You know how there’s always a place close by that you’ve never been to? A place so close that that it’s embarrassing to tell people you’ve never been there? For me, this place is Winthrop. In the 10 years that I’ve lived in Washington, I have never been to Okanogan County. I had heard about the epic drive and the “Western” town that is Winthrop and have always wanted to go and experience it for myself, this last August, Visit Seattle sent me on an excursion to do just that.
Located about 4 hours North East of Seattle, one must take the North Cascade Highway to get there, and it won’t disappoint!
You’ll drive through the “North American Alps” or North Cascades Mountains.
Eventually you’ll start to see glimmers of the most vibrant color turquoise that is Diablo Lake.
There are several turnouts to look down at the water, but also one with lake access.
Eventually the terrain starts to look a lot more like a Western, complete with sagebrush.
My accommodations were at Sun Mountain Lodge, which overlooks Methow Valley; the view from the dining room is incredible. The lodge itself offers spa services as well as a lot of recreational activities, including horseback riding, my favorite!
It was well worth paying a little extra for a private ride, with just a small party of my friend and I and our “wrangler” Red, we were able to see Methow Valley from a unique angle.
The town of Winthrop is very Western, all the storefronts and walkways are wooden, even the gas station has vintage pumps.
Definitely stop by the ice cream store and candy store, you’ll smell it before you see it!
It was absolutely incredible to see how in just a matter of hours, the terrain can change so drastically. The gigantic North Cascades, the vibrant natural color of Diablo Lake, and the rolling hills of Methow Valley, all so close to the hustle and bustle of Seattle. It truly is worth the trip to explore our beautiful Washington State and it’s only 4 hours away!
In the winter, Winthrop is transformed, the sagebrush and desert grass is covered in a blanket of snow, a winter wonderland. Sun Mountain Lodge offers cross country skiing, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, ice skating and plenty of snow to build a snowman. Stay tuned for a follow up post on winter experience in Methow Valley.