Iron Horse Trail at Cle Elum, WA

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Iron Horse Trail at Cle Elum, WA

Postby wa_desert_rat » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:01 am

My friends at Sahaptin Outfitters in Cle Elum tell me that the Iron Horse Trail is dry enough to ride now; at least in their area. There has been some rain so parts of the trail might be too soft for skinny tired bikes but mountain bikes and cruisers should do fine.

The Iron Horse Trail is the old Milwaukee Road railroad line that crossed the Cascade Mountains from the Puget Sound area eastwards via Snoqualmie Pass. That portion of the grade eastward from Hyak (near the summit) down to Crystal Springs is probably too wet and snowy to ride.

Cle Elum is a great place to make as your headquarters for riding the Iron Horse Trail with an original Milwaukee Road depot and one of the old power stations (this section of the railroad was electric). There are numerous places to overnight including a nearby State Park as well as bunking at a local inn that was once part of the railroad worker's living quarters.

And if you want more action than you can get from a rails-to-trails riding experience, Cle Elum has a variety of places to ride; including serious mountain trails as well as a "miner's road" trail between the various mining communities (Roslyn, Cle Elum, etc.).

Sahaptin Outfitters is owned and operated by folks who went to high school with my kids. They have bikes for rent during the season. :)

Craig
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Re: Iron Horse Trail at Cle Elum, WA

Postby BADDANDY » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:18 am

Craig, the best part of the trail is still under snow-Lake Easton to Snoqualmie. I ride it at least once a year, 44 mile round trip. There's a 2.5 mile tunnel at Hyak, 5 miles of tunnel on a round trip ride.
I rode "miner's road" trail between Roslyn and Cle Elum last year too, but it's a short easy ride with lots of horse hoove divets.
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Re: Iron Horse Trail at Cle Elum, WA

Postby wa_desert_rat » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:30 am

BADDANDY wrote:Craig, the best part of the trail is still under snow-Lake Easton to Snoqualmie. I ride it at least once a year, 44 mile round trip. There's a 2.5 mile tunnel at Hyak, 5 miles of tunnel on a round trip ride.
I rode "miner's road" trail between Roslyn and Cle Elum last year too, but it's a short easy ride with lots of horse hoove divets.


Are the tunnels open again? Last time we were at Hyak on a bike there was a fence across the tunnel entrance (and a very cold breeze coming out of the tunnel).

The Cle Elum to Ellensburg part of the trail is open and snow-free now... which is surprising because it's usually covered for another few weeks.

The miner's road is interesting for its history. I also recommend that people visit the cemetery in Roslyn, WA which is actually a system of cemeteries (masons, oddfellows, firefighters, etc.). Roslyn is worth exploring all by itself with old mines, old miner's homes, a former "company store" and more.

Craig
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