The Methow Rolling Huts and Tents – A Perfect Isolated Summer Getaway

I would start by saying that this summer is a hard one, but we all already know that. As the weather gets nicer, and our desire to be outside and stir-craziness all increases simultaneously, we have been searching for ways to get out while remaining safe. Part of my struggle is that as a family with at-risk members, and also a family taking this serious for the greater good (beating a global pandemic, saving lives…), if I go out I don’t want to feel kind-of safe, I want to feel totally safe and totally responsible. We have been out on an extremely minimal level, and most times I find it to be a struggle. A struggle to keep distance from people who don’t care, who will walk right up to you without a mask in sight, who have no respect for what is going on right now, and I don’t find it enjoyable. With how much effort we have put into keeping our family healthy, I don’t want to blow it over seeking the great outdoors but accidentally ending up somewhere crowded and risky, as many others seek to enjoy their summers too.

So, my husband and I have been going through our mental Rolodex of Washington State vacations of the past, making note of ones that felt particularly remote and may be a good fit for summer 2020. One that we both thought of was a previous stay we did at the Rolling Huts in Methow Valley. We had chosen this trip as a first camping trip for our daughter who is now 5 – we were new parents and always enjoyed camping as a couple, but we didn’t know how capable we were with a 5 month-old baby, so we chose this location as a “Glamp Site”, where we wouldn’t have to pitch our own tent while managing a little baby. It seemed like a great fit to get outdoors, but also not totally rough it for our first camp-out as a family of 3. It proved to be a great decision then, and we remembered how nicely spaced out all the tents were, that the bathroom was completely open-air, and there was a private river access. These all sound pretty desirable right now, so we decided to plan another trip!

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If you haven’t heard of Methow Valley, it is in the North half of Central Washington, on the other side of the mountain pass where things turn to desert terrain. We live north of the city, and the drive to the Rolling Huts is about 3 hours and 20 minutes for us – I expect from downtown Seattle you would be closer to 4 hours. The drive to Methow Valley is one of my favorites in Washington State! You start with some STUNNING mountain terrain, with beautiful forest scenes and waterfalls along the way. As you are nearing the last hour of your drive, you will reach Ross Lake National Recreation Area – this has so much to explore on its own, and even if just passing through there is a viewpoint (probably one of my favorites EVER) that overlooks Ross Lake, which is such a clear blue it doesn’t look real.

If you have ever done the drive from Western WA to Winthrop, you probably recognize this view! This shot is from the Ross Lake Lookout, and the colors are literally this vibrant in person.

The Rolling Huts themselves are about 20 minutes outside of the town of Winthrop, a cute little Western town that has a few shops, restaurants, and even an ice creamery and brewery. So, despite this campsite being remote, there are places to grab supplies if needed. The Rolling Huts also have a little cafe/pizzeria/essentials shop on-site as well.

In regards to places to stay on this property, there are two options – the Rolling Huts and the Methow Tents. The Rolling Huts are basically small cabins, and even are equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, and Wi-Fi. The Methow Tents are on the same property just behind the Huts, and are safari-style canvas tents, and this is where we have stayed both times! They are more simplistic and offer simply two cots in each tent (you can pay $5 for an extra one), a private picnic table and fresh water tap. Each tent also has two electricity hookups on the little porch area, and there are also public drinking water taps and fire pits, though I expect those don’t get used too often due to the forever-common summer burn bans (it was closed on both our trips).

A shot of the Rolling Huts, which are located close to the front of the property.
The Methow Tents are located at the back of the property, and give you more of a camping/cabin feel than glamping like the huts do. We have stayed in the Methow Tents twice and enjoyed it!

There are about 15 safari tents total, split between two wooded areas, and in the middle there is a public restroom, actually an old trailer with the top cut off, with two showers and two stalls on each side. As someone who is an environmentalist and a big fan of re-purposing old things, I super appreciate their creativity with this! Plus with stale air being a big no-no this year, with the restrooms being 100% open air (no roof over them) was very appealing to us. On the central path you will also find the “Bear Trash” ( a little hut with a handle you leave your garbage in as to not attract bears, and a private path down to the Methow River.

The bathrooms on-site are made out of an old trailer, and are completely open air! A different look for sure, but in person it has a fun/industrial feel, and also is a far better option than any campsite bathroom I have used in my life.
The bear-safe trash room – honestly a great idea to keep the campsite safe!
All the tents have names to help you find them – this time we stayed in the “Rio” tent

At our visit previously, the site was fully booked up, though there was room for everyone. This year however, my guess is it was under 50% capacity, and I was so appreciative of all the space between each site that was booked! Though we carried our masks with us everywhere just in case, there was not a single time on this campsite that they were needed…. we were in extremely distant proximity from other campers and all enjoyed our own private space. I was also extremely surprised that when we took the private footpath to the river, there was not a single other person down there! We had hoped to check out a park or two, but when arriving at the ones at our list they were already at capacity and we simply turned around and headed back to the campsite. The top of the driveway at the Methow Tents is actually interescted by one of the Methow Public Trails – you can tell more people use it for bikes than on foot, but it still made for a suitable walking path and we did that instead. Again, not a person crossed paths with us, and it was SO NICE to be able to enjoy the outdoors in a place other than our back yards, breathing the fresh air!

This shot was taken of the Methow River, right where the private footpath lets you out. Crystal clear, cold water, accompanied by those dry Eastern WA summer temps… such a nice combination!
There was a nice little calm spot on the side of the river where the kiddos were able to splash and play. There was some great shade but also the ability to get out on the sun too. A really nice balance!

We stayed for two nights, and it was a truly enjoyable, normal-feeling summer experience. It is my hope that one day soon, I can update this post with no mention of masks or the pandemic because we have beat it, but sadly for now it is our reality, which is why I included the details on why we chose this trip, especially compared to others at the moment.

Also, on our way home we had to take a detour (family-related), and headed south to Chelan first, before making our way back to Seattle. For this, you follow highway 20 to highway 153, passing you through Methow, Twisp, and Pateros. I expect not many Seattlites have done this drive, simply because our travel needs in this state are always east – west. This drive follows the Methow River almost the whole way, and is likely the best scenic drive I have ever done in Washington State! This area also appeared to be even far less visited than our stay near Winthrop, and I think if you are searching for seclusion like us this summer, it is something worth checking out.

It was so great to get out and enjoy this little spot in the forest in the Methow Valley – thank you Rolling Huts for such a lovely, private visit!

So, have you ever seen the Rolling Huts before, or even stayed there yourselves? Is there another spot in the Methow Valley you enjoy and think we should check out?

I linked their website above, but just in case you need it again, you can find them here.

In posting this I want to add a disclaimer too… as an influencer I always want to share fun ideas with you that inspire you. However this year, in the middle of a pandemic, we need to act on these ideas responsibly! If you visit a place I have blogged about, please be respectful. Wear your mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands, bring hand sanitizer, and if you show up and there isn’t enough room to keep safe, well then just say you tried and maybe it’s something to attempt again in 2021 when hopefully the world finds itself in a better place. This pandemic is going to take all of our collective efforts to get through TOGETHER, so let’s be responsible so we can all see each other again soon!

X.O. – Abbey Co.

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