Methow Trails Winter 2017

14 | Methow Trails Sunny Days, Starry Nights I always thought love would be that way We have more than just fantastic skiing! The Methow Valley’s starry nights and sunny days provide opportunities that many in the Pacific Northwest don’t get to experience in the winter. Washington is not known for its sunshine, although the Methow Valley is. In a rain shadow protected by the mighty North Cascade mountains, Winthrop is actually one of the sunniest places in the US, averaging over 210 days of sunshine each year. Last winter, as Seattle set a record for consecutive days of rainfall, the Methow Valley was a haven for those fleeing the wetness. Radio station KUOW FM did a fun story on top sunshine spots like Winthrop that you can listen to at this link: Along with sunny days come fantastic star gazing and Northern Lights viewing. Steve Mitchell, owner of the Rocking Horse Bakery in Winthrop, and Ed Stockard, a groomer and mechanic for Methow Trails, are both avid photographers and night owls who capture stunning scenes of the Northern Lights above the Methow Valley each winter. While 80% of North America can no longer see the Milky Way due to light pollution, here in the Methow Valley, we can see the Milky Way – and more. Don’t miss the opportunity when you are in the Methow to stargaze. People in our lightly populated community are very supportive of dark skies, and you’ll get treated to an incredible evening show and– if you are really lucky– the Northern Lights. A Northern Lights photo Ed Stockard took while grooming the ski trail above Sun Mountain Lodge