The Seattle Times | Saddle Up

If you’ve fallen hard for the TV show “Yellowstone” and wonder what it would be like to hit the trail, head to Winthrop for horseback riding in spectacular sagebrush-steppe landscape, trying on a Stetson and feasting on gourmet fare.

East of Seattle by about 240 miles, Central Washington’s Methow Valley region was first inhabited for around 13,000 years by the Indigenous Methow people. Gold discoveries later brought European settlers in the 1800s. In 1902, Owen Wister wrote America’s first Western novel, “The Virginian,” after a Winthrop honeymoon.

Winthrop’s old-timey appearance today is a false front, to a degree. The town’s wooden boardwalks and old-time exteriors were rustled up in the 1970s by two businessmen hoping to attract tourists. Nevertheless, the 50-year-old town’s artifice has been well-weathered over the decades and feels downright authentic on a dry, hot summer day…


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