– Ben Martens

Iron Horse Trail

On Saturday, Tim and I dropped a car off at Rattlesnake Lake and drove his truck up to Hyak at the top of Snoqualmie Pass. The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad used to connect those two points, but in 1980, the railroad went bankrupt and the railroad grade was turned into the Iron Horse Trail. The trail is part of the John Wayne Trail which continues east all the way to the Idaho border.

The Snoqualmie Tunnel is at the top of the trail. It's 2.3 miles long, and even though you can see a tiny point of light in the distance, it's absolutely pitch black when you shut off your headlamps. We couldn't see our hands in front of our faces. Bring a powerful headlamp. You'll need it. Even with the headlamps, if we looked up from the ground in front of us and focused on the light in the distance, we'd quickly start wobbling and running off the trail toward the walls. It's crazy, but really fun.

After the tunnel, we made good time down the rest of the 22 mile trail. We hit some rain along the way, but we were prepared with rain jackets and it wasn't too bad. All in all, it was a pretty cool trip, although it wasn't nearly the workout I had expected. The road is extremely well maintained and it's very smooth and flat since it was a railroad grade. We finished the ride in well under three hours.

While we used two cars to avoid riding both ways, we found out there is a shuttle that runs back and forth so look into that if you want to follow in our tracks.

A few more pictures are available in the photo gallery under Outdoors > Iron Horse Trail.