193 miles (summer) or 243 miles (winter) E of Seattle, 53 miles N of Chelan
Driving into Winthrop, you may think you've stumbled onto a movie set. A covered wooden sidewalk lines the town's main street, which is lined with weather-beaten, false-fronted buildings. You half expect desperadoes to be shooting it out with local law men, but this isn't a movie set -- it's the real Winthrop.
Well, not exactly the real Winthrop. Back in 1972, when the North Cascades Scenic Highway opened, Winthrop needed a way to stop a few of the cars that started crossing the mountains on the new highway. Someone suggested that the town cash in on its Wild West heritage and put up some old-fashioned cow-town false fronts (based on old photos of the town). This rewriting of history worked and now Winthrop gets plenty of cars to stop. In fact, it has become a destination in its own right, known for its cross-country skiing in winter and mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding in summer.
Winthrop...more local info