You can help build these trails. Please donate today!
The North Summit Project will build over 30 miles of new multi-use trails for residents of Okanogan County in north central Washington. This project results from over ten years of collaborative work with a diverse group of recreational trail use organizations. All focused on developing a much-needed year-round recreational trail hub for residents and visitors to this part of Okanogan County.
The project is in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest on public lands managed by the U.S.F.S. The 300-acre Loup Loup Ski Bowl ski area on Little Buck Mountain will serve as the new trail system's hub and primary access point. The nonprofit ski area serves Twisp, Winthrop, and Mazama communities in the Methow Valley to the west and the town of Omak, Okanogan, Tonasket, and Brewster and the Colville Indian Reservation in the Okanogan Valley east of the area. The project will develop dedicated mountain bike and multi-use trails surrounding the ski area. These trails will serve all non-motorized uses, including hiking, trail running, horseback, and mountain biking. Some trails will be built to accommodate adaptive mountain bike use allowing disabled riders to get out on the trails alongside other users.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Methow Chapter will lead the project in a collaborative effort between the Loup Loup Ski Education Foundation, The Methow Valley Trails Collaborative (MVTC), and the Methow Valley Backcountry Horsemen (MVBH). This collaborative effort ensures all trail user groups and organizations benefit from the enhanced summer trail development. This collaboration also helps mitigate user-related conflict.
Trail work began in 2022 and will continue over the next four years.
The planned trails will create connections to existing forest service system trails, enhancing these historic trails relevance and improving access for a variety of user groups. Routes are designed to appeal to a wide variety of trail users and offer various experiences.
Mountain bike trails will range from groomed beginner singletrack to raw and remote long-distance backcountry epic routes. Multi-use trails will be open to all non-motorized use.
Okanogan county is the largest county in Washington state, with a landmass the size of Rhode Island. The county has seen significant trail projects take place over the last decade, focused on the communities of the Methow Valley. Those trails are over 1 hour from the Okanogan Valley communities. This project will create year-round trail opportunities within 20 minutes of the Okanogan Valley communities creating access for the county’s most underserved residents.
Okanogan county is the second poorest county in Washington State. This trail project will reduce the inequity of summer trail access and recreation and provide more opportunities for those from the Okanogan Valley seeking summer trail experiences.
Recent winters have significantly reduced the ski area’s economic potential. The lodge and ski area were only open for 14 days in the 2021-22 season. Loup Loup Ski area recently completed a summer lodge project and is in the process of developing year-round operations based on this trail project. The trail development will bring a considerable amount of traffic and build opportunities to develop programming to ensure the Loup Loup ski area can survive financially.
2023 Build Season: Base area trails and the main climbing and descending trail off Bear Mountain: Total mileage 7-8; Work begins May 15th with planning and final trail alignment completed by June 1st
June 1 – October 31: 4-person build team completing roughly 1.5-2.0 miles/month depending on terrain; operations would take place seven days a week to ensure 7-8 miles are completed in the first build season.
Trails to be completed in 2023: 26, 23, 1, and 14. Please see project brochure for details.