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Klickitat Trail

  • Length:
    16 miles
  • Difficulty:
    Moderate
  • Nearby Cities:
    Mosier, The Dalles, Hood River
  • Region:
    Mt. Hood / The Gorge
  • Attributes:
    River Views

Trailhead Elevation: 133 ft

Directions

Get directions to the trailhead on Google Maps

In Oregon, a bicycle is legally considered a vehicle, and the same Oregon road laws apply. Please “be seen” and practice safe riding. Vehicle traffic, farm equipment and narrow shoulders exist on many Oregon roads, and you may find that construction projects, traffic or other events may cause road conditions or signage to differ from the map results, ride descriptions and directions. For travel options plus weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941. Routes listed on this website are for informational purposes and intended as a reference guide only.

The Klickitat Trail is a 31-mile gently graded rail corridor in southern Washington just north of the Columbia River. Starting in Lyle, Washington off Highway 14, the trail heads north 16 miles along the Klickitat River, of which 11 miles is designated Wild and Scenic between Lyle and Pitt. A few miles past the town of Klickitat, the trail leaves the river and winds its way up through the Swale Canyon for 12 miles to Harms Road.

From Lyle to Klickitat the trail is excellent for hiking, biking and nature viewing. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has proposed paving portions of the trail near Lyle and Klickitat to make it universally accessible. The 12-mile stretch of trail through Swale Canyon is by far the most remote. This portion of the trail will remain unimproved with numerous trestle crossings – be prepared for a rustic, bumpy bicycle ride or hike. Please note that the Swale Canyon portion of the trail can be closed in the summer when fire danger increases.

The entire trail is within the right-of-way of an abandoned rail corridor. The USFS manages 13 miles of the trail from Lyle to Klickitat. The remaining 18 miles will are cooperatively managed by Washington State Parks and Klickitat Trail Conservancy (KTC).

Directions: Park across Highway 14 from Greg Colt Realty at the west end of town. From the trailhead, proceed north parallel to SR142. At 0.9 miles north of Lyle, the trail accesses a public park. Download a map at www.klickitat-trail.org.

Comments

  1. We have done this trail twice from Lyle to Goldendale overnight and return the next day. Stayed at the Ponderosa motel in Goldendale. Parked at the realty which is now no longer there. The new trailhead is very nice except for the no overnight parking sign. This requires overnight riders to park in the near neighborhood. Seems there’s no real good reason why a few overnighters can’t park o/n. Camping o/n probably would not be good.

  2. This is my go-to trail. Beautiful country. Fairly level. Lots of shale and blackberry bushes. I recommend tubeless tires. I usually do the round trip from Lyle to Klickitat with a stop to eat lunch. I am an older rider who is packing extra weight, and I find this trail is just right.

Submitted by

Michael Whitesel

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