The Klickitat Trail extends 31 miles, from Lyle to Warwick, with a slight break in the trail through the town of Klickitat. This nearly level trails follows 11 miles of the nationally designated Wild & Scenic Klickitat River before winding up through Swale Canyon.
From Lyle to Klickitat the trail is 13.3 miles; in Klickitat this portion ends at J. Neils Road near the intersection of State Route 142. It picks up again east of town on the south side of the Columbia River near State Route 142 and Company Road. It continues south and east along an old rail corridor to the Goldendale Plateau, 17.7 miles farther.
The scenery is spectacular: stunning river views and carved canyons, columnar basalt cliffs, forested mountains and wildflowers. It's a great place to spot birds, too. Bald eagles winter along the river near Lyle.
There are plans to pave the trail to make it wheelchair accessible from Lyle to Fisher Hill Bridge and within the town of Klickitat. Note: horses are currently not allowed along the trail, although plans are being sought to permit them in the future.
Parking and Trail Access
There are several access points and places to park along the Klickitat Trail. For maps and directions, visit the Klickitat Trail Conservancy
Plan better than we did!
A few words of warning: We hiked the eastern half of the trail from north to the southern trail head on Harms Road on a hot August day. Not the best idea. This trail seems better for mountain bikers than hikers, and is probably a lot more fun in Spring ...
p.s. note to Swayle Canyon ride
Forgot to mention a couple small things. I rode a 29-er mountain bike and had fairly new tires. I got lucky and had no flats, so maybe the fresher tires helped. But I had a couple extra tubes and patch stuff just in case, and recommend the same for others. ...
Swayle Canyon, early Fall 2012
My main interest was the upper half of the trail, riding through Swayle Canyon. I didn't have anyone to go with, so I parked at the Wahkiacus access (keep your eyes peeled for the Horseshoe Bend right turn, off 142, easy to miss) and figured I'd ride ...