The name Twisp is believed to have originated from the Native American word Twasp-tsp, an onomatopoeic sound based upon the noise made by yellow jacket wasps. Established in 1898, Twisp grew up on a diet of precious metals from the now-defunct Alder Mine, but then suffered through a string of disasters.
A devastating 1924 fire destroyed all but a few of the town’s buildings, and a 1948 flood rampaged through, carrying more buildings downstream. This was followed in 1968 by a bitter freeze (temperatures dropped to -48°F!) that wiped out local apple orchards.
Today Twisp is experiencing a spillover effect from nearby Winthrop. It’s still a minor ranching and logging center, but the town also has a couple of interesting antique shops, a beautiful B&B, a great brewpub, and several good restaurants.
The annual Freeze Yer Buns Run takes place in late January and features a 10K run with a Hawaiian vacation to the winner. In late June the Twisp Show ’N’ Shine brings classic and antique cars to town.
The Twisp Visitor Information Center (201 Hwy. 20 S., 509/997-2926, www.twispinfo.com, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) displays interesting historical school photos on its walls.
The Okanogan National Forest’s Methow Valley Ranger District office (502 Glover St., 509/997-2131, www.fs.fed.us/r6/oka, 7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) is a good source for trail and camping information.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition