastest snow and arguably the best for skiing.  Not too cold to provide a lot of dry friction, not too hot to have too much suction…. But just right.

Alieta enjoying the views from the Sun Mountain trails. The Endurance Adventures Methow January 2023 trip participants will be able to ski right outside their door from the Sun Mountain Lodge! Photo by Chad Gregg

I am excited to be guiding the Endurance Adventures Methow Valley trip scheduled for this winter January 24 – 30, 2023.  I love sharing the history of the Methow Valley and providing the local knowledge to make a great trip even better.  Check out the website and send us a note to learn more about the Methow Valley.

Olympian Brian Gregg

Typical January Day in the Methow Valley