Klickitat State Park Trail

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Pump up your bike tires, lace up your hiking boots and set out on Washington's southernmost rail-trail.

The Klickitat Trail runs 31 miles through stunning Columbia River Gorge country between Lyle and the Goldendale plateau. As it leaves the Columbia to follow the Klickitat River, the gentle trail leads cyclists, hikers, birders and, in some places, equestrians through dramatic Swale Canyon.

The canyon, carpeted with desert parsley, has oak and pine forests, and in spring, the hillsides bloom with lupine and balsamroot. Several spots along bubbling Swale Creek make idyllic lunch stops. East of Swale Canyon, visitors see rustic farms, open fields and occasional grazing cows.

This trail will appeal to railroad buffs, as it runs along the historic rail bed of the Spokane, Portland, Seattle Railway (SP&S). Later owned by Burlington Northern, this part of the rail line was sold in 1993 to the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy, which, in turn, gifted the trail to State Parks in 1994.

Whether you're on foot or two wheels, you'll find inspiration and a solid workout on this exquisite stretch of trail.

Park features

The Klickitat Trail is a 545-acre, 31-mile day-use park and can be accessed from several points. Long-distance hiking and biking requires planning and preparation, including the 10 essentials, repair kits for bikes and their tires, first aid supplies, extra food, water and shoelaces, and a headlamp in case the trip is slowed by equipment failures or health issues. Please check with the park for closures and detours, as parts of this trail are still under development. When doing the entire trail, a car shuttle is recommended. Please watch for ticks and rattlesnakes.

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  2. Trailheads
  3. History

Picnic & day-use facilities
Information kiosk, picnic tables and a vintage Burlington Northern Railroad caboose are convenient features adjacent to the trail in Klickitat. Shade and a small county park next to the Canyon Market make a nice starting or ending place for a trip on the lower 13 miles of the trail.

Trails

  • 31 miles of mountain bike trails
  • 31 miles of hiking trails
  • 13 miles of horseback-riding trails (between Lyle and Klickitat. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service)

Winter activities & features

  • The trail is not groomed for winter recreation, but when the right Columbia Gorge storm blows in, snowshoe and cross-country ski enthusiasts enjoy carving their own trails on the paths.

Other activities & features 

  • Most of the land adjacent to the Klickitat Trail is privately owned. Please respect private property by staying on the trail. Dogs must be kept on leash and under control.