John Wayne Pioneer Trail: North Bend to Lake Easton

MODERATE 8 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

John Wayne Pioneer Trail: North Bend to Lake Easton is a 37 mile point-to-point trail located near North Bend, WA that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible from May until October.

37.0 miles 4424 feet Point to Point

hiking

mountain biking

rails trails

views

So good

hiking
5 months ago

nice easy trail

rails trails
7 months ago

really enjoyed the trail ride. we rode about 12 miles in a cool drizzling day, trail use was light being a Wednesday. will definitely visit it again in the future

hiking
1 year ago

A friend and I hiked about 6-7 miles on the trail leaving from the Iron Horse State park parking lot across from Rattlesnake Lake. It was an easy walk on a wide gravel "road" w/minimal elevation gain. The trail was also shaded in the morning which made it nice and cool. We only saw a handful of other people. We were looking for the Cedar Butte trail head but managed to miss it. There's always next time!

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

We walked the first seven miles up from Rattlesnake Lake. It's a pleasant hike along a wide gravel way with scenic views and old bridges. I look forward to going farther the next time out.

mountain biking
4 years ago

Starting at the iron horse trail and working our way up to the snoqualmie tunnel and heading through to the hyac trailhead takes about 6 hours at a moderate pace but considering you are going up 1600 feet at a 2 percent grade or less. The trails are beautiful and the views are amazing. The up hill battle may be tough but the ride back down is well worth the trouble! My friends and I do this ride once a year and would like to increase that to twice a year considering the difficulty of it.

mountain biking
6 years ago

Good trail for bikes as long as you've got fat tires. The gravel is relatively well packed and the grade never exceeds 2.5% (iirc). Scenic and well worth the time. The biggest problem the trails faces at this time is that there are several tunnels closed due to their deteriorating condition.
My wife and I took the Rattlesnake Lake to Snoqualmie pass route the first time and it was a great ride. It's about 18 miles one way from Rattlesnake to the tunnel with about a 1600ft elevation gain. There was a wash out about a quarter mile from the tunnel, so if you decide to negotiate the small creek, you'll have traveled as far as you can and you'll see the old tunnel. Two and a half mile long tunnel, you don't see the other end :)
Our next trip was from the other side of the tunnel which is the Hyak area. Traveling from Hyak to Easton is about a 16 mile trip one way with a slight elevation drop (about 800ft). Scenic, with a couple detours for closed tunnels, but a good ride.
From Easton to Cle Elum, is about 14 miles one way and relatively flat. Here the trail starts to follow somewhat closely to the freeway, so there is a little more civilization to deal with. On a good note, the Yakima river starts to make itself seen.
Due to two tunnels out, we haven't done the Cle Elum to Thorp portion of the ride yet. The detour is mostly country roads, dealing with traffic with little to no shoulders to avoid speeding autos.
Thorp to Kitittas is the next section and that ride takes you through the city of Ellensburg. It's about 15.5 miles one way and it crosses the Yakima river and takes you along farmer's fields. Again, relatively flat. While not as scenic, it is still a charming ride. I recommend getting an early start as the winds can blow steadily later in the day and you'll find your pleasant little ride turn into a slog as the dust will make looking into the wind a pain.
The last leg my wife and I want to do is the ride from Kitittas to Army East as it's called. I wouldn't want to break this into two trips so we'll try this in one shot. It's about 29 miles from Kitittas to Columbia river. Our plan is to over-night at the state park near Vantage at the end of the ride and have two cars so we don't have to retrace our steps. It's a decent climb the first half of the ride, 11 miles with a 900ft gain, but then it looks like a decent drop after that as you descend into the Columbia river basin (about 2000ft).
I can't speak to the trail condition of that last section of the trail, but the rest of the trail is in good shape. Gravel bed with fairly nice trail heads as I have outlined above. The exception is Kitittas which didn't have working water or bathrooms.
Do bring your hydration packs, do bring your bike tools and spare tubes or patch kits. Do bring a picnic lunch, there are many spots to have a very nice picnic. If you wish to brave the tunnels, bring your lights, it's really dark in there! I personally like breaking the trip into short rides so that you can do each step in a day. My wife and I are in decent shape and we found these were big enough bites for us. If you're in better condition, you can tackle two sections at a time or more.