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Radar Time
      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
      • 11
      • 1

      Region Status
      Caution as of Jun 10, 2021
      Local Trail Association

      Stats

      Avg Trail Rating
      Trails (view details)
      29
      Trails Mountain Bike
      29
      Trails E-Bike
      18
      Trails Hike
      27
      Trails Trail Running
      27
      Trails Horse
      1
      Trails Dirtbike/Moto
      11
      Total Distance
      97 miles
      Total Descent
      18,862 ft
      Total Vertical
      4,611 ft
      Highest Trailhead
      6,811 ft
      Reports
      29
      Photos
      29
      Ridden Counter
      240

      Photos of Pipestone Canyon Mountain Bike

      trail: Rim Overlook
      94 |
      Jul 23, 2019 @ 1:35pm
      Jul 23, 2019
      112 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      128 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      146 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      109 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      123 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      99 |
      May 19, 2019 @ 1:29pm
      May 19, 2019
      112 |
      Nov 19, 2018 @ 7:39pm
      Nov 19, 2018

      Recent Trail Reports

      statustraildateconditionuserinfo
      Middle Fork Beaver Creek Trail
      Jun 10, 2021 @ 10:40pm
      Jun 10, 2021
      Drycrossboss97Fun little descent. Fairly flat for how...
      Bear Mountain Trail
      Jun 10, 2021 @ 10:38pm
      Jun 10, 2021
      Drycrossboss97Dry but running well! No downed trees...
      Blue Buck Trail
      Jun 21, 2020 @ 11:05pm
      Jun 21, 2020
      WetBikingSwedeThe upmost section is a bit wet and...
      Lightning Creek
      Jun 21, 2020 @ 10:59pm
      Jun 21, 2020
      UnknownBikingSwedeLoose surface and rocks in place. Some...
      Full Frontal
      Jun 12, 2020 @ 11:30am
      Jun 12, 2020
      Drycschneiderclimb Lots of walking for us as the route...
      Golden Eagle
      May 24, 2019 @ 5:47pm
      May 24, 2019
      DryFogeyStogeyMajor washout just before the Pipestone...
      Pipestone Rim Trail
      May 24, 2019 @ 10:54am
      May 24, 2019
      DryFogeyStogeyNot much has changed since the 2017...
      Bowen Traverse
      Apr 2, 2019 @ 6:51pm
      Apr 2, 2019
      Drytnbuck70

      Activity Feed

      usernameactiontypetitledate
      user #1826796hbridierwishlisttrailPipestone Rim Trail
      Jun 19, 2021 @ 10:33am
      18 hours
      user #1659259crossboss97riddentrailBear Mountain Trail and 1 more
      Jun 10, 2021 @ 10:39pm
      Jun 10, 2021
      user #1659259crossboss97addreportBear Mountain Trail and 1 more
      Jun 10, 2021 @ 10:38pm
      Jun 10, 2021
      user #2585972MknaperiddentrailPipestone Rim Trail
      Jun 10, 2021 @ 2:57pm
      Jun 10, 2021
      user #2289770PnwkswishlisttrailMiddle Fork Beaver Creek Trail
      Jun 9, 2021 @ 8:26pm
      Jun 9, 2021

      Recent Comments

      usernametypetitlecommentdate
      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
      user #2163006KriscourtztrailFull Frontal“Rode” this counter-clockwise (North to...
      May 18, 2020 @ 2:52pm
      May 18, 2020
      user #1015924RbeukematrailPipestone Rim TrailAmazing spot with gorgeous views. But a bike...
      May 12, 2020 @ 8:40pm
      May 12, 2020
      user #1228419alexackerleytrailPipestone Rim TrailLeave your dog at home. I nearly had a...
      Sep 28, 2019 @ 8:55pm
      Sep 28, 2019

      Nearby Areas

      namedistance
      Sun Mountain 11 11 29.6 km
      Lewis Butte 2 110.1 km
      Buck Mountain 1 313.1 km
      Rendezvous Mountain 114.8 km
      Twisp River 119.2 km

      Activity Type Stats

      activitytypetrailsdistancedescentdescent distancetotal verticalratingglobal rankstate rankphotosreportsroutesridelogs
      Mountain Bike2997 miles18,862 ft48 miles4,610 ft
      #4,001#1,81828291111
      E-Bike1879 miles14,229 ft37 miles4,610 ft
      18
      Hike2791 miles17,359 ft45 miles4,610 ft
      #3,613#1,7831269
      Trail Running2791 miles17,359 ft45 miles4,610 ft
      #3,614#1,781266
      Horse12,152 ft253 ft2,152 ft253 ft
      8
      Dirtbike/Moto1160 miles8,488 ft25 miles4,610 ft
      10
      • By boxxerace TRAILFORKS & contributors
      • Admins: EMBA-METHOW
      • #17216 - 3,683 views
      • pipestone canyon activity log | embed map of Pipestone Canyon mountain bike trails | pipestone canyon mountain biking points of interest
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