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Pipestone Canyon Rim Trail

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth
View map below

Length

9.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1700 ft.

Rating

4.25 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Explore a scenic and incredibly varied landscape near Winthrop where you are almost certainly guaranteed to see some of the region’s abundant wildlife.

Follow a mountain bike trail that winds through a canyon and a lesser-known rim trail. This is a great destination for a day and you can hike as far as you like. Experience the widely varying scenery of the valley floor and the upper rim. The rim trail has spectacular views and can be combined with the canyon trail to form a nine mile loop.

Hikers who visit the canyon will be treated to gorgeous views from rock lookouts and, if you go at the right time, lots of wildflowers like lupine and balsamroot, a couple of startlingly green oases, and an enchanting forest at the bottom of the canyon. You will also have a good chance of spotting plentiful wildlife including golden eagle, Western tanager, and coyote, among others. Rattlesnakes do also live in the area, so be mindful of where you tread and keep any canine companions on a leash.

Snakes are most active during the heat of the summer. Another highlight is that the trail takes you through a couple of small groves under leafy trees that offer a respite from the sun. Outside of these short sections, the trail is fully exposed to the sun and can get quite warm.

Be aware that there are seasonal closures for wildlife in the area and be considerate to other trail users. This is a favorite trail for mountain bikers and equestrians.

Note that the only water source on the trails is towards the beginning of the loop, where there is a small lake. Especially once it gets warmer out, pack in all the water you might need.

Be sure to bring a map with you because the trail branches several times.

WTA Pro Tip: All of these adventures can be combined with some excellent food in the valley — Twisp River brewery, Mazama Country Store and Inn, and many fun places in Winthrop.

 

Pipestone Canyon Rim Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.4515, -120.0761 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Methow Wildlife Area

See weather forecast

Getting There

From Winthrop, take East Side County Road for two miles and turn left onto Bear Creek Road (at golf course sign). After 2.3 miles, turn right on Lester Road; immediately after the pavement becomes dirt road. Follow this road to a flat, open area and come to a fork in the road. Take a right at the fork to go to the canyon trail.

If you want to take the rim trail, park near this forked open area and start walking down road on the left.The rim trail veers off as single track in a couple hundred feet to the right.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

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Pipestone Canyon Rim Trail

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