Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OldHouseMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,117

    John Wayne Pioneer Trail

    My wife will be dropping me off at the Cedar Falls TH on way to Cle Elum from Portland. I'm planning to ride the trail to Cle Elum. According to the message (509-656-2230) at the Lake Easton State Park "ALL" tunnels are open, I assume this includes tunnels 49 and 48 at Lake Easton. The web site doesn't mention whether these tunnels are open or closed, it only mentions tunnels 47 and 46 need a special waver, but I wont be riding through these. I also called Washington State Parks, but didn't get a very confident response.

    Can anybody confirm or deny that tunnels 49 and 48 are open?
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    631
    From the state parks web site, it appears that tunnels 46 and 47 are indeed open with a waiver deposited somewhere near the entrances.

    Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission - Park Information

    I had thought that 48 and 49 were closed permanently but with relatively short and easy ride-around detours. #49 is the Whittier tunnel and #48 is the Easton tunnel.

    I think that either way, if you're prepared for the 2 mile Hyak Tunnel, you'll be ok for either going through rest of them if they are not closed or using the detour(s) if they are. The one around #48 looked tedious because you had to go around the other side of the lake into Easton proper and back to the Iron Horse Trail, as I recall. I didn't do it, I just read about it one day while idly thinking about riding from North Bend (or home for that matter) up over the pass to Easton.

    I can't seem to be able to find the page I was looking at last year that showed the detours and closures, so perhaps they did open them up. Perhaps verslowrdr can shed some more recent observations on the subject. I'll ping her.

    Edit: I did just find this on another site: Iron Horse State Park | Washington Trails | TrailLink.com that had this info in it:
    UPDATE: Tunnels 46-49 are currently closed, though 48 and 49 are anticipated to be reopened in spring/summer 2013.
    2013 Ibis Ripley
    2012 Ibis Mojo SL-R
    2009 C'dale Rize 3

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OldHouseMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,117
    The lady I spoke to at Washington State Parks assumed all tunnels are open based on the detour directions being pulled off of the website that you linked too. I have also read a couple articles mentioning that repair work had begun on tunnels 49 and 48 and should be completed this spring/summer. I'm going to prepare to do the detours regardless. Thereís an option to leave a message at the number I listed above, Iíll give that a try.

    As cool of a trail as this appears to be, it seems a little difficult to get good reliable info on it.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    5,103
    That's right. I'll post up something if I can get away to do something in the 'way that weekend. Depends on if I get home in time from Blues/La Grande/Baker City.

  5. #5
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,557
    I don't know about tunnel 48- the work-around via Easton SP I don't think is too bad in any case.

    Tunnel 49 is easy to work around if you have to, but based on my experience with it from years gone by...


    Glad to see they have the waivers at least on the Thorp tunnels. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the likelihood of head injury is probably still much greater for the drive to the trailhead than the ride through the tunnel, but liability is what it is.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    631
    Cool. That means I can ride almost all the way to Cle Elum on non-road trails, do an up-and-over into the Teanaway, back up and down Rat Pac and then back home. What a ride!

    Not that I'll ever ride that far on a MTB even a cross bike...but I could. Other than the road from my house to the west side of Tolt-MacDonald, the streets through Carnation to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (if you have to hit Starbucks first, otherwise mostly paved trail), and detours through Snoqualmie itself, it's all trail to South Cle Elum then. It sounds like about 5 miles maximum of actual car-accessible road to have to deal with now, so about 70 miles of riding. Hmmmm. Or 45 or thereabouts from Rattlesnake, 40 from Olallie SP. Double Hmmmmm.
    2013 Ibis Ripley
    2012 Ibis Mojo SL-R
    2009 C'dale Rize 3

  7. #7
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,557
    Note that I would NOT recommend using a cross bike for this one due to the depth of the gravel/sand, especially as you head further east. We've been witness to many a rider bailing out onto the back roads from Thorp to Eburg. Fatter tires = better.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  8. #8
    Squeaky Wheel
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,887
    I rode this section of trail last year on three different rides. Snoqualmie Tunnel at the pass is open. Bring a light.

    On my out-n-back from S. Cle Elum to Hyak, Tunnels 48 and 49 were closed. There is no option except take the detour for Tunnel 48, as the bridge over the Yakima is gated shut. The detour takes you through Easton State Park and then onto low-traffic roads back onto the trail at the Easton trailhead. No big deal. The detour for Tunnel 49 is on a dirt/gravel road, it's fine but it sucks. I took the detour on the way out. On the way back I just rode through the tunnel. It's a very short tunnel and I'd rather get hit in the head by a rock than ride that detour.

    I also rode S. Cle Elum to Thorp and back. Both Tunnels in the Upper Canyon are marked closed. There was no waiver system last summer and it's good news IMHO if there is one now. Last summer I just rode through the tunnels. You'll need a light for the 2nd one. I talked to another guy at the Thorp trailhead who had ridden through the Tunnels the week before and got busted by State Parks. Apparently he and his buddy got hassled pretty hard and threatened with a pretty big ticket, but in the end the SP guy let them go.

    A few years ago I rode from Rattlesnake Lake to Kittitas in a single day. It was a great ride until I got past Thorp and especially past Ellensburg. The trail gets pretty loose in those parts and you are riding uphill again. At least the wind was at my back.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    179
    Has anyone ridden the trail this year? My buddy and I have about 5 days to be on our mountain bikes. Was thinking of doing an over and back from rattlesnake on this trail, while hitting stuff like taneum and ratpack, maybe even some west side I-90 trails while we're out.
    If we have to take any tunnel go-arounds, are they fairly self-explanatory? I'm thinking we'll ride it only to Thorpe (maybe Ellensburg), how bad are the goat heads?
    Finally, are regular old mountain bike tires fat enough for the loose stuff, or should I be gunning for as big as possible?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    179
    oh, and does anyone know if road 3350 is passable from south Cle Elum to Taneum junction? Last time I was at Taneum junction, the sign that says the mileage to Cle Elum was blacked out, indicating to me that the road was closed or impassable.

  11. #11
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,557
    Quote Originally Posted by thedudeman View Post
    ...If we have to take any tunnel go-arounds, are they fairly self-explanatory?
    I think the only 'complex' one is at Easton, and as far as I know that's fairly clearly marked.

    I'm thinking we'll ride it only to Thorpe (maybe Ellensburg), how bad are the goat heads?
    No goatheads at all that I've ever encountered, and I've been out in the sections between SCE/Thorp/Eburg for years...

    Finally, are regular old mountain bike tires fat enough for the loose stuff, or should I be gunning for as big as possible?
    I'm out there on 2.2/2.3 a few times a season at least, so regular trail tires should be sufficient. My ol' 2.0 (1.9?) Hutch python on the back of my older bike digs in noticeably more.

    oh, and does anyone know if road 3350 is passable from south Cle Elum to Taneum junction? Last time I was at Taneum junction, the sign that says the mileage to Cle Elum was blacked out, indicating to me that the road was closed or impassable.
    You know, that would be a good question for the CE Forest Circus: 509-852-1100. Right now their website is indicating it's OK but they've still got the mileage to CE marked out on the sign @ Taneum Junction. I'd be surprised if a bike couldn't get around whatever the heck was holding up the show in any case.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  12. #12
    Squeaky Wheel
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,887
    The tunnel detours are well marked and regular old tires will work fine.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OldHouseMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,117
    So, I have called and left messages with various state agencies and state employees in regard to the status of tunnels 48 and 49, but have not received a single return call.

    Yesterday I called Sahaptin Outfitters in Cle Elum. The guy I spoke to wasn't sure about the status, but said he had a friend with Lake Easton State Park and if I called back the next day (Today 6/25), he'd have some info for me. Sure enough, he did, and confirmed that ALL tunnels are open.

    I'll report back after my ride.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    179
    Oh hell yeah!
    Thanks for the info you guys!

  15. #15
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,557
    *snort* I find it terribly amusing (but not terribly surprising) that the local friend-of-a-friend is the more reliable source of intel than the actual presiding agency. Nate @ Sahaptin is good peep.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  16. #16
    i'm schralping yer thread
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    651

    Looks like some happy dogs!

    Quote Originally Posted by verslowrdr View Post
    Off-topic, but just had to give you props for the skijor setup. Rad!

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 31
    Last Post: 05-16-2014, 01:48 PM
  2. John Wayne Trail Home
    By hewitt99 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-27-2013, 10:38 AM
  3. John Wayne Pionner Trail - Which bike?
    By OldHouseMan in forum Washington
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11-08-2012, 06:42 AM
  4. Franke Park (Fort Wayne) Trail Conditions 2012
    By emtnate in forum Midwest - IL, IN, OH, KY, IA, MO
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-22-2012, 08:30 AM
  5. Franke Park Trail Conditions - (Fort Wayne, IN)
    By emtnate in forum Midwest - IL, IN, OH, KY, IA, MO
    Replies: 120
    Last Post: 07-07-2011, 08:57 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •