Yesterday Methow Explorations visited the Twisp Terrace Lodge at Rockchuck Ranch (formerly the Tice Ranch) outside of Twisp along State Route 20. Lodge proprietor (and skilled furniture mover) Eric Blank gave me the scoop on the best trails, scenic overlooks, and Beaver Creek access, as well as details on their exciting plans as the Blank family opens the lodge for business this May. The Rockchuck Ranch/Twisp Terrace Lodge is located on lower Beaver Creek drainage 1/2 mile from the confluence with the mighty Methow River. The combination of habitats throughout the 200+ acre property make this an ecologically rich site for exploration. Riparian and shrub steppe habitats mix with irrigated agricultural lands and open space around the lodge and ranch.
Spring wildflowers were emerging, including Methow Valley regulars like sagebrush buttercup, bluebells, arrowleaf balsalmroot, shooting star, larkspur, and prairie starflower. We noted early season migrant birds including western meadowlark, tree swallows, yellow-rumped warblers, ruby-crowned kinglets, bluebirds (western and mountain), vespers sparrows, and spotted towhees. Overhead a sharp-shinned hawk pestered a soaring pair of red-tailed hawks. Industrious beavers were working the banks of aptly named Beaver Creek, and we found a coyote den under the sagebrush. Incredible opportunities abound for year round exploration at the Twisp Terrace Lodge at Rockchuck Ranch!