New Riders! What you need to know
Welcome to the annual Methow Valley Spring Trail Ride! Spring camping with your horses in the Methow Valley is an experience to remember. However, spring weather can change rapidly, so it is important to be prepared.
Bring warm gear for yourself and your horse. A turnout blanket for your horse is a good idea, especially at night when the temperature can drop considerably. Your horse will thank you for it in the morning. (Comfortable horses are generally quieter at night as well.) For yourself, be sure to pack some warm clothing for day and evening wear. Wool socks are great, as is long underwear (the silk kind slide under jeans and feel less bulky). A cowboy hat with hurricane strings is always a good idea—it can get windy on those ridges. Gloves should at least be in your saddle bags. Even if you don’t need them to keep your hands warm, chances are you will wish you had them if you end up opening or closing a stiff barbed wire gate.
Keep your camp site clean. That means no hay, manure or human garbage left when you leave. If you have a collapsible manure barrow, bring it. Hauling a heavy garbage bag full of manure to the manure bin is no fun. Some standard wheelbarrows will be provided, but there are far more people than there are wheelbarrows. There is a designated site for dumping your manure—just ask when you register for the location.
If your camper, tent, etc. has little or no heat, you will want to bring plenty of blankets or an extra sleeping bag. It gets cold once the sun goes down and for many folks, this is their first camping trip of the year. Inevitably, the maiden voyage is when you find out the heater doesn’t work at all, or at best marginally. That extra bedding can make the difference between sleeping comfortably, or barely sleeping at all.
Horses can water at the creek, but there is no potable (human drinking) water available so bring water from home. Be sure to pack plenty of hay and grain. There is no grass or natural feed in the camp area.
If you just can’t leave your dogs at home, they must be on a leash (or left in your campsite or vehicle). Dogs running free are a real problem for other dogs as well as green horses and riders.
There are concrete bathrooms and portapotties in the Beaver Creek campground for those whose rigs are not self-contained.
The Beaver Creek campground is about eight miles from the town of Twisp. So if you forgot to check the propane before you left, it is a fairly short drive into town. Twisp also has a pharmacy, large grocery store, two feed stores, Les Schwab, two gas stations and a Pacific Pride, a liquor store, a vet clinic, ambulance service and small medical clinic. If your horse throws a shoe, and there’s nobody in camp that can help, there are several farriers to choose from as well. However, most farriers work fulltime at other jobs, so availability on an emergency basis may be limited. Bottom line—check your horses feet before you leave. Shoes are definitely recommended as rocky ground is the norm in the Methow.
Once you ride the Methow Valley trails,
nothing else will compare. The diversity of terrain, dramatic mountain
views, clear mountain rivers and streams, and friendly people will bring
you back year after year.