The Methow Valley, located on the eastern flanks of the North Cascades of Washington, is one of the finest Nordic skiing destinations in the world. The snow is dependably dry, the weather reliably sunny, the terrain varied, and the scenery wild and breathtaking. If you cross-country ski -- whether you're a beginner or an expert -- you owe yourself a trip to the Rendezvous Huts.
Families and groups of friends return to the Rendezvous Huts year after year to re-experience the beauty of the mountains, the camaraderie of the expedition, the fitness of classic or skate skiing, and the remote feeling of these surprisingly easy-to-access huts.
NEW! Summer Season Hut Rentals for Bikers and Hikers
Rent Gardner or Rendezvous Hut this spring or fall for stunning biking/hiking on single-track and F.S roads among the spring flowers or fall foliage. No freight hauls available, but vehicle access to huts is permitted.
Summer 20123: April 14th - October 15th
What to Expect
The huts are located (on average) at 8 kilometer intervals (5 miles) along the 37 kilometers (21 miles) of groomed ski trails that connects Cub Creek to Mazama. You may ski the hut and trail system from one point to another, or travel loops on interconnecting trails.
The Rendezvous ski trails are linked to the 200 km of groomed Nordic ski trails run by the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association. The trails are meticulously groomed, and when you stay at the Huts, you are frequently greeted by fresh, untracked corduroy in the morning when you step out the door of your cozy mountain cabin. This is a semi-backcountry experience and even though the huts are connected by groomed trails, snow and weather conditions can change rapidly and you should be able to ski all conditions.
We've designed the Rendezvous system to be safe and fun. Off-trail skiers that plan to go off track skiing (Tele or touring) are responsible for recognizing backcountry hazards and how to navigate off trail. The Green Trails Map #52 - Mazama covers this area. There is no avalanche exposure at the huts or on the groomed trail system. If you plan to go off-trail, take the proper precautions.
There is a TRAIL PASS FEE for every day that you ski the trail system. Passes are sold at dozens of businesses around the Valley.
What to Bring
Ski Equipment: The Rendezvous trail system has machine groomed classic and skating platforms. Off-trail touring, snowshoeing (please do not snowshoe on the Nordic trails) and telemark skiing are also primary activities in this area that can be enjoyed while staying in the Huts. Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment can be rented at:
Supplies: Our Huts are fully equipped with kitchen gear and single and double sleeping cushions. Bring only your sleeping bag, clothing, flashlight or headlamp, and personal items. Common luxury items, secretly stashing in duffle bags include: books, journals, knitting projects, games, Pringles, chocolate and wine. There is limited cell coverage at most of the Huts.
Food: Skiing in the Rendezvous is an exhilarating experience that really works up appetites. Since you won't be packing pots and pans, stove, utensils or sleeping pads, you'll have plenty of room for food. While libations are permitted at the huts, we recommend you drink plenty of non-alcoholic beverages to avoid fatigue and dehydration. Expect to drink about two quarts of water per person per day. You have two options for water at the Rendezvous huts: either haul your water in, or melt snow over your hut's wood or gas stove. Most groups do a combination of both. Our rule of thumb is that 12" of snow equals about one inch of water. Freight hauls include a 5 gallon starting supply of H2O.
Freight Hauling is a service we offer our customers to haul their food, extra skis, and any other type of gear that they might need for a stay at the huts. Our freight machines can be packed 2 layers high with coolers and boxes on the bottom and duffel bags or backpacks on top. If your load is too large to fit in the sled or weighs over 300 pounds, you will be charged for an extra freight haul. Generally, that means enough food and gear to keep eight people satisfied for about four days, or a party of four skiers happy for eight days. Our freight haulers ask that you pack food neatly in boxes and clothes in duffels or backpacks/ bundle extra ski equipment securely. If you have a freight haul or think that you might want one, remember that we ask that you make a reservation for this service at least one week before your stay.
Where to Drop Freight
We ask you to bring your gear up to the Cub Creek Parking Lot. One of the snow machine drivers will be waiting for you, or there will be a sign indicating where to put your gear if the driver is already out on a haul. We ask that you have your gear there no later than 10:00 am. If you are going up from another access point of the Rendezvous Trail System and want a freight haul, this will have to be set up in advance. If you would like to schedule a later time for freight hauling or are running late, please call so we can plan accordingly. 800-257-2452 or 509-996-8100.
The Methow Valley Nordic ski trails and Huts offer a unique opportunity for humans to cross-country ski on groomed trails with their dogs. Of the 200K of ski trail in the Valley, over 50K are open to dogs, and most of those kilometers are found in the Rendezvous. Dogs are permitted at Heifer, Grizzly and Rendezvous Huts (with an exclusive use reservation), and we even supply a cozy dog bed! See trail maps for details on where dogs are permitted on-trail.
The Rendezvous' groomed tracks -- and all machined ski trails in the Methow Valley -- are maintained by the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association. MVSTA is a private non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting cross country skiing and other environmentally sound trail recreation in the Methow Valley. MVSTA Trail Passes are required for every day you ski the Valley's machine groomed tracks -- including the Rendezvous'. Single, three day and season passes are available. Please respect MVSTA rules of trail courtesy, skiing safety, and trail closures.
Refer to the Distances Table to help you plan your itinerary along the Rendezvous trail system. Times are based on a typical group of intermediate skiers, carrying 25 pound packs, traveling from one destination to the next. Your times may vary slightly.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the charge for freight hauling work?
The price charged for this is the price of each haul: in, out and between huts.
Do we need a key to get into the huts?
No the huts are open and there is no need to check in once you have made your reservations and paid for your stay.
Do you need a Snowpark permit?
No, not to park at an MVSTA Trailhead. No one checks up on you at the huts unless you have a freight haul or unless we are up cleaning the huts. If you need any info on weather conditions and or what is groomed in the Valley any time during the winter please check out the grooming report or call MVSTA at 800-682-5787.