Trailheads (Main Access Points)
Swale Canyon section of the Klickitat Trail is CLOSED for the Summer season. The section affected is from the Wahkiakus trailhead to Harms Road trailhead. It is closed due to the potential hazard of either a person getting trapped in Swale Canyon during a fire, or of a person causing a fire there. This annual temporary closure is based upon Washington State Dept of Natural Resources fire hazard ratings for Klickitat County. Currently, the rating is “High”.
As always, Swale Canyon will be opened again in the Fall when the hazard returns to “Moderate”, which usually happens mid-October.
The other 18 miles of the Trail always stay open all year around. This includes the 2.5 mile section West of Wahkiakus, where it is very nice along the Klickitat River. Also open is the 2.5 mile section East of Harms Road, which goes through rolling farm land. The Klickitat Trail, a non-motorized multiple use trail, follows the first 31 miles of an old railroad corridor that once linked the towns of Lyle and Goldendale.
- Lyle: To get there from the Portland area, take I-84 east to the third Hood River Exit (#64), cross the Hood River Bridge to Washington, and turn right (east) on Hwy. 14. Go about 13 miles to the Klickitat River Bridge (the entrance to Lyle), and just beyond the bridge turn left (north) on Hwy. 142. Immediately turn left at the trailhead entrance. There are restroom facilities at this location.
- Pitt: Go 10 miles north from SR-14 on SR-142. There is a parking area across the street from the row of houses. There is a portable toilet at this location.
- Klickitat Town Park: Drive 13 miles up Hwy 142 to the middle of the town of Klickitat, and look for a grocery store on the left. Park just beyond the grocery store, on the left by the little park under the trees.
- Schilling/Wahkiacus: Take Hwy. 142 about 16 miles (about 3 miles past the town of Klickitat), turn right on Horseshoe Bend Rd. and cross the bridge over the Klickitat River. In a few hundred yards turn right on Schilling Rd., and then take an immediate right into a parking area. There is a portable toilet at this location. From here you can hike west along the Klickitat to the mineral springs and beyond, or you can cross Schilling Rd and head east into Swale Canyon.
- Harms Rd.: From Lyle, take the Lyle-Centerville Hwy., which starts in the center of Lyle between the gas station and the Cafe. Head north for approximately 15 miles. Watch for the sign for the Klickitat Trail and turn left on Harms Rd. Drive north one-half mile and park just north of the trestle bridge over Swale Creek. There is a portable toilet at this location.
Other Trail Access Points
- “County Park” Road: About one mile north of the Lyle trailhead on Rd. 142, an unmarked gravel road crosses the trail and gives access to the trail in both directions. If you follow this road, it will take you down to a lovely undeveloped park along the river that is owned by the Forest Service and the County.
- Fisher Hill Trestle: From the Lyle trailhead, take Hwy 142 north 2 miles to Fisher Hill Rd., and park in the parking area near the large sign on the left just before the road.
- “Fishermen’s Access”: Take Hwy. 142 about a half mile beyond the Pitt trailhead, and look for a turnout and gate on your right. You can park there and walk around the gate to get on the trail.
- Entering Klickitat: Just as you enter the town of Klickitat on Hwy. 142, the trail crosses the road from right to left, and you will see signs for the trail on both sides of the road. You can park here and start the trail in either direction.
- Warwick: Follow the directions to the Harms Rd. trailhead, but instead of turning on Harms Rd., continue on the Lyle-Centerville Hwy. for about two miles, to a signboard for the Klickitat Trail on the left. (A little further down the road should be a small sign saying “Warwick.”)
- Uecker Road: Follow the directions to Warwick, but continue on the Lyle-Centerville Hwy. for another half mile to Uecker Rd. Turn right. In a short distance you will see where the old railbed crosses Uecker Road. Uecker Rd. is the official end of the Klickitat Trail. You can take the trail west from here.