Hut-to-Hut Cross-Country Skiing

Methow Valley, Washington

Get in some winter exercise by cross-country skiing the Cascades     Photo: courtesy, NPS

People generally associate winter in western Washington with gray skies and endless rain. But 200 miles east of Seattle, all that moisture freezes over the Cascade Range, burying the Methow Valley through late spring. With 125 miles of smooth, machine-groomed trails, Methow's is the second-longest groomed cross-country system in America. And it doesn't cater only to experts with iron quads: Winthrop, Washington–based Rendezvous Huts maintains five woodstove-heated cabins along the trails, breaking up the trip at extremely manageable intervals of three to five miles. The huts sleep up to ten, feature full kitchens, and are perfect base camps for extended day trips into the surrounding million acres of national wilderness, including the dense conifer groves of the Okanogan National Forest.

OUTFITTER: Rendezvous Huts; $175 per hut (bring your own food); methownet.com/huts. For ski and snowshoe rentals, contact Winthrop Mountain Sports (winthropmountainsports.com).

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