The Snoqualmie Pass tunnel and high trestles are part of a unique cycling trail within an hour of Enumclaw. This ride is one more example that you don't have to travel far from our little town to have what people elsewhere would consider a dream vacation.
The tunnel and trestles are part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. The developed portion goes from North Bend to the Columbia River, within Iron Horse State Park. This unusual park, following a part of the Old Milwaukee Road rail line, is 100 feet wide and 110 miles long. A friend and I began our ride at the Hyak Trailhead, a few miles east of Snoqualmie Summit.
Almost immediately, you enter the 2.3 mile tunnel under the mountain, ski resort, and Pacific Crest Trail. It turns slightly soon after you enter, and the tiny dot of light, which is the other end, becomes visible. (Nothing is visible on your return until you are about to exit.) The tunnel was cool, but not cold as we were warned. It also dripped a little.
Since the tunnel accommodated trains, it is massive enough that a small light won't show much. I used mounted a video floodlight and camera together, so we had ample, but you can see in the video even with that, not much is visible.
In fifteen minutes, we reached western Washington daylight. The trail then follows the side of the mountains, so it is often steep on the sides, with some open and much forested. We were in the shade the majority of the time, and this was the middle of the day.
Each place a creek cut a canyon in the mountains, the railroad had to build a trestle. We crossed six, some quite long and all very high. We also passed an old wooden snowshed where avalanches were (and continue to be) a problem. Near the end of our 16 mile ride to Olalla State Park, we passed several trailside rock cliffs, a favorite spot for rock climbers to train.
This was an easy ride on the railroad downgrade. The surface was hard packed gravel and dirt, with little loose material. Dropping the tire pressure a little made it quite comfortable. We opted to shuttle, using two cars.
Here is a video of the ride: https://vimeo.com/45983286
Another way back up is to ride the forest roads to the Denny Creek exit of I-90 and then take the old highway to the pass, and then ride the back road down to Hyak. We rode the old highway up and then down last year.
And a video of the ride up and down the old highway, before HD (for me, anyway): https://vimeo.com/15482307