The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail is part of the national Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. The western side of this crushed-stone, sand, and ballast pathway stretches from Ellensburg to a trailhead just outside of North Bend. On the east side of the Columbia River, the trail continues through farmland and wildlife refuges to the Idaho border. You and your furry friend will hike through the Cascade foothills, high desert, farmland, and high trestles when you come here.
Starting from the Cedar Falls Trailhead near Rattlesnake Lake Park, you'll have a steady incline to the edge of the Cascade Mountains. Enjoy the waterfalls and colorful wildflowers in Olallie State Park. Once you're in the foothills, you'll pass through mountain tunnels, along ledges, and over trestles on your way to the Yakima River Canyon. Beyond, you'll enter irrigated farmland regions followed by prairie and desert areas. If you wish to continue east of the Columbia River, you'll need a permit from both the Washington State Park Service and the DNR's Southeast Regional Office.
This trail is open year-round to hikers, bikers, cross-country skiers, and horseback trail riders. Fido is welcome to come with you, but the state park system requires canines stay on a lead or leash up to eight feet in length. Remember to yield for other trail users when they need to pass. Carry water to keep you and your pal hydrated on your trip, and bring bags to remove any waste left by your pooch.
Avid hikers will find the Palouse to Cascades Trail to be a furrific hiking pathway. This is the pawfect place to share an outdoor adventure with their furry friend! Combine outdoor recreation in diverse habitats with a walk through history as you follow the old Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad. If you don't have enough time to travel the full distance, select a smaller section for your outing. There are trailheads at frequent intervals along the way, so you can access this rail-trail at a place that's convenient for you.