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Iron Horse Trail State Park
Located from Rattlesnake Lake to the Yakima River Valley.


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Iron Horse Trail State Park

Iron Horse Trail State Park is a 1,612-acre park that was once part of the path of the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul-Pacific Railroad. More than 100 miles of trail extend from Cedar Falls to the Columbia River. High tressles provide spectacular views of the valley below.

Location:
Iron Horse State Park is located in Kittitas and King counties along I-90. The Lake Easton section begins at Cedar Falls near North Bend east to Thorp.

Acreage:
On 66.5 miles of trail there is 1611.5 acres of land.

Acquired:
In 1981-82, the State of Washington acquired quitclaim deed to 213 miles of the Milwaukee Road railroad and assigned administration responsibilities to the Department of Natural Resources. In 1984, 24.6 miles were transferred to Washington State Parks. In 1989, five additional parcels were acquired from private individuals. DNR transferred 5.9 miles to State Parks and 36 miles over Snoqualmie Pass were purchased from Burlington Northern by ATT then deeded to State Parks in exchange for easement rights.

Historical Background:
The western section of the Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad was constructed between 1908 and 1912 and operated until 1980 when the railroad declared bankruptcy. The 66.5 miles managed by Lake Easton Area extends from Twin Falls near North Bend above the Snoqualmie River valley, through Snoqualmie Pass, east along the Yakima River valley through riparian woodlands, dry coniferous forest, broadleaf forest, and open agricultural lands to Thorp. Here it connects with the Kittitas section of Iron Horse. The trail elevation descends from 3100' to 1500', not in excess of a 2% grade.

Facilities:
Thirty substantial trestles, 4 tunnels (one of which is 2.3 miles long), two snowsheds, 3 developed trailheads located at South Cle Elum, Easton, and a USFS area at Hyak. Easton trailhead has 2 vault toilets, 5 picnic tables, water, a loading ramp and a 21-vehicle parking lot.

Of Special Interest:
The park offers more than 100 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trail along the route of a historic railroad. Winter sport opportunities are available.
The John Wayne Pioneer Trail meanders through a variety of ecosystems and geological zones. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail with the exception of snowmobiles in winter, which are allowed from Stampede Pass Rd. to Cabin Creek. Horse-drawn wagon users must obtain a key to the gates of Lake Easton State Park.

Activities:
Trails
110 mi. Hiking Trails
110 mi. Bike Trails
110 mi. Horse Trails

Water
Fishing (freshwater)

Other
Bird Watching
Interpretive Activities
Mountain Biking
Rock Climbing
Wildlife Viewing

Driving Directions:
From Cedar Falls:
Leave I-90 at exit #32. Drive south on Cedar Falls Road 3.5 miles.

From Twin Falls:
Leave I-90 at exit #38, eastbond traffic turn right off exit, cross river and turn right into parking lot marked “Twin Falls natural area.”

Westbound traffic:
Turn left at exit, drive approx. two miles and park in the second lot on left marked "Twin Falls Natural Area."

From McClellan Butte:
Leave I-90 on exit #42, USFS Trailhead, turn south at exit. Follow signs.

From Annette Lake:
Leave I-90 on exit #47, USFS trailhead, turn south at exit and follow signs.

From Hyak:
Leave I-90 at exit #54, turn south at exit, turn east (left) on Hwy-906, 1/2 mile turn right on Lake Keechelus boat launch road, turn right on next road approx. 200 ft. In winter, you will need a Sno-Park permit to park in this lot.

From Easton:
Leave I-90 at exit #71, turn south to stop sign, cross Railroad Street, railroad tracks, turn left. Drive 1.4 mile to the parking area.

From South Cle Elum:
Leave I-90 at exit #84, follow signs to South Cle Elum. Once in town, follow signs to parking area.

From Thorp:
Leave I-90 at exit #101, turn north on Thorp Hwy, 1/2 mile turn left on Thorp Depot Road and 1/4 mile to parking area.

Back to State parks
Back to Parks main page | Park Comment Submission

Courtesy of Washington State Park and Recreation Commission

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