John Wayne Pioneer Trail: Ewan to Tekoa [CLOSED]

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Saint John, Washington

John Wayne Pioneer Trail: Ewan to Tekoa [CLOSED] is a 47.7 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Saint John, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and mountain biking. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 47.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,345 feet Route Type: Point to Point

dogs on leash


mountain biking

nature trips



rails trails




It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. All eastern portions of the trail require a permit for access.

8 months ago

Access to this trail over the lake is best done from Hole-in-the-ground road to the east of the lake. From here head west on the old railbed , there is a pull off on the side of the road that can fit a half dozen or so cars. Within a mile you will come to a high steel and concrete trestle over pine creek, and there are 2 rail cars left over from a derailment. The trail then follows above the creek with some very good views. Tons of wildlife hang around in the valley below and if you aren’t making too much noise they usually don’t notice. You will have to pass through the old cmsp tunnel 43 which does have a bit of a curve but is safe. Do not bike through this tunnel, there are patches of deep sand and some medium sized rocks. After that the lake is about a mile out, with a five star view. You can continue along the lake a ways further by crossing an old metal and wood trestle, but there are rockslides at the other end that sometimes make the far side impassible or extremely difficult. About 6 miles out and back for this stretch

paddle sports
Thu May 23 2019

This review is for Rock Lake. I went kayaking a couple weekends back. Amazing! Strong currents in the lake give you a good challenge. I can't wait for the windy/rainy weather we've had the last couple weeks to let us so I can get back out! Also this backpacking trail is closed along the Rock Lake section and I wouldn't test it. I fished from the parking lot area for a couple hours/caught sunset and heard lots of gunshots/saw the local kids messing around along the side of the lake where you'd be hiking/doesn't seem the safest.

Wed Jul 11 2018

Tried the Rock lake section of the trail but no way to access it. All private property it seems.

Thu May 03 2018

We hiked the Rock Lake portion of this trail. I am giving one star due to the fact that there are so many restrictions. We parked at the boat launch and walked the road to the trail. There was a sign restricting vehicles and at the bottom it says you need a permit issued by a ranger and a phone number. In retrospect I should have snapped a picture of that number so you could call and be sent a permit. Not really worth the trouble. The whole road leading up to that part of the trail has private property signs and we were about to find out that parking there is also restricted. So we hiked to the end of the lake and on the way back we were stopped by the land owners on either side driving down the road. One of them was nice enough but the other was upset that we weren't issued permits (at that point we thought having a discovery pass was enough) again it was our bad for not reading the whole thing at the trail head. But one of the guys was barking about how the state gives him a list every month of people allowed to hike this trail. So in that case getting a permit seems like more of a bother then the hike was really worth. Put a damper on the day. If you are in the area you will feel unwelcome by all of the signs alone.

Sat Apr 13 2013

Trail is the former Milwaukee Railroad roadbed and is compacted ballast rock with little grade, good for mountain bikes as well as walking and hiking. The area I hike is west of Pine City and east of the town of Malden and follows Pine Creek. Deer, coyotes, ground hogs and badgers may be seen but be alert for rattlesnakes that may be in the rocks during the summer.

3 months ago