Terrific, informative article about the "hidden gem of the Cascades" --- the Methow River Valley. The re-invention of the town of Winthrop, the strong sense of community throughout the valley and the rise of sustainable businesses up and down the North Cascades Highway have made the Methow Valley a stellar destination whether during the summer or winter seasons.
As for river rafting on the Methow River, there was a time when hundreds if not thousands of white water enthusiasts from the Puget Sound region would make the 4 hour trek to revel in the monstrous breaking waves the spring run-off would create on the Methow River between Carlton and Pateros.
Rapids like Black Canyon, Staircase, Zero Hour, Shoshone Hole, Another Roadside Attraction and Jolly Green Giant would drench rafting participants and, literally, leave them aching for more. Other than the notable rapids named above, the Methow River, when blessed with water from bank to bank, also boasts numerous standalone boat-soaking curling waves like Cape Canaveral, Fat Lip, Mike's Face and Dumptruck.
Unfortunately, for the past decade or more, the Methow River has been ignored and virtually abandoned as far as river rafting goes. The combination of the long drive, questionable, quixotic May weather and quick runoffs that would sometimes catch rafters off guard when they would arrive at the put-in and discover the river limp and rocky might have contributed to the Methow's waning popularity.
However, a positive season appears to be brewing in 2010. Interest is up for river trips on the Methow. Hopefully, this hidden gem will treat us to a bunch of memorable white water rides during the period of time it is running full bore.
"river-rafting down the Methow River"
- » Methow Valley – Washington’s Hidden Gem (view on Google Sidewiki)