Outdoors

Pearrygin Lake state’s newest sno-park

Riding a fat bike through the Methow Valley near Winthrop is growing in popularity. A new opportunity will be available for riding groomed trails with the designation of Pearrygin Lake State Park as a sno-park.
Riding a fat bike through the Methow Valley near Winthrop is growing in popularity. A new opportunity will be available for riding groomed trails with the designation of Pearrygin Lake State Park as a sno-park. Staff file, 2013

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced today that Pearrygin Lake State Park in north central Washington is the newest sno-park in the state for nonmotorized winter recreation.

The sno-park designation for the park is a result of a $3,500 grant from the Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Advisory Committee. The money will help pay for trail grooming, facilities maintenance and snow removal within the park for this winter.

The park, just outside Winthrop, covers more than 1,200 acres in the Methow River valley. It has 3.1 miles of trails, more than 150 campsites, two cabins and a vacation house.

“The Methow Valley has become a focal point of the fat-tire bicycle phenomenon in the Northwest, and Pearrygin Lake is a great venue for this activity,” Rick Lewis, State Parks’ Okanogan Highlands area manager, said in a State Parks news release.

$40 That is the cost of an annual nonmotorized sno-park permit.

Fat-tire bikes have large 4-inch wide tires that make it easier to ride over compacted snow.

The growing popularity of fat-tire biking has resulted in increased costs to the park, due to the increased need for grooming and snow removal. Those costs have significantly affected the park’s budget, which needed other funding sources to meet the rising costs.

Fees generated from the sale of sno-park permits fund State Parks’ Winter Recreation Program, which provides grooming, snow removal, sanitation, education and enforcement.

“Fat biking is good for the park, and it is good for the local community as the Methow Valley continues to grow its winter economy,” Lewis said in the release.

In addition to fat-tire biking, snowshoeing and winter hiking are popular winter recreation activities at the park.

With the new designation, visitors to Pearrygin Park from Dec. 15 through March, or as long as the snow lasts, will need a nonmotorized sno-park permit for vehicle access to the park and to use the trails.

During the winter season, visitors will need only an annual $40 sno-park permit. No Discover Pass will be required. If people choose to use a daily $20 sno-park permit, they must also display an annual or daily Discover Pass.

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