The Methow Valley

Nestled in the scenic Cascade Mountains of Washington State, the Methow Valley is a destination known for year-round sunshine and natural beauty.

In the winter, the valley transforms into a winter playground. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular activities.

As the winter thaw gives way to spring, the Methow Valley comes to life with golden balsamroot and purple lupine. Spring is an ideal time for hiking, exploring the trails, bird watching, and spotting deer and other animals.

The rivers and streams offer fishing, kayaking, and rafting in the summer. The valley’s agricultural heritage shines during this time, with the local farmers’ market showcasing fresh produce. The warm summer nights also provide the perfect setting for stargazing, with occasional glimpses of the Northern Lights.

Fall gives way to another burst of color as the deciduous pine, the tamarack, sprinkles its golden needles throughout the forests.


A trip back in time

Winthrop is a picturesque western town with wooden boardwalks and hand-painted murals, located in north-central Washington state. Winthrop offers a unique blend of history, outdoor adventure, and small-town charm. The town’s main street is lined with rustic wooden storefronts, reminiscent of an old Wild West town, with boutiques, eateries, and more.

Surrounded by the Cascade Mountains and situated along the sparkling Methow River, Winthrop provides a wealth of outdoor options. Visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, and horseback riding during the summer, exploring the breathtaking alpine landscapes. Winthrop transforms into a winter wonderland, offering world-class cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. The town also hosts the annual “Winthrop Balloon Roundup,” where colorful hot air balloons fill the sky, adding a touch of magic to the already enchanting scenery. With its natural beauty, friendly community, and diverse recreational opportunities, Winthrop is a delightful destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Scenic Highway

The Methow Valley lies on the eastern side of the Cascade Loop— a short trip by road trip standards—and a nationally recognized scenic byway. Stops along the way offer rare encounters with old growth forest, spectacular vistas of Ross Lake, Gorge Lake and Diablo Lake, and scenic turn-outs.

On our side of the Loop, you’ll drive along the North Cascades Highway—the first National Scenic Highway in the United States. Completed in 1972 and open seasonally from mid-May to mid-November, the North Cascades Highway begins in Sedro Woolley just north of Seattle and follows the blue-green Skagit River.

Also known as Scenic Highway 20, The North Cascades Highway travels through farmlands and small towns, with country stores, fruit and vegetable stands and historic landmarks along the way. As you continue east along Highway 20, be on the lookout for eagles near the town of Concrete, one of the most popular eagle habitats outside Alaska.

About Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake is a stunning gem nestled amidst the North Cascades National Park in Washington State, USA. Renowned for its breathtaking turquoise waters, the lake’s vibrant color is a result of glacial silt that flows from surrounding glaciers, creating a visual spectacle. Surrounded by mountain peaks and dense evergreen forests, Diablo Lake offers an escape for nature enthusiasts and photographers. The area provides numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation, including hiking, boating, and fishing, allowing visitors. Diablo Lake is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an unforgettable experience in the heart of nature.

Travel Info


From the Seattle/Tacoma Area:

Take I-5 North. Merge onto I-405 S via EXIT 182 toward Bellevue/Renton. Merge onto WA-522 E via EXIT 23A toward WA-202/Monroe/Wenatchee. Merge onto US-2 E/Stevens Pass Hwy toward Wenatchee. Stay on US-2 for about 95 miles.

At Wenatchee, merge onto US-2 E/US-97 N toward Okanogan/Spokane, crossing the bridge over the Columbia River. Turn left at the junction with Hwy. 2/97 and continue north to Okanogan/Orondo/Brewster/Pateros for approximately 52 miles. This route follows the east side of the Columbia River and is a faster route than 97A. Continue on Highway 97 towards Okanogan bearing left at the “Y” junction at Orondo, where Highway 2 turns right to Spokane. Approximately 52 miles north of Wenatchee, turn left at Pateros onto Highway 153 (20) to Winthrop. Drive approximately 31 miles west through Twisp, and at about 6 miles west of Twisp, just past milepost 196, turn left onto Twin Lakes Road. 1.6 miles up Twin Lakes Road, turn left onto Patterson Lake Road, and continue up past the lake for 6.4 miles to the Lodge.

This route is marked with Sun Mountain Lodge signs from Twin Lakes Road.

Alternate Route:

Follow I-90 east over Snoqualmie Pass to the junction with Highway 97 at the WA-970 N exit, EXIT 85, toward WA-903 N/Wenatchee. Continue over Blewett Pass to the junction with Highway 2, 4 miles east of Leavenworth. Turn right onto Highway 2 East to Wenatchee and follow the directions above from Wenatchee.

North Cascades Route:

From I-5, approximately 65 miles north of Seattle, turn east at Exit 230 onto Highway 20 (the North Cascades Highway) at Burlington. Follow Highway 20 through Sedro Woolley, Concrete, Rockport, Marblemount, and Newhalem, approximately 132 miles east of Winthrop.

Continue on Highway 20 into Winthrop, crossing the bridge, and turn right at the 4-way stop downtown. Continue through town for approximately 1 mile. The road then curves to the right, crossing another bridge across the Methow River, and immediately after crossing the bridge, the road will “Y” – turn right onto Twin Lakes Road. Follow this road 3.2 miles to Patterson Lake Road. Turn right onto Patterson Lake Road, and follow the signs 6.4 miles to Sun Mountain Lodge.

This is the most popular and scenic route to Eastern Washington

** however **

this pass is closed from approximately mid-November through mid-April from 17 miles west of Winthrop to just east of Newhalem. It may close during the summer season due to rockslides. Please check the Mountain Pass Road Information Reports to verify the pass is open.

From the East – Spokane:

Drive west on Highway 2 through Reardan, Davenport, and Creston to the junction with Highway 174 just west of Wilbur. Turn right at this junction, and proceed NE on 174 through Grand Coulee to Leahy and Bridgeport. Continue west on 173 past Chief Joseph Dam through Bridgeport, cross the Columbia River, to the junction with Highway 97 at Brewster. Turn left and follow Highway 97 down the west side of the Columbia River, approximately 7 miles to Pateros. Just after crossing the bridge at Pateros, turn right onto Highway 153 (to 20). Drive approximately 31 miles west through Twisp and about 6 miles west of Twisp, just past milepost 196, turn left onto Twin Lakes Road. 1.6 miles up, turn left onto Patterson Lake Road, and continue up past the lake for 6.4 miles to the Lodge.

This route is marked with Sun Mountain Lodge signs from Twin Lakes Road.

From the North – Vancouver, British Columbia:

From the border crossing into Washington State, drive approximately 46.5 miles south on I5 to Exit 230 toward WA-20/Burlington/Anacortes.

Summer travelers: Follow North Cascades Highway (20) directions above.

Winter travelers (or whenever the North Cascades Highway (20) is closed: From the border entering Washington State, drive approximately 82 miles south on I5 to Exit 194. Merge onto US-2 E toward Wenatchee/Snohomish. Stay on US-2 for about 95 miles. Follow the directions above for “From the Seattle/Tacoma Area” from Wenatchee.

From the east side of the mountains — Kelowna/Penticton/Osoyoos area:

From the border crossing into Washington State, follow US Hwy 97 approximately 50 miles south to the junction with Highway 20 towards Winthrop. Turn right onto Hwy 20 and follow it over the Loup Loup Pass, approximately 28.7 miles to the junction with Hwy 153. Turn right and follow Hwy 20, approximately 2.5 miles to Twisp. From Twisp, continue on Hwy 20 to about 6 miles west of Twisp. Just past milepost 196, turn left onto Twin Lakes Road. 1.6 miles up, turn left onto Patterson Lake Road, and continue up past the lake for 6.4 miles to the Lodge.

This route is marked with Sun Mountain Lodge signs from Twin Lakes Road.


Sun Mountain Lodge offers electric car charging stations for Sun Mountain Lodge overnight guests.

Centrally located at the south end of the Gardner Building, the three Flo, standard Level II chargers are under a small roof covering. The EV charging area is lit from dusk to dawn. There is no charge for guests to utilize the EV charging stations; it will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tesla owners will need to make sure they have their non-tesla charging adapters.

More information and maps are available here:

Cascade Loop EV Charging Station Map

PLUG-IN EV Station Map

Mountain Pass Information

Toll-Free (800) 695-7623 or (206) 368-4499

Online at: (valid October 15 – March 31 or as conditions change)
Find updated pass reports below:
North Cascade Hwy SR 20
Snoqualmie Pass I-90
Blewett Pass US 97
Stevens Pass US 2
Loup Loup Pass SR 20

Ground Transportation

The “Methow Motion“ shuttle service, Winthrop/Twisp, WA – Located in the Methow Valley, nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. Methow Motion is currently the only local shuttle service operating under USFS special use permit. We provide recreational trailhead drops/pick-ups within the Okanogan – Wenatchee National Forest areas for access to the Pacific Crest Trail System.
(509) 996-2894, or

Wenatchee Valley Shuttle Charters (509) 293-5773, or

Starline Luxury Coaches: Coaches serving guests from 16 passengers up to 56 passengers. (800) 407-7154

Lakeside Limousine of Chelan (509) 470-0333

Charter bus information, from Seattle:

Air Transportation

Flying in from out of state?

Most major carriers serve SeaTac, and nearly as many serve Spokane.

To reach Sun Mountain Lodge from Seatac, we suggest flying into Pangborn Memorial Airport in Wenatchee via Horizon Air, then renting a car for the 1 1/2 to 2-hour drive to Sun Mountain Lodge.

Or, rent a car in Seattle and drive over one of the Cascade Mountain passes. From Spokane, rental cars are available for the 3 1/2 to 4-hour drive to Sun Mountain.

For private pilots, the Methow Valley State Airport is at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base (509) 997-2031 near Winthrop. It is a 5,050-foot long hard-surfaced, lighted facility with fuel service available. They now have webcams available here. FAA Identifier: S52.

For more information:
Our other local airport, 2S0 located at Twisp, is also available. Visit their website at or visit AirNav for more information:

Charter services available: Catlin Flying Service, Twisp, (509) 997-4602 features a Piper Cherokee Six comfortably seating five people.

Sun Mountain offers complimentary van service to and from the Methow Valley State Airport for groups of five or less.

Information on this page was compiled for informational purposes only ~ not intended as a recommendation.


Winthrop Chamber

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Methow Arts

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Old Schoolhouse Brewery

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Methow Trails

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Shafer Museum

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Methow Valley Farmer’s Market

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Confluence Gallery

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The Winthrop Rink

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Methow Recycles

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People of the Methow | History

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Okanogan Country

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The Mazama Store

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The Merc Playhouse

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We look forward to welcoming you. (509) 996-2211

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