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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
      • 13
      • 5
      • 10
      • 1

      Region Status
      Caution as of Jun 12, 2022
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      29
      Trails Mountain Bike
      29
      Trails E-Bike
      19
      Trails Hike
      27
      Trails Trail Running
      27
      Trails Horse
      1
      Trails Dirtbike/Moto
      10
      Total Distance
      96 miles
      Total Descent
      18,276 ft
      Total Vertical
      4,614 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      6,811 ft
      Reports
      44
      Photos
      36
      Ridden Counter
      349

      Photos of Pipestone Canyon Mountain Bike

      9 |
      Jun 13, 2022 @ 11:26pm
      Jun 13, 2022
      2 |
      Jun 13, 2022 @ 11:26pm
      Jun 13, 2022
      1 |
      Jun 13, 2022 @ 11:26pm
      Jun 13, 2022
      trail: Rim Overlook
      135 |
      Jul 23, 2019 @ 1:35pm
      Jul 23, 2019
      176 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      193 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      222 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      168 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019

      Recent Trail Reports

      statustraildateconditioninfouser
      Lightning Creek
      Jun 14, 2022 @ 5:41pm
      Jun 14, 2022
      IdealFour or five downed trees across the...trailrambler
      Telemark
      Jun 11, 2022 @ 8:02am
      Jun 11, 2022
      Idealsmartelo
      Bear Mountain Trail
      Jun 11, 2022 @ 8:02am
      Jun 11, 2022
      VariableMostly dry, a couple wet spots right at...smartelo
      Middle Fork Beaver Creek Trail
      Jun 2, 2022 @ 5:15pm
      Jun 2, 2022
      VariableAll clear, with a little mud and new moto...drummonb
      Pipestone Canyon Valley Trail
      May 19, 2022 @ 12:38pm
      May 19, 2022
      Dryjustanothershredder
      Pipestone Rim Trail
      May 19, 2022 @ 12:37pm
      May 19, 2022
      DryA couple trees down. Washouts mentioned...justanothershredder
      Ronja, the robbers daughter
      Oct 10, 2021 @ 10:18am
      Oct 10, 2021
      DryHike Great mid-fall views.Mrector
      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
      Bowen Traverse
      Apr 2, 2019 @ 6:51pm
      Apr 2, 2019
      Drytnbuck70

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      user #1688908MrectorriddentrailPipestone Rim Trail
      Jul 1, 2022 @ 7:47pm
      14 hours
      user #804199SmtbsriddentrailLightning Creek
      Jun 23, 2022 @ 4:52am
      Jun 23, 2022
      user #2427024gracielagatacommenttrailPipestone Rim Trail
      Jun 21, 2022 @ 6:03pm
      Jun 21, 2022
      user #764336tjallenriddentrailGolden Eagle
      Jun 19, 2022 @ 10:15pm
      Jun 19, 2022
      user #3030792EmilykayacommenttrailPipestone Rim Trail
      Jun 18, 2022 @ 9:26pm
      Jun 18, 2022

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      user #2427024gracielagatatrailPipestone Rim TrailHoly cow! Definitely a hike a bike trail with...
      Jun 21, 2022 @ 6:03pm
      Jun 21, 2022
      user #3030792EmilykayatrailPipestone Rim TrailRode up the Pipestone Canyon Trail and then...
      Jun 18, 2022 @ 9:26pm
      Jun 18, 2022
      user #680287boxxeracetrailGolden Stairway Tr“A challenging alpine ridge trail starting...
      Sep 20, 2021 @ 10:02pm
      Sep 20, 2021
      user #879504zambonixtrailBowen TraverseThe narrow tread, soft and rounded shoulder,...
      Apr 18, 2021 @ 1:51pm
      Apr 18, 2021
      user #1605246Tgreenx2trailBear Mountain Trail!
      Jun 17, 2020 @ 9:04pm
      Jun 17, 2020

      Nearby Areas

      namedistance
      Sun Mountain 11 11 29.6 km
      Lewis Butte 2 110.1 km
      Buck Mountain 313.1 km
      Rendezvous Basin 1 114.8 km
      Angels Staircase / Uno Peak 1 10 621.5 km

      Local Badges


      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike2996 miles18,274 ft47 miles4,613 ft
      #4,509#2,00135441155
      E-Bike1980 miles14,593 ft38 miles4,613 ft
      293
      Hike2790 miles16,775 ft45 miles4,613 ft
      #3,708#1,82813818
      Trail Running2790 miles16,775 ft45 miles4,613 ft
      #3,723#1,829388
      Horse12,152 ft253 ft2,152 ft253 ft
      8
      Dirtbike/Moto1057 miles8,530 ft25 miles4,613 ft
      10
      • By boxxerace TRAILFORKS J-GULCH & contributors
      • Admins: EMBA-METHOW
      • #17216 - 5,250 views
      • pipestone canyon activity log | embed map of Pipestone Canyon mountain bike trails | pipestone canyon mountain biking points of interest

      Downloading of trail gps tracks in kml & gpx formats is enabled for Pipestone Canyon.
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