Guided bicycle tour of John Wayne Pioneer Trail offered Saturday

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If you’ve been hankering to ride through the 2.3-mile-long Snoqualmie Tunnel on your bicycle and follow-up with a 20-mile downhill ride to the trail head near Rattlesnake Lake, then this is your weekend.

Visitors to Snoqualmie Tunnel after it reopened in 2011.

Visitors to Snoqualmie Tunnel after it reopened in 2011.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway is presenting the Snoqualmie Tunnel Bike Ride on Saturday at the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Reservations are limited. Only 29 spots remain out of the maximum 180 who can make the trip.

The John Wayne Pioneer Trail runs along the abandoned rail-line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Although the trail runs across the state from Rattlesnake Lake to the Idaho border, the area west of Ellensburg gets the most use.

The trail has been described as the backbone of the Mountains to Sound Greenway, which stretches from the Puget Sound to Ellensburg. The one-day guided tour is an attempt to bring more attention to this underutilized trail.

The trail surface is crushed rock that’s well-packed in most places for relatively decent riding.

Shuttle to the top

The event starts early Saturday morning when everyone meets at the Iron Horse State Park parking lot to catch a shuttle, with their bikes, to the Hyak trail head at Snoqualmie Pass.

From the parking lot, the group passes through the Snoqualmie Tunnel. Be sure to carry bike lights or a flashlight because the tunnel is very dark. It’s also cold and drippy inside, so you might want to wear a jacket.

After emerging, the ride heads downhill to Rattlesnake Lake. There are educational stops along the way and plenty of opportunity for sightseeing from the trestles that cross deep canyons.

The riders will be treated to a barbecue at the finish, and then are free to return to their cars.

Requirements and registration

A few things: Mountains to Sound requires that cyclists wear helmets for this trip. Also, they recommend mountain bikes as the fat tires make for an easier ride across the packet gravel.  In addition,  you’ll need a Discover Pass to use the parking lot at the Cedar Falls trail head.

See details and sign up at the Mountains to Sound Greenway Snoqualmie Tunnel Bike Ride. Cost for everything is $25.

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1 comment

  1. The picture reminds me of the Passa Pais in southern France. It too is a bike path running on top of a converted railroad. But this tunnel is very long at 2.3 miles! The longest tunnel along the Passa Pais is probably 1/4 of a mile long, with a slight curve in it so you cannot see the end. Weird that this part of the John Wayne Trail is under-utilized. It looks very interesting to me.


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