Winthrop, with a population of 400 give or take, is a popular base for forays into the forests, mountains and wildflowers of Methow Valley. Downtown Winthrop is quaint and small, despite the fact that it comfortably accommodates hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Walk down the main street for a taste of the old west and your choice of 'authentic' souvenirs.
What keeps the crowds coming are not the curio shops, but rather the variety of outdoor pursuits in Methow Valley accessible from Winthrop. The Methow Valley Sports Trail Association has groomed 200 kilometers of trails, busy with bikers, hikers and horse-back riders in summer. Road rides offer similar variety, with easy undulating roads or steep mountain climbs. Mountain bikers can hit single-track trails, Forest Service and jeep roads for some wear on their shocks. Hikers and trail runners also use paths, so summer often means some trail-sharing
Cross-country skiers, telemarkers and snow-shoers leave their tracks once winter brings snow. Ski from Winthrop over to Mazama, Sun Mountain or Rendezvous for lodge-to-lodge skiing, lessons and backcountry adventures. Rent skis and pick up a pass for groomed trails at one of the lodges in Methow Valley. Stop for some peace and quiet along one of the longer trails, and then warm up at one of the lodges with hot cocoa and sparkling vistas. Transport is available between lodges for those not enthused about skiing back again.
Winthrop is northeast of Seattle by 200 miles, about a four-hour drive.