Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, June 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 62° Cloudy

Outdoors blog

Pearrygin Lake State Park groomed for winter fat biking, hiking

Steve Mitchell, owner of Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop and a volunteer trail groomer, rides his fat bike in Pearrygin State Park with the Methow Valley's Gardner Mountain in the background. (Steve Mitchell )
Steve Mitchell, owner of Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop and a volunteer trail groomer, rides his fat bike in Pearrygin State Park with the Methow Valley's Gardner Mountain in the background. (Steve Mitchell )

WINTERSPORTS -- Fat bikes rule at Pearrygin Lake State Park, Washington's newest Sno-Park destination for non-motorized winter recreation.

For two years, Methow Valley winter biking enthusiasts have been grooming single-track trails in and near the park that are ideal for snowshoeing or riding the balloon-tired bikes that are gaining popularity.

On Wednesday, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced Sno-Park designation to boost Pearrygin's winter activities. A $3,500 grant from the Winter Recreation Advisory Committee will to help pay for trail grooming, facilities maintenance and snow removal for the 2015-16 winter season.

“The Methow Valley has become a focal point of the fat-tire bicycle phenomenon in the Northwest, and Pearrygin Lake is a great venue,” said Rick Lewis, State Parks’ Okanogan Highlands Area manager.  Lewis, by the way, is a Spokane native. 

Pearrygin Park is 188 miles from downtown Spokane and 4 miles from Winthrop.

"Volunteers have been grooming a total of about 20 kilometers of trails in the park and a portion of the adjacent Methow Wildlife Area," Lewis said. "They're pretty well suited for fat bikes snowshoeing and winter hiking, but not so great for cross-country skiers because the routes are twisty single track with some tight turns."

Winter biking is just another way the Methow Valley is growing its winter economy in addition to having the largest and most diverse groomed nordic skiing trail system in the region. 

Three bike shops in the Methow Valley are renting fat bikes for use on certain designated groomed nordic Trails as well as at Pearrygin. The shops are Methow Cycle and Sport in Winthrop and Goat's Beard Mountain Supplies and North Cascades Cycle Werks in Mazama.

Starting Dec. 15 each season through March, or as long as the snow lasts, visitors to Pearrygin Lake State Park will need a non-motorized Sno-Park permit for vehicle access to the park and to use the trails. During the winter season, visitors will need only an annual $40 Sno-Park permit. No Discover Pass will be required. 

Because of a quirk in in the state law, if people choose to use a daily $20 Sno-Park permit, vehicles must also display an annual or daily Discover Pass.

For more information:

  • Pearrygin Lake State Park at (509) 996-2370.
  • Washington has about 40 Sno-Parks designated for non-motorized use and about 80 Sno-Parks designated primarily for snowmobiling. See details about these Sno-Park areas plus five Sno-Parks with snow-play areas on the State Parks Winter Recreation web page.



You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to Outdoors blog
Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

Follow Rich online:




Go to the full Outdoors page