Outdoors blog

Methow valley winterfest will get your heart pumping

The Doggy Dash is a popular event for spectators, participants and their four-legged friends at the annual Methow Valley Winter Festifal in February near Wintrop. (Courtesy photo)
The Doggy Dash is a popular event for spectators, participants and their four-legged friends at the annual Methow Valley Winter Festifal in February near Wintrop. (Courtesy photo)

WINTER SPORTS – Nordic ski races and advance skiing camps, a Doggie Dash, biathlon clinics, art shows, comedy theater – and that’s just a sampling of the activities scheduled for this year’s Methow Valley Winter Festival near Winthrop, Feb. 18-27.

See the entire schedule and pre-register for the popular activities online

Read on for more details and links.


It's not too late to sign up for the Spokane Langlauf 10-kilometer cross-country citizen race, Feb. 13 at Mount Spokane. This is the largest nordic ski race in the region and a hoot whether you're a serious racer to more interested in the Woolies or Woodies divisions.  Get infor and register online.

Methow Valley Winter Festival Highlights

  • Methow Arts kicks off the festival Friday, Feb. 18with an evening of fun and laughter as Jet City Improv brings their live comedy experience to the Winthrop Barn at 7 p.m.
  • Methow Valley Nordic Club hosts the Tour of the Methow, Saturday, Feb. 19. Skiers may choose to ski 20 to 80 kilometers of the Methow Valley’s incredible ski trails in this non-competitive, food and transportation supplied event. 
  • Sunday, Feb. 20,don’t miss one of the craziest events: the annual Doggy Dash, a 6-legged costumed ski race for dogs and humans. Who will win the coveted “best in show”?
  • Author Erik Brooks leads young skiers on a Storyski reading of his book Polar Opposites, Sunday, Feb. 20. Skiers ski a 1km loop while reading large story book pages along the ski trail. 
  • Former Olympic cross-country skiers, Leslie Hall and Laura McCabe host a two-day Nordic ski camp, Feb.21-22 offering skiers an incredible opportunity to learn both skate and classic ski technique from two of the most acclaimed cross-country skiers in the nation. Leslie Thompson Hall is a three-time Olympian. Laura McCabe is a two-time Olympian, both women live and ski in the Methow Valley. Registration information can be found at http://www.mvsta.com/winter/documents/SkiFestivalNordicSkiCamp.pdf
  • Methow Valley Nordic Team hosts a Cross-Country Ski Camp for youth ages 6-12 years old, Feb. 22-24. 
  • The Methow Valley Biathlon Team hosts two opportunities for cross-country skiers to “Try Biathlon”.  Wednesday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 26.  This event was the hit of last year’s festival. Don’t miss this great opportunity to test your skill at two different disciplines, skiing and shooting! 
  • Winthrop Physical Therapy hosts a three-day Women’s Ski and Yoga Retreat Feb. 25-27. 
  • Torchlight Ski, Friday Feb. 25. Ski from dusk to 8pm on the ski the trails of Mazama by torchlight, presented by the Methow Conservancy
  • Cowboy Races, Saturday Feb. 26. Try your hand at roping cattle while on skis!  Learn from some of the Methow Valley’s finest ranchers and ropers. This is another very unique Methow Valley event, perfect for the whole family. 
  • Guided Snowshoe Hikes, Feb. 19, 20 and 26. Free, Naturalist-led snowshoe tours held at Sun Mountain and Mazama. 
  • Alpine ski or snowboard daily at Loup Loup
  • Ice skating and hockey daily at the Winthrop Ice Rink

 See the  entire schedule of events for the Methow Valley Winter Festival. 

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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