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Iron Horse State Park

Iron Horse State Park
150 Lake Easton State Park Road

From the densely forested Cascades to the scablands carved by the Ice Age floods, Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail gives hikers, cyclists and, in some places, equestrians a taste of Washington's diversity. So, hop on your bike or dust off your backpack, and take to the trail! This linear park runs from west of North Bend to the Columbia River near Vantage – and continues from the town of Lind to the Idaho border.

Heading east on this historic rail trail (part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad from 1909 to 1980), travelers pass lush, vast Olallie State Park, with its waterfalls and seasonal colors. Explorers continue through the mountain pass into dark tunnels and over high trestles, until the landscape gives way to the amber-hued farmlands of eastern Washington. And, railroad buffs, don't miss the historic train depots at South Cle Elum and Kittitas along the way.

You can take this trail in one-day sections or as a long-distance hiking or biking trip through diverse environments. Trailheads and access points are located every few miles along the trail. Camping can be found at Lake Easton State Park, just off the trail near Easton, and Wanapum Recreation Area, a few miles south of Vantage. Primitive campsites are available west of Thorp along the trail.

The 4,956-acre, 212-mile Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail reflects State Parks' long-term commitment to developing cross-state trails. It is part of an emerging multi-state trail system. The Milwaukee Road Railroad right-of-way, which includes the Palouse to Cascades Trail, travels east into Idaho.

Improvements have been made to the portion west of the Columbia River, and plans are in place to improve the 9-mile segment from Malden to Rosalia on the eastern portion. The center section, between Royal City Junction and Warden has intact rail; it is not used as part of the recreational trail at this time.

Hiking trail


110 miles of biking trails
110 miles of hiking trails
110 miles of horse trails

Freshwater fishing

Cross-country skiing
Dog sledding

Bird watching
Mountain biking
Rock climbing
Wildlife viewing


There are five campgrounds along the trail, each with three to four campsites, one picnic table, and a vault toilet. They are located at milepost 2109.5 at Roaring Creek, milepost 2113.2 at Cold Creek, milepost 2123.2 at Carter Creek, and milepost 2127.1 at Alice Creek, and at Ponderosa Pines in the Yakima Canyon.

Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.

Camping is also available near the trail at U.S. Forest Service campgrounds at Tinkham, Denny Creek, Lake Kachess, and Crystal Springs. There is state park camping at Lake Easton and Wanapum Recreation Area.

Iron Horse State Park is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media