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  1. #1
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    Iron Horse/John Wayne trail info

    The Googles have failed me. A friend and I will likely do a multi-day (3 days, 50 to 60 miles a day) tour from Issaquah out and back along the Iron Horse/John Wayne trail system. The Intertoobs have several general posts/info about the trail, but there doesn't seem to be a comprehensive map of the trail with campsite info, etc. Tentatively, I'm thinking of heading to Cle Elum lake or there-abouts, camping somewhere 20ish miles from Cle Elum, and using that as a mid-day stop/turnaround location. I'm in Portland, OR, so I'm not terribly familiar with the area. Any websites that might have more info than the top 10 googlated results might have? Any critiques of the current plan from those who have ridden the Iron Horse? I'd love to bring an empty growler and fill up with something hoppy somewhere along the way as well.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    I have not ridden much of the trail nor have I camped along it. However there should be plenty of places close to it to camp. The State park in Easton is real close to the trail and has showers and is less than 20 miles from Cle Elum. From there to Ellensburg is not too far. Ellensburg has Iron Horse Brewery, good beer with a friendly bike shop across the street.

    If you are only wishing to go as far as Cle Elum then you might want to ride the few miles up to Roslyn, there is a craft brewery there.
    Last edited by Black wallnut; 03-07-15 at 10:58 AM.


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  3. #3
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Did you check the Washington State Parks website?

    Iron Horse State Park | Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

    Click "Camping" and "Maps".

    I've ridden the entire trail from Issaquah to Kittitas on the other side of Ellensburg. There is some camping along the trail (see the camping section of the link above) and the trail goes right through Lake Easton State Park which has plenty of camping although that park is right next to I-90 so it's not going to be a backcountry camping experience. Closest hops will be in Ellensburg, another 25 miles or so past Cle Elum. It's a nice ride through the Upper Yakima River canyon between Cle Elum and Ellensburg, but the further east you go the sandier the trail surface becomes. Also, once you come out of the Upper Canyon there is no shade and it will be HOT in the summer. Bring a good light for the tunnels. Should be a fun trip.

  4. #4
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    Here is a blog of person who did the ride from Idaho to Seattle. You may find some useful information and there are numerous photos. 26InchSlicks: Crossing Washington State On The John Wayne Pioneer Trail
    WTB SPD pedals style???
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  5. #5
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    If you want to avoid the 'there and back on the same road.' Leave the trail at the stampede pass road and hop on the the freeway. Prepare for an 18+mph softpedal (think mid strength Columbia Gorge winds) until the Roslyn/Suncadia exit. Get off the here and go visit Roslyn and Cle Elum. Rejoin the trail in Cle Elum and return to your start point.

    Bring earplugs if you stay at Easton.

    Taking the freeway between the stampede pass road and the Roslyn exit will save you a boat load of time you can use for more important things like brew pubs.

    Bring warm cloths and a legit light for the hyak tunnel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member toddles's Avatar
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    I've ridden from North Bend to Easton which is twenty miles shy of Cle Elum. I actually did it in 2 separate trips -- riding 20 miles east and then returning on 700x32s on each trip. The beginning on up to the summit is a good ride and trail conditions are good... but you'll need a light as you pass through a 2.1 mile tunnel (which is awesome, btw). But the first 8 miles or so heading down out of around Lake Keechelus has thicker, looser gravel. Once you are beyond that, it's easy. It's a rails-to-trails path so you're only going to get a 2-3% grade.

    Just keep in mind it's gravel and you're not going to make great speed. Over time, it wears on ya.

    But man, it's a beautiful ride.
    “Whereas modern cynicism brought despair about the ability of the human species to realize laudable ideals, postmodern cynicism doesn't — not because it's optimistic, but because it can't take ideals seriously in the first place. The prevailing attitude is Absurdism. A postmodern magazine may be irreverent, but not bitterly irreverent, for it's not purposefully irreverent; its aim is indiscriminate, because everyone is equally ridiculous. And anyway, there's no moral basis for passing judgment. Just sit back and enjoy the show.”
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the good info, chums. This is the stuff I was looking for.

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