"Welcome to Methow Valley" Mazama by goshawk301
Mazama Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 5 photos
North Cascade Highway SR 20 crests at Washington Pass, then descends rapidly into the valley of Early Winters Creek. The sky clears, the air becomes drier, the forest thins out. Eventually the valley opens up onto a larger valley of Methow River - you are now east of the Cascade Crest, in Eastern Washington.
Methow Valley (pronounced Met -How) is a special place for me and my favorite place of retreat. It's a glacier-carved valley with steep, pine-forested sides and a flat valley floor covered with woods and meadows. Settlement is sparse - mostly ranches and vacation homes.
I love the landscape of the east slopes of the Cascade Mountains, where open forests mingle with meadows and transitions out to sagebrush steppe. I've been here many times for hiking, climbing and, more recently, stargazing - the area has the darkest night sky in the state.
Mazama is the first settlement you come to if you are traveling from west. It's just a hamlet of a few stores and a country lodge, but it's a hub of outdoor recreation for the area. You can find numerous hiking trails in the area, some going all the way to Canada. There's some excellent rock climbing at Washington Pass. In summer, the valley hosts a well-attended blues festival; in winter it's a center of cross-country skiing.
You have a wide range of options for staying in Methow Valley, from simple (but well-provided) forest service campgrounds to the upscale Sun Mountain Lodge outside Winthrop. My favorite ways of staying are car-camping and cabin rental.
This place has a little piece of my heart - so I hope you, the visitor, would appreciate it and treat it with respect....
A high, functioning Forest Service fire lookout that commands a magnificient view of the valley and the eastern North... more travel advice
If you are driving North Cascades Highway from west, you will go over Washington Pass, which at 5477 feet is the highest... more travel advice
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