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5 Things to See and Do in Winthrop, Washington

Stay Busy and Have Fun in Winthrop

Nestled in the heart of the Methow Valley, Winthrop, Washington, is a charming town with a rich history and an abundance of outdoor activities. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking to relax and savor a delicious meal, Winthrop has something for everyone.

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit, either. Spring, summer, fall, or winter, there are always exclusive, seasonal activities to enjoy. Before you start planning your trip, check out this comprehensive guide listing some of the best things to see and do in Winthrop.

winthrop, washington

Visit Downtown

Downtown Winthrop offers a captivating experience thanks to its Old West-style buildings and quaint streets lined with unique shops, stands, and boutiques. Visitors can spend hours exploring these stores, which sell everything from souvenirs to handmade crafts. A notable attraction is the Shafer Historical Museum, which provides engaging outdoor exhibits and insights into the Methow Valley’s history from the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

The town’s culinary delights are also well worth a trip. Start your day at the Rocking Horse Bakery, known for its delicious pastries and breakfast sandwiches. For lunch or dinner, the Old Schoolhouse Brewery offers riverside dining with locally brewed beer, while Copper Glance provides a cozy atmosphere to partake in creative cocktails. Wine enthusiasts should visit Lost River Winery for exclusive tasting events. To satisfy your sweet tooth, Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe offers homemade ice cream, chocolates, and other craveable desserts. 


When it comes to beautiful trails for excursions through nature’s splendor, few places can compare to Winthrop, Washington. The town has a staggering variety of different parks and trail systems to choose from. Some also feature pristine waterfronts and boat launches, as well as breathtaking areas to enjoy a picnic lunch and observe the local wildlife. 

Suitable for all ages, the Falls Creek trail near Winthrop is an easy, scenic hike that leads to several dazzling waterfalls. Goat Peak Lookout is more of a challenge, offering panoramic views of the Methow Valley and the North Cascades before culminating at a historic fire lookout. Additionally, Patterson Lake and Pearrygin Lake State Park offer versatile trails for both hiking and biking. The former is a moderately demanding 4.4-mile journey, while the latter features a peaceful 6-mile loop perfect for a serene outdoor experience.


River Activities

Beat the heat in Winthrop during the warmer months with a wide range of river activities. Tubing, provided by Methow Rafting, offers a festive and relaxing way to enjoy the Methow River from mid-July to Labor Day weekend. They supply everything needed for a leisurely float down the river.

For anyone seeking greater thrills, Methow Rafting also offers kayaking and rafting adventures. You and your group will be able to paddle down the river at brisk speeds, braving rapids and testing your skills. If it sounds too intimidating, don’t worry: our experienced guides will be there with you the entire time, helping you safely navigate every obstacle.

Ice Skating

The Winthrop Rink is a major destination for ice skating in the winter and roller skating in the summer, set against the stunning backdrop of the North Cascade Mountains. Recognized as one of the top-10 ice rinks in the West by Sunset Magazine and named “Heaven On Ice” by NHL Seattle, it’s a must-visit for family fun and a picturesque skating experience. For those who enjoy a nice game of pick-up hockey, pads and helmets are available for rent alongside skates. If you prefer watching over playing, hockey tournaments take place every weekend and can be viewed for free. 

There are also instances when lake skating is possible. The Patterson and Pearrygin Lakes, along with some higher alpine lakes, freeze solid, offering perfect conditions for skating under crisp, sunny skies. On these rare and enchanting days, the lakes become a hub of activity as people gather to glide on the natural ice. Visitors are encouraged to bring their skates to take advantage of this unique opportunity. However, it’s important to note that lake skating can be dangerous in some cases and should only be done with proper research and caution. 

Book Your Stay At Hotel Rio Vista

Western-Style Hotel in Winthrop, WA


The action doesn’t stop outdoors when snow starts to fall. Winthrop is also renowned for its skiing and winter sports, with thousands of visitors arriving every year for those reasons alone. Loup Loup Ski Bowl caters to skiers and snowboarders with 300 acres of curated terrain, including 10 runs on Little Buck Mountain. The mountain features a quad chairlift, a Poma lift, and a beginner rope tow. 

Winthrop also boasts North America’s largest cross-country ski trail system, managed by Methow Trails. It offers 120 miles of trails amidst a million acres of wilderness and forest land. The trails are divided into three areas: Mazama Trails for novices, Sun Mountain Trails for mixed abilities, and Rendezvous Trails for experienced skiers, all interconnected by the Community Trail.

For winter activities beyond skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing have become increasingly popular. Fat bikes are thick-frame, off-road bikes equipped with oversized tires that allow them to be ridden on snow. The Methow Valley is the leading location for this activity with its plethora of wide, pristinely groomed trails. Snowshoeing offers another way to explore the snowy landscape, with rentals available in town. Use this special footwear to traverse untamed, scenic routes through forests and along rivers on the Sun Mountain and Mazama Trails.

Your Adventure Begins At Winthrop, Washington

Winthrop, Washington, is a destination that promises adventure, relaxation, and a taste of the Old West. From shops and restaurants, to hiking trails, tubing, skating, or skiing, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do. Centrally located, Hotel Rio Vista gives visitors unmatched access to the surrounding attractions while furnishing truly comfortable and idyllic accommodations. Plan a visit to Winthrop and discover the rustic grandeur of the Methow Valley firsthand. 

Book your room today!

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