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Cross-Country Ski the Rendezvous Huts

Winthrop, Washington


Added by Jason Zabriskie

These rustic, isolated huts offer beautiful mountain and valley views and cross-country Skiing galore. Some huts are dog friendly, so be sure to inquire.

During the winter months, there are few places in the country that are as isolated, picturesque and active as the Methow Valley, home to the western themed town of Winthrop and the tiny little town of Mazama.

With over 200 kilometers of well-groomed cross country ski trails throughout the valley, you can ski to your heart's content and then relax at the end of the day at one of many rentals you can secure in the area.

However, if you're willing to work to earn your stay at one of the most rustic, memorable and well-known hut systems in the country, look no further than the Rendezvous Huts, located between both Winthrop and Mazama in the northern hillsides above both towns. The hut system boasts 5 unique huts, each with it's own character, views and accessibility.

Incredibly popular (most weekend dates book up nearly a year ahead of time), your best bet is reserving a mid-week stay at one or more of the huts. You can choose to have your gear, food and drink hauled up via snowmobile, making one hut your homebase for the adventure as you explore the area and the other huts. Or you can book multiple huts and move between them during your stay.

In order to access any of the huts, an 8-12 kilometer uphill cross country ski tour will be required. The Rendezvous Hut, pictured in many of the photos here, is a 12km, 1,500 foot climb from car to front door. If you're new to cross country skiing, this could prove to be a serious challenge, so take some time to get yourself acquainted with XC skis on your feet in the flatter areas of the valley below before taking this excursion. Your hip flexors and your more experienced friends will thank you.

For the long uphill, I'd recommend classic XC skis for new-comers. For the more experienced, the skate skiing is amazing.

Huts do not come with running water or electricity, but a full propane stove and oven, along with all the basic kitchen accessories are provided. The outfitters will provide a few gallons of water, but depending on the size of your group, you'll need to melt snow for much of your stay to stay hydrated. And don't worry about wood; you'll have all you need to keep your stove running and the hut nice and cozy. The huts come with beds and/or lofts and simple mattresses, but you'll want your sleeping bag and a pillow. All huts have rustic outhouses with TP provided.

Don't forget to swing by the Twisp River Pub or Schoolhouse Brewery on your way in for some local growlers to add to the adventure's must-have perishables.

For more information about the Rendevous Huts, visit their website.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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