Also known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, this rail-trail runs along the I-90 corridor in the bed of the former Milwaukee Railroad. Starting at the Rattlesnake Lake parking area, the trail climbs very slowly up to just below Snoqualmie Pass, where it enters a 2.3 mile tunnel (now reopened). On the way, it crosses a number of dizzyingly high trestles over mountain streams. A number of rock faces along the way are popular with rock-climbers, and they and their gear may be scattered along the trail sides nearby.
Riders planning to enter the tunnel should remember to bring warm waterproof clothing, as it is cold and damp inside the tunnel, and at LEAST a headlamp and backup light -- it's really dark.
To Rattlesnake Lake: Take exit 32 from I-90 and turn south on
436th Ave SE (Cedar Falls Road). Follow 3 miles to Rattlesnake Lake,
where the road ends at a gate leading to the Cedar River Watershed
Education Center. Turn left into the Iron Horse Trail parking, then
immediately right into the RV/Trailer Parking area. There are six
pull-through spots, though on busy weekends "normal" vehicles will
sometimes park there, inconveniently.
Trailhead is uphill from the parking area -- cross back over the road where you turned into the parking to find a gravel trail leading up (to the right) to the trailhead, or down (left) to the beginning of the Snoqualmie Valley Trail to North Bend.
Open. The pass tunnel reopened on July 5th 2011, and should be open during the warm seasons.
Length: 18 miles one way from Rattlesnake lake to the tunnel
Surface: hard gravel
Share with: hikers, bicycles, rock-climbers
At Rattlesnake Lake are restrooms and picnic areas
Parking for: 6 trailers, though
on crowded weekends you will often find passenger vehicles in these
WA State Park:
The Trail is part of Iron Horse State Park.