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Winthrop | Washington's Old American West Town

Located in Okanogan County, Washington, Winthrop is a small town located between Mazama to the west and Twisp to the southeast. The town is known for its American Old Western theme and for being an outdoor lover's paradise.


Winthrop: At a Glance

  • Location: Okanogan County, Washington

  • Nearby Cities: Mazama & Twisp, WA

  • Why Visit? Western theme and outdoor recreation

  • Population: 529

Winthrop Store Street Corner
One of the cute street corners in Winthrop where you can shop.

History of Winthrop

Winthrop was incorporated in the mid-20th century, but years earlier, it was used as a gold-mining town. Years prior to that, it was used by Native Americans who were inhabitants of the area.

It was named after Theodore Winthrop, a prominent writer and explorer. Over the years, the town transitioned into a timber and ranching community before eventually becoming a popular tourist destination.

As you'll notice as soon as you get there, Winthrop embraces its Old West heritage, and the entire town has been designed to reflect a Western frontier ambiance. The buildings in the town center feature western facades, wooden boardwalks, and rustic charm. It's like stepping back in time to the late 1800s.

Winthrop Store Main Street
The main intersection in Winthrop with stores and restaurants on either side.

Where To Stay in Winthrop

Luckily, there are more than a few options for places to stay in the small town of Winthrop and in the surrounding area. Some of these include:

  • Chewuch Inn & Cabins - a beautiful spot located in the main part of town.

  • Sun Mountain Lodge - a premier destination resort near Winthrop that's one of the best places to stay near Winthrop.

  • Mt. Gardner Inn - located half a mile from downtown Winthrop offers gorgeous sunsets and free wifi.

  • River's Edge Resort - a more expensive option that offers a private deck and hot tub to guests.

  • Methow River Lodge and Cabins - another beautiful place to stay in Winthrop. It's quiet with ample parking, and only a short walk from town.

  • Virginian Resort - a more inexpensive place to stay in Winthrop that is located about a mile south of the downtown area.

Winthrop Store 4
One of the many great shops you can visit in Winthrop.

Where To Eat in Winthrop

  • Three Fingered Jack's Saloon: The oldest legal saloon in Washington State. They are open year-round and serve bar/grill food.

  • East 20 Pizza: A tasty pizza place that opened in 2007. They serve pizza, calzones, salads, and more.

  • Meza: A restaurant offering a great selection of food that was formally known as Six Knot Taphouse.

  • Arrowleaf Bistro: A local restaurant that offers seasonal dishes and a beautiful dining area with river views.

  • Oliver's Artisan Kitchen: A small cafe and bakery that offers crepes, coffees, and pastries.

Fun Things to Do in Winthrop

Here are a few of the fun things to do Winthrop, Washington:

Explore the Old West Town

Take a stroll through Winthrop's downtown area, which has a charming Old West theme. Enjoy the wooden boardwalks, unique shops, and Western-style facades. Don't forget to stop by the old-fashioned candy store for a sweet treat!

Visit the Methow Valley Trails

Rent a bike or lace up your hiking boots to explore the Methow Valley Trail System. It offers over 120 miles of groomed cross-country skiing trails in the winter and in the summer; these trails are perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

Winthrop Ice Rink

If you visit during the winter months, don't miss the Winthrop Ice Rink. Strap on some ice skates and glide across the outdoor rink, surrounded by snowy landscapes. It's a delightful winter activity for the whole family.

Methow Valley Wineries

Discover the local wine scene by visiting one of the wineries in the Methow Valley. Enjoy wine tastings, learn about the winemaking process, and savor the flavors of the region.

Winthrop Store Park
A small park along the river that you can visit in Winthrop.

Western-Themed Events

Check the calendar for any Western-themed events happening during your visit. The Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival, Winthrop Vintage Wheels Show, and 49er Days Celebration are just a few of the annual events that bring the town to life with music, classic cars, and Old West festivities.

What to Do Near Winthrop

Winthrop is located in the Methow Valley. It's widely regarded as a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and Winthrop serves as a gateway to many recreational activities.

In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, river rafting, horseback riding, and fishing. In the winter, the area is renowned for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Hiking Near Winthrop

Winthrop is connected to the extensive Methow Valley Trail System, which offers over 120 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails in the winter and multi-use trails in the summer. It's one of the largest trail networks in North America and attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.

Methow Valley
The amazing Methow Valley that's a wonderful place for hiking, skiing, rock climbing, and more.

Events and Festivals

Winthrop hosts several annual events and festivals that celebrate its Western heritage. The town is known for its Fourth of July parade, which features horse-drawn wagons and participants dressed in Old West attire. Additionally, the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival and the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival attract music enthusiasts.

Winthrop and Rock Climbing

Just a few minutes down the road (west) from Winthrop is the tiny town of Mazama, Washington. It's best known as a rock climber's and hiker's paradise.

Nearby, you can try out some of the most famous multi-pitch climbing routes in Washington (and the whole of the Pacific Northwest), including Fly Boys (an 18-pitch 5.9 sport route on Goat Wall) and Beckey's Route (a 4-pitch 5.6/5.7 trad route on Liberty Bell Mountain).

Liberty Bell Mountain
Liberty Bell Mountain from Highway 20, about 40 minutes from Winthrop.

The nearby Liberty Bell Mountain is known for its hard and incredibly beautiful trad routes.

Facts About Winthrop

  • Winthrop is located along State Highway 20, one of the most scenic highways in the United States.

  • In 2012, the city was ranked #2 among the worst speed trap cities in the country (with small populations).

  • The town has the oldest legal saloon in the state.

  • It is bordered by North Cascades National Park to the west.

  • Winthrop is home to several art galleries and cultural venues that showcase the work of local artists and celebrate the region's western heritage.

  • The town offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, inns, and cabins, many of which reflect the Old West theme and provide a unique lodging experience.

  • The town is a hub for the Methow Valley's extensive trail system, which includes over 120 miles of groomed cross-country skiing trails in the winter and multi-use trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding during the summer.

  • Winthrop serves as a gateway to the Methow Valley.

  • North Cascades National Park is to the west of Winthrop, only a short drive from the city's downtown area (you can also visit in winter).

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