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      Ride through a stunning canyon and back along a high ridgeline in the high desert of Washington's Okanogan Region. Catch uninterrupted views of the sawtooth North Cascades Range and the Methow Valley as well as abundant wildlife and wildflowers.

      The Methow Valley in north-central Washington is magical for myriad reasons—the dry powder and bluebird days of winter, the hot high-desert days of summer, stunning views of the North Cascades Mountains to the west; the list goes on and on. Adding to its mystique is the little-known Pipestone Canyon, carved out the hills north of the town of Winthrop.

      The trailhead sits just past a wide-open area commonly used as a hunting camp during deer and elk season alongside Lake Campbell. The trail beelines into the canyon through a large section of burned-out Ponderosa Pines, while hoodoo-like columns (the namesake “pipestones”) ornament the canyon walls overhead like castle ramparts. After a good rain, this trail gets extremely muddy and, as it’s often very overgrown, the wetness from the brush will soak your legs through pretty quickly.

      After the first mile, the forest thins out and the trail opens into a broad grassy meadow, hemmed in by rotten rock rising up on the hillsides to both sides. Watch out for Rattlesnakes among the log piles and rock outcroppings throughout the entire hike. Rusting, abandoned farming equipment can be found scattered along the trail throughout the valley, which continues to open up ahead. Shortly before reaching a cattle fence around three miles in, a narrow booth path rises up to the left of the main trail, beginning a wide loop up through the hills to the east of the main canyon, then cutting back north, climbing towards the upper canyon rim.

      From the top of the rim, sweeping vistas emerge including much of the North Cascades Range and its dramatic, jagged peaks, and the fertile Methow Valley sprawling to the southeast. Golden Eagles nest in the canyon walls and can often be seen circling the valley on thermals while the occasional coyote may be spotted loping along in search of food to scavenge.

      The rim portion of the trail hugs the cliff edge rather closely, allowing for pretty impressive views of the pipestones from up close. This section of trail is completely wide-open as well, meaning the vistas are endless. Eventually the trail drops down towards Lake Campbell but unfortunately there’s no good crossing through the marshy basin. Continue along until it meets the road back at the hunter’s camp and backtrack about a mile to your car at the trailhead.

      Be sure to hit up Old Schoolhouse Brewery once back in town for tasty nachos and one of their award-winning craft beers.
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      Activities Click to view
      Region Details
      • 12
      • 5
      • 10
      • 1

      Region Status
      Caution as of Sep 2, 2023
      Local Trail Association


      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      Trails Mountain Bike
      Trails E-Bike
      Trails Horse
      Trails Hike
      Trails Trail Running
      Trails Dirtbike/Moto
      Total Distance
      96 miles
      Total Descent
      17,842 ft
      Total Vertical
      4,614 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      6,811 ft
      Ridden Counter

      Photos of Pipestone Canyon Mountain Bike

      41 |
      Aug 1, 2022 @ 11:21am
      Aug 1, 2022
      46 |
      Aug 1, 2022 @ 11:21am
      Aug 1, 2022
      37 |
      Aug 1, 2022 @ 11:21am
      Aug 1, 2022
      40 |
      Jun 13, 2022 @ 11:26pm
      Jun 13, 2022
      30 |
      Jun 13, 2022 @ 11:26pm
      Jun 13, 2022
      27 |
      Jun 13, 2022 @ 11:26pm
      Jun 13, 2022
      trail: Rim Overlook
      163 |
      Jul 23, 2019 @ 1:35pm
      Jul 23, 2019
      228 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019

      Recent Trail Reports

      FS 200
      Sep 2, 2023 @ 6:49am
      Sep 2, 2023
      Bear Mountain Trail
      Sep 2, 2023 @ 6:49am
      Sep 2, 2023
      Middle Fork Beaver Creek Trail
      Aug 25, 2023 @ 6:25pm
      Aug 25, 2023
      Very Dry Beware of cows and fresh pies. Otherwise...benjdrummond
      Pipestone Canyon Valley Trail
      May 1, 2023 @ 4:34am
      May 1, 2023
      IdealTrail Running Two trees down, one big.benjdrummond
      Lightning Creek
      Aug 1, 2022 @ 1:11pm
      Aug 1, 2022
      Very DryThe bottom two-thirds is deep sand or...benjdrummond
      Ronja, The Robbers Daughter
      Jul 26, 2022 @ 6:31pm
      Jul 26, 2022
      DrySo overgrown you can't see the trail. ...nbburg
      Jun 11, 2022 @ 8:02am
      Jun 11, 2022
      Pipestone Rim Trail
      May 19, 2022 @ 12:37pm
      May 19, 2022
      DryA couple trees down. Washouts mentioned...justanothershredder
      Blue Buck Trail
      Jun 21, 2020 @ 11:05pm
      Jun 21, 2020
      WetThe upmost section is a bit wet and...BikingSwede
      Golden Eagle
      May 24, 2019 @ 5:47pm
      May 24, 2019
      DryMajor washout just before the Pipestone...FogeyStogey

      Activity Feed

      msnmtnbikewishlistrouteBear Mountain Figure 8 plus Telemark
      Sep 21, 2023 @ 9:17am
      Sep 21, 2023
      dgthomsonwishlisttrailMiddle Fork Beaver Creek Trail and 1 more
      Sep 10, 2023 @ 8:49pm
      Sep 10, 2023
      dgthomsonwishlistrouteBear Mountain Figure 8 plus Telemark
      Sep 10, 2023 @ 2:25pm
      Sep 10, 2023
      BarbarabFcLqYwishlistrouteBear Mountain Figure 8 plus Telemark
      Sep 3, 2023 @ 4:29pm
      Sep 3, 2023
      benjdrummondaddreportFS 200 and 1 more
      Sep 3, 2023 @ 8:28am
      Sep 3, 2023

      Recent Comments

      MachaggistrailUnknownHad to work out this from golden eagle after...
      Jun 7, 2023 @ 1:42pm
      Jun 7, 2023
      katdwtrailGolden Stairway TrDisregard my question @ BB. I rode an unnamed...
      Oct 12, 2022 @ 6:29am
      Oct 12, 2022
      katdwtrailGolden Stairway TrDid you take this trail and link it up all the...
      Oct 11, 2022 @ 6:29pm
      Oct 11, 2022
      Dunc435trailPipestone Canyon Valley TrailDouble track green, very mellow.
      Oct 11, 2022 @ 2:26pm
      Oct 11, 2022
      benjdrummondtrailBear Mountain TrailRiding beautifully. A bit rough but not as...
      Sep 10, 2022 @ 3:01pm
      Sep 10, 2022

      Nearby Areas

      Sun Mountain 11 11 39.6 km
      Lewis Butte 2 110.1 km
      Buck Mountain 313.1 km
      Rendezvous Basin 1 114.8 km
      Angels Staircase / Uno Peak 1 10 721.5 km

      Local Badges

      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike3296 miles17,841 ft48 miles4,613 ft
      E-Bike1568 miles9,364 ft28 miles4,613 ft
      Horse12,152 ft253 ft2,152 ft253 ft
      Hike3190 miles16,657 ft45 miles4,613 ft
      Trail Running3190 miles16,657 ft45 miles4,613 ft
      Dirtbike/Moto1057 miles8,530 ft25 miles4,613 ft
      • By boxxerace TRAILFORKS EMBA J-GULCH & contributors
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      • #17216 - 6,893 views
      • pipestone canyon activity log | embed map of Pipestone Canyon mountain bike trails | pipestone canyon mountain biking points of interest

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