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
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.
On 66.5 miles of trail there is 1611.5 acres of land.
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.
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.
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
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.
110 mi. Hiking Trails
110 mi. Bike Trails
110 mi. Horse Trails
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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Courtesy of Washington
State Park and Recreation Commission