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Exploring the trails of Patterson Mountain in Winthrop, WA

At over 3,000 feet, Patterson Mountain is a towering figure in the Methow Valley. It is also one of the most popular day hikes in Winthrop, with winding trails leading hikers up to viewpoints where they can enjoy panoramic vistas of the valley or Sawtooth Range, depending on their orientation.

When to go

Winter, spring, summer or fall, Patterson Mountain can be enjoyed by all. Each season offers different sceneries and experiences.

Spring brings carpets of wildflowers in bloom, painting the mountainside a multitude of colors. Summer brings clear blue skies, but hiking in hot weather has its challenges. Since you will be hiking through grazing land, you will be mostly exposed to the sun. It is highly advised to bring water as there are no water sources on the trail.

Fall brings another explosion of colors, this time coating Patterson Mountain and the surrounding wilderness in shades of red and gold. Finally, in the winter, the mountain transforms into a white paradise perfect for snowshoeing.

Trails to take

There are two trails up to the top of Patterson Mountain. Hikes start at the trailhead gate, which leads to a junction. The left path is the Northern Loop Trail, while the one on the right is the Southern Loop Trail.

  • The Northern Loop Trail can be confusing, as there are side trails that branch off. Follow the main path, which would lead you to the northern side of Patterson Mountain. The trail starts at open grazing land, eventually giving way to a forested path.
  • The Southern Loop Trail, which branches right from the junction, will take you to the west face of Patterson Mountain. Unlike the Northern Loop, this trail is mostly open grassland, with only a few aspen trees providing shade along the way.
Both trails reach another junction at about 1.3 miles from the trailhead. Here, the Northern and Southern loops join together to continue the traverse to Patterson Mountain’s northern side.

From this second junction, the highest point (about 3,520 feet above sea level) is roughly half a mile away. You can stop here to rest, take pictures, and perhaps have a little picnic. Your views here will include the rest of the Methow Valley, Patterson Lake, the Okanogan forest, and even Winthrop.

From the peak, the trail continues to the so-called jeep trail, where you can officially begin your descent. Along the way, you will find the Patterson Mountain benchmark, which signals that you are only about two miles from the jump-off point.

Alternatively, you can go on a longer hike from the jeep trail. This side trip will take you to the mountain’s southern side, adding about 1.2 miles to the distance. This trail will join the Southern Loop, which you can take back to the trailhead.

Be close to nature: Make Winthrop, WA your playground

Patterson Mountain is only a short distance away when you live in Winthrop, WA. Browse our property listings to find the latest homes for sale in Winthrop, and get in touch with us at 509.996.2121 or info(at)cbwinthrop(dotted)com.