All tunnels west of the Columbia River on the Iron Horse/JWPT are now open for the season. The Snoqualmie Tunnel is open! (There is a permanent detour around the Boylston Tunnel in the Yakima Army Training Center).
The 110 mile long western Washington section of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail (from the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains to the Columbia River - see MAPS) is owned at operated by Washington State Parks as the Iron Horse State Park, and does not require a permit for day use. However, as with all Washington State Parks, a Discover Pass is required to park at the trailheads. The 22 miles of the JWPT just west of the Columbia River through the Army's Yakima Training Center, is subject to YTC rules. A self-administered sign-in permit is required at the Yakima Training Center trailheads. Please see Army's Yakima Training Center Policy.
Starting in the west at Cedar Falls (on Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend) the trail climbs east through evergreen forests, crossing high trestles, and traveling under the summit of Snoqualmie Pass through the 2.3 mile long Snoqualmie Tunnel (the longest trail tunnel in the country), before exiting east of the Cascades at Hyak. From there, the trail descends gradually, around the shore of Lake Keechelus, through the Upper Yakima River Canyon and open farmland of the Kittitas Valley, and finally, across the shrub-steppe habitat of the Army's Yakima Training Center to end at the Columbia River.
Iron Horse State Park includes numerous trailheads with good signage, 4 primitive hiker/biker campsites ($12.00 camp site fee is required - collection box at sites), and a generally well-maintained crushed gravel surface, with the exception of the sandy section through the Training Center. A detour is required between Kittitas and the Army Training Center due to a closed trestle over the I-90 highway. More information can be obtained through Washington State Parks at:
Iron Horse State Park
150 Lake Easton State Park Road
Easton, WA 98025
Ph: (509) 656-2230
Hours: Summer: 6:30 a.m. - dusk,
Winter: 8 a.m. - dusk
The 2 mile-long Snoqualmie tunnel (east portal at Hyak, near Snoqualmie Pass summit) is closed during winter months, generally from November 1 until May. Check with State Parks above for opening dates.
The eastern Washington section of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail is largely undeveloped. Some sections are closed, private, or gated, and may require detours. ALL of the JWPT east of the Columbia River requires permits, either from DNR or State Parks. (Click here for PERMIT information) . See MAPS for eastern WA JWPT restrictions).
From the Columbia River, the John Wayne Pioneer Trail travels 20 miles east up the wetlands of Lower Crab Creek to Royal City Juction. The 30 miles from Royal City Juction to the city of Warden are owned by the Port of Royal Slope at this time, and the rail is still active, requiring a detour on local light traffic roads. The 20 miles from Warden to Lind are owned by the DNR, and cross the vast open rangeland of the Columbia Plateau. The 105 miles from Lind to the Idaho border are owned by State Parks (with the exception of a few short private property gaps totaling approximately 4 miles), and traverses the Ice Age flood channeled scablands to end in the rolling wheatfields of the Palouse.There are long distances between services and water in the towns along the way, and the trail surface is currently unmaintained. Washington State Parks is working to develop the trail from the eastern terminus at the Idaho border westward, but continued development depends upon funding.