Winthrop, Washington

Rock the Tube

May 2, 2011
Outside Magazine

The beauty of the Methow Valley is in the options: rafting, tubing, hiking, bouldering, microbrew swilling—it's all here. Base yourself in the town of Winthrop (pop. 393), at the Chewuch Inn and Cabins, and swing by Winthrop Mountain Sports ( for info and emergency gear needs. On Saturday, head 14 miles northwest to tiny Mazama and spend a couple of hours bouldering around Fun Rock, a series of crags just outside town. Then head 20 miles west, park at Rainy Pass, and hike the seven-mile Maple Pass loop trail, which puts you on a ridge overlooking the Cascades. Sunday is for floating down the Methow River (slowly, in a tube). Rent your tube and arrange a shuttle from Osprey River Adventures—they'll meet you at the put-in at River Run Inn and drive you back at day's end.

NEAREST AIRPORT: Seattle, 4.5 hours.
EXPENSE REPORT: Two nights in a cabin ( $270. Two tube rentals with shuttle ( $50. Sandwich fixings from the Winthrop Red Apple Market ( $20. Pesto-chicken pizza dinner from East 20 Pizza in Winthrop ( $24. Post-float splurge dinner of elk osso bucco, pappardelle, and a bottle of wine at the Arrowleaf Bistro in Winthrop ( $92. Total: $456