Pacific Northwest - Ironhorse Trail?
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04-13-08, 02:48 PM
I've been thinking about biking the Ironhorse Trail as a break from my road training. I read that the tunnel opens May 1st. Is that still the case? I've been back there several times backcountry snowboarding but for some reason never thought about riding the trail up.
Would a cyclocross bike be OK? I've got a Surly Cross-Check and knobby cross tires but I don't own a mountainbike.
04-13-08, 05:37 PM
The trail say from North Bend is all hard pack gravel. The tunnel is usually open by May 1 but this year who knows. A friend of mine who live up there say the trail is about 10 to 12 ft under snow. As far as a cyclecross bike goes you should have no problem. I have gone as far as Cle Elum with my cannondale T2000 towing a BoB trailer with no problem. It is a great trail and I plan to ride to Vantage on a road trail then back on the trail to North Bend,the end of June. Hope this helps.
04-14-08, 06:45 AM
I've ridden eastbound from Hyak to just after the I90 overpass (at the base of the hill where the Indian John Hill rest stop is) where the gravel becomes a little soupy (more round than crushed). I doubt you'd have an easier time than me, as I was on a rockhopper with 26x2.1's. Per my 1939 Milwaukee Road timetable, Hyak to Cle Elum is 29 miles each way.
Westbound, from Hyak to Rattlesnake Lake is 22 miles, with pretty good crushed rock and hard packed dirt. You'd probably do just fine.
One of these days I'd like to do the SVT from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake and then continue to Hyak, a 106 mi r/t, but the snow will probably make it an August trip.
04-14-08, 11:08 AM
I did Rattlesnake Lake to Hyak on my old Specialized hybrid with no problems. As far as the tunnel it maybe a late opening this year because of snow.
04-14-08, 08:19 PM
Thanks all. I'm primarily interested in the climb from North Bend to Hyak. I spend a lot of time in that area in the Winter on my splitboard and thought it would be a nice break from LD training on the road bike.
04-14-08, 09:46 PM
You can pick up the trail in North Bend, also. Easiest place to pick it up is at the park where it crosses Ballarat about three blocks north of the Chevy dealership on North Bend Way. If you start there then when you get back you're a couple blocks away from the ale house for beer and burgers - perfect!
It's about ~10 miles from North Bend to Rattlesnake Lake, then another 22 up to the tunnel and Hyak. Very gentle and consistent grade all the way up. There is a spot or two where the gravel is pretty loose and you might have to walk a skinny tire bike for 20 yards or so, not a big deal. Last time I rode it was on 35mm cyclocross tires.
04-21-08, 11:25 PM
Another interesting variation to the North Bend - Hyak route is to get off the Iron Horse trail at the lake annette trailhead when riding up twords the pass and make a loop by riding down the trail (may be rough in a few spots and require walking but it's open to bikes) to the Parking area for the trail head, ride the road across I90 and take the old highway up to the pass. Its usually pretty quiet traffic wise and scenic. You reach the pass at Alpental road then ride to hyak. Return via the tunnel to North Bend.
04-23-08, 10:31 PM
it is a fun trail i have rode parts of it around cle elum and for the tunnel to north bend it is a nice ride
cyclecros tires should make it
04-23-08, 11:53 PM
I rode a short section of the trail near Cle Elum today as a connection between a couple of paved roads. I started at Bullfrog (about 4 mi W of Cle Elum). This section has quite a few 1"-2" pebbles on it but quite rideable--watch out for the horse crap though.
Once I got to the Yakima River it was all hard packed, crushed rock all the way into Cle Elum.
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